VVWD 2-07-17: JNJ Engineering workers finish up pipe work related to the rehab of VVWD airport water tank. Photo by Linda Faas.Linda faas

The Virgin Valley Water District Board (VVWD) moved through a project-packed agenda on Feb. 7, awarding two major contracts to low bidder Mesquite General Contracting.

Mesquite General was named to construct the Virgin River Transmission Line Project. Their low bid of $1,068,974 was unanimously accepted by a 5-0 board vote, beating out the only other bidder, Underground Construction, which came in with a bid of $1,199,708. This project involves drilling vertical holes on either side of the river above the average high water mark boundary, then laying a casing and water line under the river.

The project provides a redundant water line to Mesquite from the VVWD wells south of the river. About 40 percent of Mesquite’s water comes from high-producing wells south of the river, and the remaining wells in the system cannot meet the water needs of the city in case of a failure in the current single water transmission line. This is a key project the VVWD staff and board have undertaken to shore up the valley’s water system against potential emergencies.

In awarding this bid, the board chose to construct one transmission line rather than adding a second line at an additional cost of $900,000. Earlier cost estimates, made when an open trench access to the boring was considered, were cheaper, but would have required extensive permitting from federal authorities because the entire project would have infringed on the average high water mark boundary of the Virgin River. Several endangered species of birds nest in the area, and historical structures would require impact reports. By avoiding surface construction that requires special U.S. Fish and Wildlife permitting, VVWD is able to proceed with its project. It has received Army Corps of Engineers permitting and is promised BLM easement authorization by March 1. Mesquite General expects to commence construction in mid-March, and has a 60-day window to complete its work.

Mesquite General was also named conditional winner of a second major contract, the Riverside Road Waterline Replacement and Overlay Project. According VVWD District Manager Kevin Brown’s memorandum to the board, VVWD and the city of Mesquite plan to combine projects that each of the entities requires on Riverside Road, pipeline replacement for VVWD and street paving for the city.

VVWD and city staff wrote an interlocal agreement proposal to jointly bid the waterline and the street paving projects, outlining responsibilities of each party. Combining the total project aims to reduce road closures and public inconvenience, as well as avoid duplicate expenditures. Bids were invited for two separate portions of work, with a winner chosen on basis of lowest bid for the combined total.

The VVWD board first discussed and approved the interlocal agreement by 5-0 vote. That cooperative agreement lays out procedures and costs to be allocated to each party. Bids were invited for the pipeline project (Bid #1) and street overlay (Bid #2). The text of the interlocal agreement is available on the VVWD website, www.vvh2o.com. The Mesquite City Council must approve the agreement to initiate the project.

The board reviewed four bids submitted for the combined total project, which were received Feb. 6. Mesquite General’s total bid of $1,925,922.99 beat out three competitors: JNJ Engineering, $2,011,392; Las Vegas Paving, $2,150,000; and Meadow Valley, $2,554,216. VVWD’s portion of the total for Bid #1 is $1,220,862.05.

Again by a 5-0 unanimous vote, the VVWD board accepted the low bid from Mesquite General on the conditional basis that it must be approved by Mesquite City Council in its next meeting. Commenting on the company’s ability to take on both projects, Henry Slack, of Mesquite General, indicated that initial work in the transmission line project will be handled by an outside drilling contractor, Cross Country Core of Sacramento, CA, allowing his own crews to manage simultaneous projects.

The board heard from Brown concerning change orders for the airport water tank project.

As originally awarded, the contract did not include rehab of the tank roof, which was found to contain interior rust damage and severe oxidation of exterior paint. A change order for $8,353.37 for welding and repairs for the rust damage was submitted. Additionally, a change order to cover the cost of power wash removal of existing exterior roof paint and replacement with an epoxy coat was submitted at $33,000.

The board okayed both change orders, stating that in the future Brown could authorize budgeted contract changes or expenditures up to $50,000, due to board ratification of Resolution 2017-1, passed earlier in the meeting. Resolution 2017-1 can be read in full on the District website.

Brown presented updates on water system status, also including information compiled by hydrologist Aaron Bunker, who was absent. He had met with representatives of Pulte to discuss the District’s water model in relationship to aspects of water usage and delivery to the next building phase in the south end of Sun City. Giving an update of the progress of Well 27A at Pioneer and Oasis Blvd., Brown reported that the water flow of that well has been gauged at 1,980 gallons per minute.


The board reviewed a list of potential goals for 2017 that Brown compiled at the board’s request. Board members presented their views of order of importance of the 12 listed items, and by 5-0 consensus vote, prioritized the issue of water resource access in Gold Butte National Monument at the top of the list. Other top priorities included action on VVWD water share leasing policy and water rate increase process.


It was noted that the BLM will hold a town hall meeting at Mesquite City Hall on Feb. 9, 5 p.m., to provide more information to the public about status of management and advisory committee formation for the Gold Butte National Monument. The area was declared a national monument by President Obama in December, 2016.