RMC Water and Environment is in charge of planning, designing and managing the installation of water meters in Lodi. RMC will also be working with Nolte Associates on the project.
The city selected the contractor based on qualifications, instead of strictly price, Public Works Director Wally Sandelin said.
In October, the Lodi City Council voted 3-to-1 to hire and pay RMC $3.25 million for its work on the four-year project. Councilwoman JoAnne Mounce voted "no" because she does not believe the city should pass costs for infrastructure on to residents. Councilwoman Susan Hitchcock was absent from the meeting.
The company beat out three others that also bid to engineer the project. City staff reviewed the bids and selected based on approach, responsiveness to the project requirements, relevant experience, allocation of 20 percent of the work to local firms, and price.
The other companies were West Yost Associates, HDR Inc. and Global Water.
While Sandelin said he did not want to downplay RMC's skills and qualifications, the design work is not highly technical. Instead, the city looked hard at the firm's management experience.
The project is on a tight timetable and involves coordination between multiple people in the city, the subcontractors and RMC, Sandelin said.
"Their management team stood head and shoulders above other bids," he said. "They gave a carefully thought out and detailed schedule that pretty much matched what we anticipated. It showed us experience, forethought, and showed us they could think about a three-year project."
He said all the bid prices came in within 5 percent of each other.
This is not the first time RMC has worked for the city. In 2006, the city hired RMC to create a recycled water master plan. The company received about $230,000 for the plan, including $75,000 from a state grant.
Having worked with a contractor previously is a plus, Sandelin said. So far, he has been pleased with the contractor's work.
While Dugan works out of the Sacramento office, RMC has offices throughout Northern and Southern California.
"Water is our focus point, and we are only focused in California," Dugan said. "We want to be a leader in the field, and help correct some of California's water problems."
The company works on a variety of water and wastewater projects in the state, including a wastewater collection system master plan for the city of Pacifica, a recycled water project for Pasadena Water and Power and engineering services for a number of upgrades at the Encina Water Pollution Control Facility.