Sep 08 2017

Statement on Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade Contract

The below comments are provided in relation to the contract awarded for the Star City wastewater treatment plant upgrade. Questions or comments on the matter can be addressed to Chris Dale via email at cdale@mub.org, via Morgantown Utility Board’s website at http://mub.org/contact, or via telephone at (304) 292-8443.


Contract for the work on the Star City Wastewater Treatment Plant was awarded to Ulliman Schutte Construction, LLC out of Roanoke, VA for $78,740,000 after a competitive bidding process. As an equal opportunity employer, the bidding process was open to both union and non-union bidders and we maintain a neutral position on the subject of union hiring as required by West Virginia law.

MUBs legal duty, and its duty to the ratepayers, is to award the construction contract to the responsible bidding contractor promising to complete the work at the lowest possible cost to the public.

Our only involvement with personnel matters related to Ulliman Schutte is to ensure legal compliance with the West Virginia Job Act and the Federal Davis-Bacon Wage Act. We accomplish this by having a MUB senior staff engineer compile and review weekly payroll reports furnished to us by Ulliman Schutte. The information we receive includes each worker’s home address and social security number, work classification (laborer, etc.), hours worked, pay rate, and pay for that period.

In keeping with our commitment to public transparency, we provide copies of all certified payrolls to the Affiliated Construction Trades Foundation and have agreed to do so on an ongoing basis.

To date, we have identified no West Virginia Jobs Act violations with Ulliman Schutte hiring practices. We will continue monitoring this project in the same thorough manner we do every project.

Additionally, please note that…

  • MUB doesn't make the rules governing public contracting, it follows them.
  • A challenge in awarding a contract at this level of funding involves bonding. There are few (if any) state firms, and no local firms, that could meet the bonding obligations required by this contract.
  • When the state Legislature mandates a local preference premium, we will, of course, comply. Until that time, we will continue awarding to the lowest responsible bidder as required by law.
  • Despite claims, MUB has not hired a single person for this job.
  • MUB staff have family that are proud members of unions. We promote and support local labor, have no doubts about that.
  • We encourage anyone with an issue on this matter to express their opinions through legislation and by voting.
  • As a public utility, our number one priority is to our rate payers and certainly the customers we serve.