Okaloosa County’s Water and Sewer Department is seeking to win a 50-year contract to operate the water distribution and wastewater collection systems at Eglin Air Force Base.
County commissioners last week approved submitting the bid by the Feb. 19 deadline.
“This is probably the most massive, most complex project I’ve been involved with,” Water and Sewer Director Jeff Littrell told the board.
Littrell and his staff are working with Constantine Engineering and Environmental Services Group to draft the proposal.
Okaloosa already handles wastewater treatment for Eglin.
Still, the scope of the latest proposal is huge, and is expected to come with multiple volumes of documents.
“Eglin Air Force Base is a very large base. It occupies a lot of land,” Littrell said.
If it wins the contract over other bidders, the county would provide water and wastewater service to the main base, Santa Rosa Island, Duke Field, Camp Rudder, the Poquito Bayou Housing Area, Camp Pinchot, the Gunter Recreation Area on White Point Road, the Army 7th Special Forces Group (Airborne) and numerous test sites and ranges.
The water system would include more than 652,000 feet of pipe, 747 fire hydrants, 82 water wells and 17 elevated tanks.
The wastewater collection system would include more than 398,000 feet of pipe, 1,058 manholes and 83 pumping stations.
Littrell said his department will submit three proposals — one to provide water distribution, one to provide wastewater collection and a third to provide both services.
County Commissioner Nathan Boyles praised Littrell’s team for its work on the proposal.
“I really see you guys looking big picture, and I appreciate that … You’re ultimately saving our rate payers down the road.”
Commissioner Kelly Windes agreed. He said he initially was “worried about the largeness” of the project but was reassured after speaking with the project engineers.
Commission Chairman Don Amunds said he likes the economic development aspect.
“It’s back to creating jobs and it’s a public-private partnership,” he said. “I think this is a step in the right direction.”