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The Villages
Saturday, February 24, 2024

Wildwood turns to industry veteran as growth spurs urgency for sewage expansion

Wildwood commissioners Monday night designated Garney Construction as construction manager at risk to build the city’s new wastewater treatment plant.

Commissioners authorized City Manager Jason McHugh to begin contract negotiations with the company.

PC Construction, the project’s previous construction manager, was fired by commissioners last month.

Boosted by home construction in the Villages of Southern Oaks, apartment projects and new businesses, rapid growth has fueled Wildwood’s need for more wastewater treatment capacity. One of the fastest growing cities in the nation, Wildwood’s population nearly doubled in three years to 30,327, according to a University of Florida estimate earlier this year.

To reduce construction costs, estimated at $150 million, city officials decided to build a smaller plant and continue operating the existing plant. The two plants will be capable of processing about 5.5 million gallons of wastewater daily.

The only bidder on the project, Garney Construction received 435 of a possible 500 points during a staff team review.

Based locally in Winter Garden, Garney Construction is a national company with offices in a dozen states that specializes in wastewater plant and water treatment projects, including a recent Villages project and the River Oaks Diversion Project in Tampa. In September, the company announced the promotion of three new top officials, including CEO and two division presidents.

Garney is the nation’s largest contractor for pipeline projects and one of the leading contractors for water and wastewater projects.

PC Construction was fired after completing upgrades to the existing plant, increasing its capacity to 3.55 million gallons daily. City Manager Jason McHugh said company officials and city staff failed to reach agreement on a permanent contract.


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