A project to remove reed bed sludge from its treatment plant could cost Slatington about $115,000.

Eight companies submitted bids to the Slatington Borough Authority on Thursday, with WeCare Organics, LLC, of Jordan, NY, submitting the apparent low base bid of $55,200.

That figure was $19,890 less than the next lowest bid of $75,090 turned in by Empire Services, of Reading, Berks County.

Other companies that bid were Custom Ag. Service, Marietta, Lancaster County ($78,000); Pennaco Excavating, Inc., of Wyomissing, Berks County ($83,682); Mobile Dredging & Pumping, of Chester, Chester County ($91,472); Derstine Company, LLC, of Souderton, Montgomery County ($109,000); and Linde Corporation, of Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne County ($153,100).

WeCare Organics also submitted the apparent low bid of $62,100 for the alternate No. 1 bid, which was $22,300 less than the next lowest alternate bid of $84,400 from Linde.

Other companies that submitted alternate bids were Pennaco ($88,790); Mobile Dredging & Pumping ($102,903); Custom Ag. Service ($117,000); Derstine Company ($123,000); and Empire Services ($162,882).

Todd Green Excavating Inc., of Palmerton, submitted prices for alternate No. 2 and alternate No. 3. However, his prices were per cubic yard, according to authority engineer Ted Stevenson.

The project calls for the removal of about 800 cubic yards of sludge from the reed beds at the treatment plant, as well as the transportation of the sludge to an approved site.

The owner is also requesting an alternate bid to remove and dispose of an additional 900 cubic yards of sludge from other on-site reed beds.

The bidder was able to select an alternate disposal site provided that the bidder be responsible for procuring all required permits. However, access onto the reed beds with equipment will not be allowed.

The contractor should also be familiar with the route between the wastewater treatment plant and the disposal site, or the alternate disposal site, the traffic requirements needed for hauling the sludge, and the approved disposal site fees and hours of operation.

Authority Chairman Gary Phillips said the bids will be presented to the authority on Jan. 25. They will then be reviewed by the borough's sewer committee.

"They (the bids) were all over the place," Phillips said. "We have no idea where this is coming; we can't predict."

Stevenson said a contract would likely be awarded sometime next month.