Eleven companies, including several from out-of-state, are competing for the job of painting the Panther Valley's 1.5 million-gallon water tank on Hauto Mountain this summer.

The Lansford-Coaldale Joint Water Authority on Wednesday opened bids for the work. The bids will be reviewed by solicitor James Nanovic, engineer Edward Gaydos and the state's PennVEST program before the job is awarded to the lowest responsible bidder, said Chairman Toby Krajcirik.

The bids range from a low of $250,000 submitted by Corfu Contractors, Inc., of Oakton, Virginia, to a high of $889,500 submitted by A-1 Industrial Maintenance Inc. of Campbell, Ohio.

In addition, bids were received from S & T Painting, Inc., of Parkton, Maryland, for $294,700; Worldwide Industries Inc., of Butler, Butler County, for $324,291; Valley Painting Inc., of Southampton, Bucks County, for $372,294; Amstar of Western New York for $391,200; Southern Corrosion, Inc., of Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, for $413,520; Corrosion Control Corp., of New Castle, Delaware, for $432,900; Utility Service, Inc., of Perry, Georgia, for $433,000; John D. Bethell/Heather McClelland, of Grand Ledge, Missouri, for $460,000; and Kompass Maintenance Co. LLC, of Campbell, Ohio, for $549,000.

The painting is the last bit of work to be done on the authority's $2.1 million upgrading project.

The water authority is paying for the project through financing agreement from PennVEST, and has applied for federal stimulus grant money. It also raised the water rate from $52.30 to $68 a quarter for the first 7,000 gallons, the first increase since 1995.

The project began about a year ago and included building a new 715,239-gallon storage tank, replacing the 125,000-gallon storage tank in Coaldale and replacing the water main along East Abbott Street in Lansford.

The project was needed because the water tanks are 30 years old and are corroded and the water main was too small and too old to ensure sufficient flow to fight fires, water authority officials have said.

The boroughs use an average of 700,000-800,000 gallons of water a day.