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Garney constructs first plant of its kind in Southwest Florida

Aug 2017

AUGUST 2017 – Garney is at the helm of constructing an ionic water treatment plant that will purify water from three different aquifers with multiple different treatment systems. Using the latest in new technology, the Green Meadows Water Treatment Plant will be the first of its kind in Southwest Florida to process brackish and fresh water.

The $75.4 million plant for Lee County Utilities will replace a 40-year-old facility and reduce treatment cost per thousand gallons by 60%. This marks the second most expensive project undertaken in Lee County history, just behind the $78 million JetBlue Park – the spring training facility of the Boston Red Sox.

The plant, located near Fort Myers, will provide 14 million gallons per day to enhance reliability and address growing population needs. The County selected the latest in advanced technology to treat the water using multiple systems including:

Ion Exchange

With the ability to process 3.9 million gallons per day, five exchangers will remove organic compounds and color from the water. The system will treat the surficial water high in iron and hardness through large vessels, tanks, and a complex piping network.

Reverse Osmosis

Three reverse osmosis trains comprised of 672 cartridge pre-filters will be responsible for removing salt and hardness from the water. This process will be used to treat the brackish water from the Floridian aquifer.

Degasifier and Clearwell System

Primarily used to treat odor, the water will get degasified before flowing through a 55,000 gallon storage tank. Disinfection will follow through a concrete maze of three switchbacks and then be transported via several miles of distribution pipe.

“The design concept is unique in that water treatment facilities typically rely on one source, thus requiring one treatment process,” said Josh Petro, Project Manager at Garney Construction. “Not only are we constructing multiple treatment systems, but we’re using the latest technologies gaining momentum in the water industry. This is a hallmark project for Lee County Utilities and for Garney.”

Garney is serving as Construction Manager at Risk (CMAR), managing 17 subcontractors with a daily workforce of 120 field craft at peak hours.

“Approximately 75 percent of the subcontractors are local and we’ve produced an estimated 300 jobs for local residents,” said Petro.

“Unlike most of our projects, Garney is not allowed to self-perform work on the site, but it has truly been a win-win for the County and Garney. We have been able to exceed the County’s expectations by adhering to our goals and philosophies, keeping expectations high, and championing teamwork.”

Construction is ahead of schedule and anticipated to be complete by December 2017. Commissioning and transfer activities will follow with the plant scheduled to be fully operational by August 2018.


Garney appoints new directors

Aug 2017

AUGUST 2017 – Dan Smolik, Jeff Seal, Scott Reuter, and Bill Williams were recently named as Directors, expanding Garney’s leadership team in three markets. With continued growth, Garney’s succession planning program is a significant priority for the company over the next several years.

“Currently, we’re in our third generation of leadership and we’re preparing for the fourth generation,” said Mike Heitmann, President and CEO of Garney Construction. “One of the most important things we can be doing right now is preparing the next generation of leaders.”

These new Directors will be working closely with Garney’s executive team and board of directors to implement strategic planning and growth within their respective markets.

“Each of these new Directors have proven their operations capabilities and leadership potential,” said Heitmann. “Throughout this succession process, Garney’s Directors will continue to develop the leadership skills to prepare them in shaping the future of the company.”

Meet Garney’s latest Directors:

Dan Smolik – Director of Florida Pipe Operations

Dan has been with Garney his entire career and brings 17 years of experience focused on pipeline operations, primarily in Florida. During this time, Dan has elevated Garney’s alternative delivery, industrial, and power presence throughout the state. He has provided leadership on notable projects including the Regional Integrated Loop System Interconnect (Venice and Punta Gorda, FL), Wet Weather Monitoring & Pumping System (Largo, FL), and the 48-Inch Water Transmission Main for Area N (Miami, FL). Dan has delivered more than $280 million in water and sewer pipeline projects in Florida and will continue to expand Garney’s presence in this market. In 2000, Dan graduated from Missouri Western State University with a Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology.

Jeff Seal – Director of Nashville Pipe Operations

A graduate of Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering, Jeff has 14 years of experience in the construction industry, with 12 of those years spent overseeing pipeline operations at Garney. Since joining the company in 2005, Jeff has managed the construction of more than $300 million in water and wastewater pipeline projects throughout Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Jeff has expanded Garney’s mid-South operations in the private and power markets, and will continue to shape this growing market sector to explore additional opportunities in Southern Indiana and Southern Ohio. Jeff has spearheaded some of the company’s largest projects in the area including the Cumberland City Low Transmission Main (Nashville, TN), Logan CSO Interceptor (Louisville, KY), Virginia-Highland Water Main (Atlanta, GA), and the Decatur to Limestone County Water Transmission Line (Decatur, AL).

Scott Reuter – Director of Nashville/Florida Plant Operations

Scott’s 19-year career has been focused on constructing more than $400 million in water and wastewater treatment facilities. In 2003, Scott joined Encore Construction, which was acquired by Garney in 2012. Scott has expanded Garney’s facility operations in Florida and Tennessee, in addition to recent growth within the federal market sector. He will continue to guide operations in these markets and leverage his experience to drive success in the Southeast. Scott obtained his Professional Engineering license and is a graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University with a degree in Civil & Environmental Engineering. Major projects led by Scott include the Peace River Water Treatment Plant (Arcadia, FL), Regional Water Treatment Facility at Yankee Lake (Sanford, FL), and Holston Army Ammunition Plant (Kingsport, TN).

Bill Williams – Director of Western Pipe Operations

Bill has been working on pipeline projects since graduating from the University of Southern Colorado as a Civil Engineer. He spent the first 20 years of his career building both small and large infrastructure projects along the front range, before joining Garney in 2010 as a Project Manager. Bill has helped maintain one of Garney’s strongest client relationships by contributing on more than half of the projects completed for Colorado Springs Utilities, including the $112 million Southern Delivery Water System Program. In addition, Bill has been a part of Garney’s management team, supporting more than $215 million of pipeline projects. Upon Garney’s award of the Vista Ridge Water Supply Project in San Antonio, Texas, Bill became the project’s Operations Manager and enjoys the challenges as a part of the management team for the largest P3 water project in the history of the United States.


Oklahoma Approves Design-Build and P3

Aug 2017

AUGUST 2017 – Legislation was passed in the state of Oklahoma supporting design-build and public-private partnerships (P3s). This is a large step for Oklahoma’s local governments and state agencies as public design-build projects must be authorized by law.

According to the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), only three states were using design-build delivery when the organization was founded in 1993. Today, more than 40% of the nation’s projects are delivered using design-build with widespread or full design-build authority provided in 42 states.

Enacting these alternative delivery methods further affirms Oklahoma’s commitment to finding better ways to deliver infrastructure projects for taxpayers, and encourages the future of design-build and P3 in the Midwest.

P3 projects are also growing rapidly in popularity in many states across the country. Private funding is an attractive option for governments, and for private parties, as state and local governments serve as reliable partners on projects that make for secure long-term investments.

For more information on the bill and its impact on the future of public infrastructure in the state, visit the Design-Build Institute of America State Advocacy.


Forbes Names Garney ‘Best Place to Work’

Aug 2017

Garney has claimed a spot on a new “best places” list of mid-sized employers published by Forbes. Among the top 300 U.S. employers, Garney is humbled to be recognized No. 149 on Forbes’ America’s Best Midsize Employers. Forbes’ list ranks companies with 1,000 to 5,000 employees based on a survey that asked employees how likely they were to recommend their workplaces to family or friends.

“Garney is fortunate to be 100% employee owned — it’s the foundation of our culture,” said Mike Heitmann, President and CEO of Garney Construction. “When you’re an owner, you care more about the company. It has defined our culture and our success.”

Forbes partnered with Statista to survey 30,000 employees from firms across the country on their workplace cultures.

“Garney’s employee ownership, coupled with our reputation as a leader in the industry, has created this environment where we continue to grow and invest in the development of our employee-owners.”

“We continue to see historic growth at the company. Even throughout the slowdown of the economic downturn several years ago, we continued to grow. The market we are in now is much stronger, and has put Garney in a position to grow even faster.”

For a full list of companies that earned spots on America’s Best Midsize Employers, click here.


Vista Ridge Recognized Internationally, Winning Top Water Awards

Apr 2017

APRIL 2017 – As the largest privately financed water project to close in North America to date, Vista Ridge has received top honors on a global platform. The $927 million project will support the construction of a well field, pump stations, 142-mile water pipeline, and terminus site carried out by the Vista Ridge consortium led by Garney P3 with the construction contract executed by Garney Construction.

Vista Ridge was named North America Water Deal of the Year by IJGlobal and Project Finance International (PFI). Both organizations celebrate industry excellence on a global scale, with IJ Global recognizing the best in energy and infrastructure and PFI honoring project finance professionals. Garney accepted the awards on February 1 in London and March 15 in New York.

On April 24, Vista Ridge was awarded Water Deal of the Year by Global Water Intelligence (GWI) in Madrid, Spain. Vista Ridge was up against three impressive competitors: a desalinization plant in Aqaba, Jordan; a sea-water reverse osmosis plant in Oman; and, a water treatment plant in the Bulcan Province of the Philippines.

International attention on Vista Ridge developed when the original equity partner encountered financial difficulties and Garney stepped up to assume a leadership position. San Antonio is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation. The Vista Ridge Regional Water Supply Project remains a critical project for helping San Antonio secure their water future. Vista Ridge will expand San Antonio’s water supply by 20 percent, decreasing pressure on the sensitive Edwards Aquifer, which is subject to federal, state, and regional pumping regulations.

Water supply is expected to flow by 2020, complementing SAWS’ continued conservation efforts and development of water resources as San Antonio adds an additional one million residents by 2040.

“Vista Ridge, Garney P3, and Garney Construction are all humbled by the international recognition associated with this momentous P3 project,” said Scott Parrish, Chief Operating Officer of Garney Construction. “We look forward to successfully delivering this project on time and on budget to do our part in helping secure San Antonio’s water future.”


Nashville Crews Work Around the Clock on Cumberland City Low Water Main

Apr 2017

APRIL 2017 – In an already booming population growth, utility infrastructure in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, is on the rise. In an effort to stay ahead of this growth, Metro Water Services (Metro) uses a water distribution system model to establish a Water Master Growth Plan for future improvements needed within the system.

Projecting growth models is paramount in serving Metro’s 187,000 customers. Metro’s water system is comprised of two water treatment plants with a combined capacity of 180 million gallons per day (MGD) and a distribution system containing more than 3,000 miles of waterlines.

The Cumberland City Low Transmission Water Main was developed to eliminate possible future water pressure and flow problems. The $32.9 million project is the largest monetary water main project Metro has undertaken in more than 30 years.

Garney crews are working 24 hours per day to install 27,000 LF of 10″ to 60″ ductile iron water main through major intersections in Nashville. This water main will provide the first phase of the replacement waterline to the K. R. Harrington Water Treatment Plant and will provide a redundant water main to the east side of the Stones River. Construction also includes 460 LF of 48″ and 60″ RCP stormwater pipe, 290 LF of 36″ ball and socket ductile iron pipe, dewatering for the Stones River crossing, 120 LF of 96″ horizontal directional drill liner plate tunnel under a railroad track, a tie-in to an existing 60″ PCCP water main, rock excavation, and several water service connections.

Multiple routing alternatives were evaluated and compared, with consideration given to numerous criteria including environmental, legal, water quality, permitting, property acquisition, constructability, cost, schedule, and overall impact to Metro’s customers. The selected route provided the best flow conditions and shortened the water age in the distribution system.

“Garney has further worked with Metro and design engineer, Gresham, Smith and Partners, to tremendously minimize traffic disruption on Lebanon Road and Donelson Pike,” said Cyrus Toosi, Assistant Director of Engineering at Metro Water Services. “Garney is also playing a large role in an extensive public outreach program, interfacing with residents and businesses to minimize disruption.”


$258 Million Wastewater Treatment Plant Begins Operation

Apr 2017

APRIL 2017 – A new advanced wastewater treatment plant which will eventually serve 300,000 customers across five Colorado metropolitan cities is now treating wastewater after 45 months of construction and commissioning. The $258 million plant is one of the largest progressive design-build wastewater treatment plants constructed in the United States to date.

With a rapidly growing community, Metro Wastewater Reclamation District began planning for the Northern Treatment Plant back in 1982. The new facility has capacity to treat 24 million gallons per day (MGD) with a buildout to 60 MGD.

Since construction started in late 2012, Garney has constructed more than 32 structures totaling more than 300,000 square feet of building footprint, 24 miles of yard piping, 3,000 valves, and 14 miles of interior piping that span the 100-acre site in Brighton, Colorado. Garney crews self-performed 950,000 man-hours over a 3.5 year construction period.

Construction and commissioning was completed by Fall 2016. Commissioning activities ensured the new facility would not only meet or surpass all regulatory requirements, but would also do so in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The plant has been fully operational since late September 2016.


Garney Names New Controller of Operations

Apr 2017

APRIL 2017 – Garney Construction is pleased to welcome Austin Delimont, CPA, CCIFP, as Assistant Controller of Operations. In this new role, Delimont will be responsible for managing Garney’s accounting, financial reporting, and tax compliance and reporting.

Delimont joins the Garney team after a 9-year career with CBIZ and Mayer Hoffman McCann P.C. While at the national accounting and auditing firm, Delimont was responsible for large attest engagements, assisting in the preparation of financial statements, and resolving critical audit and risk issues with a primary focus in the construction industry.

Delimont is a graduate of Kansas State University with a bachelor of science in Business Administration – Finance and Accounting. He is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Construction Industry Financial Professional (CCIFP). The CCIFP designation is the only accounting certification for construction financial professionals and is accredited by the American National Standards Institute. Delimont’s background, in parallel with this designation, will provide verification essential to ethical financial management in today’s complex construction industry. According to the Institute of Certified Construction Industry Financial Professionals, Delimont is one of only 900 who hold the designation nationwide.

“Austin has been recognized as one of the brightest young talents in the field,” said Jeff Lacy, Chief Financial Officer of Garney Construction. “Prior to joining Garney, he worked as Garney’s Account Manager for five years and exhibited all of the characteristics that align with Garney’s goals and philosophies. He will be a tremendous asset to the Garney team.”


Garney Reaches Financial Close on Vista Ridge Water Supply Project

Nov 2016

NOVEMBER 2016 — Financial close has been reached on the Vista Ridge Water Supply Project, allowing Garney to begin overseeing the design, construction, and financing of a 142-mile pipeline. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, the 142-mile pipeline is a critical project for San Antonio as it will deliver 16.3 billion gallons of water to the rapidly growing community.

The San Antonio Water System (SAWS) board voted unanimously to consent to the financial close. Garney will continue to assume the regulatory, financial, and construction risk of the project. This public-private partnership (P3) venture is a significant milestone for Garney. It signifies Garney’s ability to invest in the financial and logistical requirements to undertake the $927 million program.

Vista Ridge will expand San Antonio’s water supply by 20 percent, decreasing pressure on the sensitive Edwards Aquifer, which is subject to federal, state and regional pumping regulations. SAWS is a national leader in water conservation, and the Vista Ridge pipeline will complement SAWS’ continued conservation efforts and development of other water resources as San Antonio adds one million residents by 2040.

Construction is set to begin in early 2017 and last through 2019, with water flowing in early 2020. SAWS and its customers will only pay for the water that actually makes it to San Antonio. After 30 years, in 2050, SAWS would own the pipeline.

“Achieving financial close is a huge milestone and development of this important project,” said Scott Parrish, Chief Operating Officer of Garney Construction. “Our team is ready to commence construction and be in a position to deliver water to San Antonio in 2020.”


Talking Shop with Tim Porter: Driving Future Growth within the Power and Industrial Market

Oct 2016

OCTOBER 2016 – Since joining Garney six months ago, Tim Porter has developed impressive growth within the power and industrial market. Porter joined Garney in April 2016 as Business Development Manager with a sole focus to broaden Garney’s client base in the power and industrial market sector throughout the United States. He brings 27 years of experience in the private sector, primarily within the power market delivering large-scale water supply and related infrastructure. This week, Porter sat down to share insight on the direction of the market and the plan for the future.

With more than 27 years of private and industrial construction expertise, what prompted you to join Garney?

Garney is a national leader in the water resource market. With the power and industrial market on a slow but steady comeback, I saw Garney in a great position to where I could help leverage Garney’s leadership role, national footprint, and established industry relationships within the market sector.

What have you learned at Garney within the past six months that will drive future growth in the private market sector?

As a previous competitor of Garney’s, I was surprised to learn the level of commitment to attracting bright young talent. Combining this with the long-term experienced ‘gray beards’ is a solid package for growth.

One challenge is transitioning some of the relationship capitol of the established individuals so the company can maintain a network of layers with our clients and engineering partners.

How will you leverage Garney’s expertise in water and wastewater infrastructure within this market segment?

We have already begun by bringing young talent to lead complicated power and industrial projects.  This exposure will pay dividends for many years to come. It also creates an urgency for managers to share their skills and expertise. The challenge is this requires more time from an already stretched contingency of the company.

From your perspective, what challenges must the power and industrial market overcome with regard to stringent regulations in maintaining existing infrastructure?

The complete lack of a comprehensive energy plan in our country has hindered the power market for nearly all of my career. Regulatory impacts and unrealistic timelines have forced closures of many valuable assets within the coal and nuclear segment prior to the end of their anticipated design life. These types of assets will not be easily rebuilt in a pinch.

Garney stands to benefit from the most recent regulatory assault. The new ELG (Effluent Limitation Guidelines) regulations will prohibit coal-fired power plants from discharging ash related effluent through current permitted outfalls. This in itself creates pipeline and treatment opportunities, but the short deadline creates urgency that will consume all of the capable contractors and vendors’ resources. Garney is working to position ourselves to capitalize on this perfect storm via strong joint venture agreements and building new relationships with Owners.

What is unique about working in the power and industrial market?

The power and industrial markets present tough projects with tight timelines that force contractors to hit the ground running with very little design completed. Contractors who stub their toe early can face crippling damages along with being ostracized in the industry.

What is your strategy for success?

It may sound simple, but I believe in showing up. So many people are content to work through email and long distance communication. It is nearly impossible to build a strong relationship and garner the type of insight necessary to solve a client’s issues from afar. Once you show up, be a resource.  There are plenty of vendors who will buy lunch but fail to deliver any value. If you spend time with the client, it is almost impossible not to learn about the business. Once you do that, try to understand what they want before you get to what you want.

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