4th Street extention project gets city approval: ODOT to do the work<BR>
The city has agreed to let the state do the actual work in designing, engineering and constructing the extension of 4th Street from Court to Dunham streets. The city approved an intergovernmental agreement which will leave all aspects of extending Fourth Street through the old Pacific Power property up to the state Department of Transportation. Work on the project is expected to begin early this summer and be completed before fall.
Funding for the purchase of Pacific Power property, realigning the existing right of ways and the actual construction is from a $474,785 grant. Last September ODOT notified the city that the Local Street Networks Fund grant in that amount had been approved. According to the agreement the city "lacks the technical resources to perform the preliminary and final designs, bid and award the contract and administer the Fourth Street Extension Project."
Because of this, ODOT offered to take on the job.
When the motion on the agreement with ODOT was voted on, only one council member voted against it. Jerry Blank explained that the power company property is adjacent to the old Texaco station, "and that has been a source of underground contamination. There's the Texaco spillage and possibly PCB's from the power company's transformers. There could be contaminates and we're buying the land and could get into trouble with it."
City Administrator Henry Hartley assured Blank that ODOT is responsible for working with the state Department of Environmental Quality to ensure that protection. Plus, "we'll know about any contaminants before the property is purchased."
The procedure for approving the agreement took formal adoption of three separate resolutions. Each passed with only one nay vote. In answer to Hartley question of why he voted against all three, even taking into account the environmental concerns, Blank said he just didn't trust the state bureaucracy.
"What happens if the grant amount isn)t enough to finish the project," Blank asked, "we'll have to come up with the money. And what quarantees are there that the job will be done by the deadline?" ODOT might get half finished and then be pulled off to work on another project and the city would be left holding the bag.
Hartley explained that the agreement set a November, 2002 deadline for completion. The timeline for the job is to be done at least a year before that. And the amount, he added, is sufficient. Hartley explained that the city would manage the budget "which they (ODOT) will not exceed." Possibly, he added there may even be money left over. Original cost estimates were much higher than the grant amount, but with ODOT doing the design and engineering work, major savings are possible.
All three resolutions were adopted by a vote of 6-1, with one member absent.