Storm pond would go under parking lot

The city project will cost $650,000 and raise stormwater utility rates by 25 cents per home

At the May 16 City Council meeting, the city of Sandy discussed spending about $650,000 to build a stormwater retention pond under the parking lot in Meinig Park.

It was the second time the council had heard about the project, which would reduce large flows of stormwater into Tickle Creek.

The council considered the project one more time Monday, even though it gave general approval to the proposal three weeks ago, but councilors wanted more information about the financing and the impact on several large commercial businesses before placing its mark of approval - which it did Monday.

At Monday's meeting, the council scrutinized the effect of adding a 25-cent increase per month for each residential customer (from $3 to $3.25) and particularly what effect that would have on large commercial customers such as the Fred Meyer store which has a large paved area.

'I was surprised,' said City Manager Scott Lazenby. 'The increase for even the largest customers is relatively modest,'

'It doesn't seem like that big of a burden,' said Public Works Director Mike Walker, speaking of the largest increases.

According to research done by Finance Director Seth Atkinson, Fred Meyer - which has the city's largest stormwater bill - would have an increase of $41.76 over the current bill for stormwater detention of $522.

To bring this project to the council, a dozen bids were opened and one bidder stood out as being qualified and offering the lowest cost: M.L. Houck Construction of Salem. The highest bidder of the 12 was $200,000 above Houck's low bid.

Last year, a larger project would have cost about $350,000 more, causing a 75-cent increase for each equivalent residential unit. But the council at that time rejected that as too high.

The stormwater facility has not seen an increase in rates since it was constructed in 2005, according to Walker.

Less than 10 percent of the stormwater utility clients are commercial businesses, but the rate increase affects them the most, since the cost is based on the square footage of impervious surface which causes water to run off places such as parking lots.

Engineer on the project is Curran-McLeod, consulting engineers of Portland.

Monday night's vote was 6-0 to approve the project and the expense.

For more information, call Walker at 503-489-2162.