The North Bend Eagle

 

Council, city engineer talk multiple projects

by Nathan Arneal
Published 8/10/22

The city council discussed several items with the city engineer at a rather busy Aug. 2 meeting, including improvements to the auditorium, new streets, sewer plant conditions and a new water line at Pioneer Lake.

Julie Ogden represented the city’s engineering firm, JEO Consulting.

The council approved an engineer’s agreement with JEO to complete a loop of the water line that serves Pioneer Lake for $29,800.

The water line serving the southwest portion of Pioneer Lake, Phase III, dead ends, leaving some houses on the end of the line with poor water pressure. The plan is to continue the line under the lake to join the line on the middle peninsula to make a loop.

Because adding the loop counts as maintaining the system, it would not be assessed to the affected property owners but would come out of the water system operating budget.

The council also approved the annual one- and six-year street plan. Street improvement projects on the one- and six-year plans do not necessarily have to begin in that time frame, but if a project is to be started, it must be part of the plan.

The one-year plan had a couple of additions, including the reconstruction and paving of Main Street, which is scheduled to be done by the state Department of Transportation next year. Ogden said projects such as this must be on the city’s one- and six-year plan even if the city is not paying for the project.

Another addition to the one-year plan is the paving of 13th Street east of Locust Street on the north side of the city park and an extension of Elm Street north from 13th in anticipation of a potential housing development in that area.

Longer-range street projects on the six-year plans include paving gravel streets on the east and west ends of town, paving Fifth Street along the golf course south of the tracks and replacing the bricks on Ninth Street with pavement.

The council discussed North Bend’s aging sewer plant with Ogden and approved an agreement with JEO on a facility plan to study the wastewater treatment plant. Odgen made an educated guess on what the study will show.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of fixing of your plant,” Ogden said. “It was designed, what, 60 or 70 years ago? We’re anticipating the study will show you probably need a new plant.”

Ogden said the study will include funding options to upgrade or replace the sewer plant, including grants and low-interest loans available.

The council unanimously approved the agreement and a fee of $35,000. The study is expected to be completed in six or seven months, Ogden said.

The council then moved on to discuss improvements at the city auditorium, specifically the restrooms. Ogden said an estimate JEO did on the restroom project in 2021 was about $70,000.

The council said that estimate should be expanded to include more cosmetic improvements rather than just installing new toilets and sinks, though it was unclear exactly the extent of work covered in the ‘21 estimate. Members suggested framed walls covering the existing brick, replacing or bricking in the windows, new flooring and lighting and new dividers between stalls.

“We want you to be able to walk in and say, ‘Oh, this is a nice bathroom,’” councilman Bart Bosco said.

The council also suggested taking out the wall right in front of the bathroom doors, which would likely be necessary to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act anyway. This would allow racks of tables to be stored in the back of the bathroom.

Currently the racks are left in the corner of the main room during events because they can’t turn the corner into the restrooms.

Councilman Ken Streff suggested cleaning out or opening up the storage room in the northwest corner of the auditorium for use as a bar during events.

Odgen said she would take the suggestions to the architects and bring back an agreement for the council at the next meeting.

In other council business:

• Sold the north half of the city-owned empty lot north of the water tower for a winning bid of $8,760. No bids were received for the south half of the block, so the city will maintain possession.

The council decided to put the money into the water department, since the land was originally supposed to host a new well that was ultimately placed somewhere else.

• The city decided that building permits must include a drawing of the proposed layout of the project to include distances between structures, streets, etc. Building permits will also need to be submitted early enough so the council can review it at its next meeting before construction starts.

 

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