January 2020 - Water Project Update
The water infrastructure project is still lumbering along. With the first full business week of 2020 upon us, we're gaining some momentum regarding the overall project. Here's where we are as of January 5, 2020.
On January 3, 2020, our City Engineers and Public Works met to agree to the 90% planning and documentation for the water treatment plant (WTP). This means that the City's entities are in agreement as to what the WTP should look like, how it should function, and what is required to get there, to a 90% or better confidence level. This gives us the grounds to consolidate everything for a future RFP and bids.
We're waiting on the archaeologists to complete their work, a few property owners to sign documentation for us, and the digging of some test site holes where new equipment is expected. We expect most of this to be completed by February.
The archaeologists will likely wrap up their work by the end of March or early April. As stated, their preliminary report had mixed results. The area around the WTP came back with a preliminary finding of "nothing significant to report." This means that the archaeological team hasn't (yet) found anything of interest and does not believe further analysis will turn up anything. Unfortunately, the area along the proposed pipeline's path from the river to the WTP does have a preliminary finding of significance. This means that the archaeological team will recommend that we develop a mitigation plan before proceeding.
Once the City and City Engineers know the size, scope, and complexity of any mitigation plan then we can finalize the remaining plans to 100% and incorporate any mitigation plans required to protect the Native American artifacts. Of course, any plans will need to be agreed to by USDA/RD, Grande Ronde tribal leadership, the State of Oregon, and (possibly) other state/federal agencies. Depending on the size and scope of the mitigation plan, we can likely go to bid on the WTP by Fall 2020.
This Friday, January 10th, the City will meet with both winners of the contracts to install the Emergency Water Filters and the Water Reservoir. Based on the outcome of this meeting - called a pre-construction meeting - it is highly likely that the City will complete the Emergency Filter replacement by the end of March and we are still on track to start "turning dirt" at the reservoir beginning in March 2020 completing the work before the end of 2020.
So, we're making progress with the start of the new year!