Council OKs sewer rehab deal

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home City Council Jan. 25 approved a $5.8 million contract with K&R Plumbing Construction Co. to complete Phase Four of the city’s sewer rehabilitation project.

K&R of Clackamas bid the lowest among three contractors, $5 million, compared to Moore Excavation of Portland at $5.5 million and Emery and Sons of Salem at $5.4 million.

The engineering estimate for the project was $6.15 million, and the city had identified approximately $5.8 million in funds for the project.

K&R bid just $38,000 over the available city funds, $5.8 million, for an expanded version of the project.

Public Works Director Mike Adams said he would work with the contractor to include that part of the project.

“That seems to be worth it to me for $38,000,” said Mayor Craig Fentiman.

This is the last major phase of the sewer rehabilitation project, Adams said. He expects it to substantially reduce inflow and infiltration, but it still won’t meet Department of Environmental Quality standards.

Inflow and infiltration is storm water and ground water that leaks into the sewer system through deteriorated pipes and cross connections between the sewer and storm systems.

During heavy rains, the influx of water can overload the Wastewater Treatment Plant, causing untreated wastewater to overflow directly into the South Santiam River.

The last bypass was during the heavy rainstorm last month.

The city has been working under an agreement with the DEQ to reduce I&I. While the city works on I&I, the DEQ will not levy fines against the city.

The agreement expired in January 2010. The city is operating under an unofficial extension, Adams said, while the DEQ works out its own arrangements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

After completion of Phase Four, the city will need to make improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant to minimize bypasses, Adams said. Smaller scale projects will continue throughout the sewer system.

Phase Four includes the reconstruction of pipes of all sizes, new pipe, replacement of service laterals in public right-of-way and private laterals where approved by the property owner, rerouting several private laterals and replacement of manholes.

The city is using $5 million in no-interest loans from the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

Additional loan funds bearing interest will be used last, Adams said.

Present at the meeting were Fentiman, Jim Gourley, Greg Mahler, Scott McKee Jr. and Laurie Osborne. The council voted unanimously to approve the contract.

Marybeth Angulo and Ron Rodgers were absent.

In other business, the council:

n Appointed Anay Hausner to the Planning Commission to fill a vacancy left by Frank Javersak. Greg Korn also applied.

n Recommended to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission approval of an on-premises liquor license for The Swan Restaurant, 658 Main St.