The Albany City Council on Wednesday agreed to an $820,000 land sale, approved a $153,900 bid award for water treatment system repairs, and granted a request from public safety officials to spend a little more money to furnish the new Police Department and Fire Department buildings to the tune of $33,542.41.
While Councilor Dick Olsen was absent, the council voted unanimously on each item, with little discussion. All told, in the course of one hour, the council spent $187,442.41 and came out ahead by $632,557.59.
The land sale was first. Corvallis-based developer Hudson Capital Corp., owned by Myles Breadner, bought the 15.9 acres of city-owned land at the intersection of Timber Ridge Street and Knox Butte Road. The deal was the result of city officials offering the land for sale in August 2017. Proceeds go to the city's economic development fund.
Next, city Project Engineer Nolan Nelson gave a presentation on the Vine Street Water Treatment Plant improvement project. In March 2017, the council voted unanimously to seek a design-build contract for repairs at the plant. The issue with the plant was that its two concrete filter tanks weren't maintaining consistent and equal water levels. Operations staff discovered the problem in 2010, and the city's 2017 budget allows for nearly $30,000 for the inspection and repair.
Nelson explained that the city responded to two proposals, finally selecting Pacific Engineering of Eugene and a subcontractor from Portland.
The project will be completed in two phases. At the end of phase one, the city will come back with a change order, giving the council an opportunity to proceed with phase two or seek another contractor.
Pacific Engineering will receive $156,900 for the project.
Councilor Ray Kopczynski complained to Nelson that the other bidder's price wasn't mentioned in the presentation. “It’s a moot point now, but going forward it would be nice to know what the other firm asked for,” he said.
“That’s a great ask,” added Councilor Bill Coburn.
Nelson told the council the other bidder asked a total of $180,000.
Councilor Mike Sykes remarked those two numbers were “night and day.”
As for the extra furniture, Albany Police Capt. Brad Liles recommended the council approve an increase for furnishings at the fire and police stations.
Part of the extra funding will be used for desk chairs in office space reserved for the Linn County Interagency Narcotics Enforcement Task Force. Other expenses include modified training room chairs and dorm mattresses for the fire station ($8,545); extra work stations and chairs for patrol lieutenant offices at the police station ($5,777.96); work stations, shelving and filing cabinets for the fire station (just over $9,000), and workspace modifications and storage closets at the new police station (just over $4,800). The new costs add $33,542.41 to the existing $600,396.81. That price tag included change orders on the project.
The council approved the request.
“How are you liking your new building?” Mayor Sharon Konopa asked Liles.
"Very well, thank you," Liles said.
"That's a very politically correct answer," Kellum kidded. "There's always something with a new building."