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Timberline FPD Board continues consideration of station work

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Driveway repair bids and construction on Stations 7 and 8

By Patty Unruh

Timberline Fire Protection District Board met November 4. All members were present. Following the public portion of the meeting, the Board went into executive session to determine a position relative to matters subject to negotiation on the Station 8 completion. They also held a workshop on their revised personnel manual and reviewed updated policies and procedures.

The Weekly Register-Call was unable to be present at the meeting; the following article was taken from a tape that was transcribed at the Station 3 location at 660 Highway 46 on the morning of November 5.

Station 7 Driveway Repair Bids

The Board members debated how to move forward on getting bids to repair the driveway for Station 7. They had discussed in their public meeting on October 29 the repairs needed and the one bid they had received and had examined documents containing the bid. These documents were made available to the public, including the Weekly Register-Call.

  The members stated in the November 4 meeting that since their only current bid, which had been discussed in an open meeting, had been published in the October 31 edition of the Weekly Register-Call, “it would be impossible to get other fair bids.” Apparently two contractors had provided feedback on not getting involved. It was suggested that there were likely to be contractors who would take the job who don’t read the paper. Members suggested discarding the present bid, having everyone rebid, or having a temporary repair made with some type of fill material. In any case, they agreed that they would have to start over to some degree.

The driveway at the station has become eroded, creating a drop-off, and concerns were expressed about the danger of snowplow blades catching on the drop-off as snow is being removed and about the liability of having cars damaged if people were to drive over the eroded spot. One member commented that they need to make a goodwill effort to repair the driveway. Other members expressed a desire not to put a lot of money into the project without a good long-term plan.

The issue boiled down to two alternatives: a short-term “band-aid” approach that would be temporary and relatively low cost, or a more permanent but costly repair.

A temporary fix might include filling the drop-off with dirt, but some considered that undesirable, preferring gravel or recycled asphalt because those materials would provide better drainage. Another stated that no matter what material was used, with moisture and plowing, there would be movement until the material was compacted.

A more permanent repair would include putting in asphalt, which they estimated at $20,000 to $25,000 as a ballpark figure. At least one member concluded that was the better choice, given the size of their vehicles and the issues with snowplowing. However, it was pointed out that the funds needed for a more permanent repair would impact their ability to do other repairs in the immediate future. One said that it seemed like a large chunk of money out of the budget; they were concerned that they would have a large investment and may not see a return, although they said aesthetically it would have a better appearance and benefit the taxpayers. Another brought up the possibility of getting different forms of funding.

The possibility was mentioned of keeping the cost of the project under $5,000 in order to avoid the necessity of soliciting bids, redefining the scope of the project and presenting it to contractors to say they are starting over with a completely different project.

A specific quantity needed for fill material was unknown, but it was suggested that a rough estimate could be done and that the Board should keep pursuing bids.

A recommendation was made to review future bids in executive session.

Construction on Station 8

At the October 29 meeting, the Board selected a contractor to put in the foundation at Station 8; they now need to look for someone to do the erection of the building. The Board has contracted with Quality Design for concrete work on Station 8. Work would likely begin next week on putting down the slab, which would then need a short time to cure. The members said they would need to find contractors very quickly for erection of the building, preferably before a lot of snowfall.

A concern is the time crunch of getting the building put up, because of all the work going on across the state right now. With a short job, the challenge is getting a slot on a construction company’s schedule, so the sooner the Board gets bids in, makes a selection, and awards it, the faster the work will get started. Plumbing, electrical, and heating will be under separate contracts. Several months ago, a member advised, they had bids on the electrical, and they would check to see if those were still good.

There was some discussion and discomfort expressed as to whether Timberline had the knowledge, skill, and relationships to manage the project through to completion. The discomfort arose from legal matters pertaining to a contractor on a prior project. Some Board members proposed putting off further discussion of that prior issue for executive session.

The Board recalled that Ted Cook of Quality Design had expressed interest on erecting the building; they are waiting on other bids before making a selection or recommendation.

Next Meeting

The next regular meeting will be held on November 20 at 7 p.m. at Station 3, 660 Highway 46.

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