Fire Station Estimate $1 Million Short: The Corvallis City Council will look at a request for additional funding for the remodel project of fire station 2. City staff is asking the council to approve additional funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to cover increased of costs found during the remodel process.
“Based on the influx of $70.5 million of federal and state social service funding aid staff recommends the reallocation of ARPA funding to cover the additional cost of the fire station 2 remodel,” said Corvallis Fire Chief Ben Janes. “In recognition of a broad range of deficiencies at fire stations 2 and 3, the council allocated $7.6 million of the City’s ARPA funds to remodel fire stations 2 and 3. The most significant deficiencies include gender equality, asset protection, and livability. ARPA funds were allocated to the two remodel projects during FY 2021-22 with $3.5 million targeted for Station 3 and $4.1 million for station 2.”
The fire station 3 remodel is currently underway with completion anticipated in the fall of this year. The final cost will be $3.9 million which is $400,000 (11.4%) above what was estimated in 2021.
“The Fire Department is not seeking additional funding for fire station 3 expenses as the department is able to absorb these costs by reducing operating expenditures for the 2023 fiscal year,” said Janes. “Despite increasing the cost estimates for fire station 2 remodel, as the project is ready for bidding, the total project cost is estimated to be $1 million (24.4%) higher than the construction estimates provided at the time the council was allocating ARPA funds to various projects.”
According to Janes, if the funding for the remodel of station 2 is not approved by the council, then the department will have to discontinue service out of the station.
The council will look at the request for additional funds at the April 17 meeting.
Trash Talks Final Anticlimactic Report: The Benton County Solid Waste Workgroup has released their final report and it’s just under 200 pages.
It does not make a recommendation about expanding the Coffin Butte Landfill or not, just suggestions for the county if it does go ahead and approve increasing the size.
In a disclaimer attached to the final report it states, while the Benton County Talks Trash workgroup was sponsored by the Benton County Board of Commissioners, this document represents the independent deliberations and decisions of the Workgroup. It was not reviewed or endorsed by the Board of Commissioners before publishing.
“The Workgroup formally vetted 124 Findings and 94 Recommendations for the Board’s consideration. Overall, the Workgroup achieved 94% agreement on the 218 Findings and Recommendations. There were six findings and six recommendations where at least one member voted against it, but each received a majority recommendation,” said Sam Imperati, Facilitator for the committee.
Notably, a few Workgroup members found themselves dismissed along the way, some folks calling them disruptive, while others called them simply dissenting.
The county has extended the public comment period through May 26 following the release of the final draft on April 12. In a release from the workgroup, “the Benton County Board of Commissioners is well-positioned to move toward a sustainable solid waste future thanks to the workgroup’s efforts”.
To view the final report https://www.co.benton.or.us/sites/default/files/fileattachments/community_development/page/8208/bctt_final_report_4-11-2023.pdf
By Jennifer Williams