North Bend accepts bid for pool repair

Mar. 19—Work will soon begin on replacing the aging infrastructure at the North Bend City Pool.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted unanimously to accept a bid from West Coast Contractors to replace the pump, filter, heating elements and some piping, much of which is original to when the pool first opened.

The bid came in higher than anticipated, but the council decided with increasing costs everywhere, it was time to bite the bullet and get to work on repairing the pool.

The North Bend City Pool has been closed since the end of 2021 to repair the aging infrastructure, but during the first round of bidding, no company placed a bid.

The bid from West Coast Contractors came in at $781,819, of which $50,000 is contingency.

Finance Director Jessica Terra told the council the city budgeted $940,000 for the all three phases of work that needs to be done, saying that money should still fund phases 1 and 2, which will allow the pool to reopen.

Much of the funding is thanks to a grant of $350,000 from the Judith Ann Mogan Foundation.

“We budgeted this for $625,000,” said Public Works Director Ralph Dunham. “Since that time, the price of diesel has gone up 64%. We received a bid of $781,000, of which $50,000 is contingency. It’s actually 20% over our budget. We think it’s a fair bid.”

The bid came in 30 minutes before the deadline Monday and was opened live as the city council held a work session.

“We have a bid. That’s better than what we had before,” City Administrator David Milliron said Monday. “We’re going to work with our public works, our former pool manager and our finance director and come back to you tomorrow. We’re going to figure out how to get this done. What we’re going through right now is unprecendented. Everything is going up. This is as real as you get. Everything is affected. The good thing is we got a bid.”

On Tuesday, Dunham and Terra told the council the staff recommendation was to accept the bid before prices go even higher.

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“From a budget standpoint, we had $940,000 budgeted for phases 1, 2 and 3,” Terra said. “Since this came in a little higher for phase 1, we will have to take a look at our 2023 budget for phase 3. At this point, we think we will have enough money for phase 2.”

City Recorder KayLee Marone, the former pool manager, told the council of South Coast Contractors is an excellent firm that recently completed a similar overhaul of a pool in Washington.

Milliron explained repairing the old pool is not easy and may still take some time. He said getting supplies like a new pump and filter will take a while.

“It’s not a matter of going down to Home Depot and buying a pump,” he explained. “You just can’t do that. There’s only five manufacturers in the world that make this.”

Milliron told the council while the price was higher than anticipated, he felt it was right to move forward to get the pool open as soon as possible.

“There are a lot of things going up,” he said. “The reality is the costs are affecting everybody. It’s very difficult to get contractor’s to bid on something when they don’t know what the price of fuel will be. No one has a magic globe to figure out what is going to happen.”

But even with doubts, Milliron said it is time to get to work so the community can use the pool.

“This governing body made a promise to citizens and you made a directive to staff,” he said. “So we are working the numbers and we will come back at some point. We are going to do this as swiflty as we can. We have phase 2 out for bid and then we’l move to phase 3.”

Councilor Pat Goll made a motion to accept the bid and Councilor Susanna Noordhoff offered a second. The council voted unanimously to approve the bid.