GOLD BEACH – Construction of the long-awaited new $8,170,427 Gold Beach sewage treatment plant is on schedule, despite weather that has not always been helpful, City Administrator Jodi Fritts said Tuesday.
“They have started pouring walls for the SBR, sequencing batch reactor, that’s the plant itself,” Fritts said. “It does just what it sounds like. Instead of several different tanks, it does it all in one area, in sequence.”
Work on the drain fields has begun.
“There are 21 to be constructed. They have completed two of those so far. They are located on Port of Gold Beach property, west of the airport runway. Those are going really well,” she said
“The fairgrounds pump station should be going on line any time. They’ve completed the electric work. Hopefully next week,” Fritts said.
Currently, the city has been bypass pumping.
“We are all set for the football camp,” she said, referring to the annual camp when many high school football teams come to Gold Beach for summer training.
“A lot of the construction area is right next to the high school. We’ve been working real close with the high school to make sure the camp isn’t interrupted by our construction efforts,” Fritts said.
“Completion date is expected by summer 2013,” she said. “So far we’re on schedule. We’ve had some pretty bad weather. They’ve been able to work through.”
She said the efforts by the crew from contractor Stellar J Corp. of Woodland, Wash., has been efficient and helpful.
“They’ve done a great job. They’ve done a good job coordinating with different agencies, not interrupting our neighbors’ daily work.”
Fritts said city officials are meeting regularly with the contractor.
“We shoot for weekly meetings so everyone is on page. We catch problems before they turn into big things,” she said.
“We had issues with Phase One. We’re trying to stay on top so we don’t have the issues we had with Phase One,” Fritts said.
She said Phase One was where the city built the Public Works shop to get ready for construction of the wastewater plant.
“The main thing was the building. We had to relocate all the Public Works, their office, the lab. That was getting ready for building of the actual plant itself,” Fritts said.
“The Public Works shop does more than just wastewater,” she said.
That includes street and other equipment.
“That had to be moved and relocated. We built a shop. We had some issues with that construction. We didn’t want to have it again this time,” Fritts said.
“Phase One was completed in the summer of 2010,” Fritts said, about the time she left employment at the County Planning Department and returned to the city where she had previously worked.
“The issue was the city staying on top of the contractors, on top of professional folks,” Fritts said. “We’re a lot more involved with day-to-day stuff than we were last time.”
The city recently received news from the state that a $500,000 loan was converted to a grant.
That leaves Gold Beach with $11,690,749 in long-term debt, all related to the sewer.