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Final steps – Silverton accepts bid for civic center construction

By James Day

Silverton will break ground on its new civic center this spring, with opening tentatively set for summer 2023.

The City Council selected Corp Inc. of Salem as the general contractor at its March 7 meeting. Corp Inc. turned in the winning bid of $14,750,000 to build the center, which will include a two-story civic center/police building as well as parking, a park and a plaza.

The building will be erected on the 2.7-acre site at the north end of the old Eugene Field School property, which backs up to A Street between North Water and North First. A park is planned for the south end of the property that abuts Park Street. A plaza and parking are scheduled to be constructed between the building and the park area.

The project is being designed by  Mackenzie architecture, a design firm of Portland, and has an overall price of approximately $19 million.

Architectural rendering for the Silverton Civic project

The city plans to borrow $10 million to $12 million to pay for the project, with existing city resources expected to pay
for the debt service.

City staff and the police currently are housed a few blocks away on South Water Street in a building that is not deemed seismically safe.

In other highlights from the March 7 meeting:

• Councilors approved the zone change required to add a new water treatment plant to its facility on the block which lies east of South Ames Street between East Main and Reserve. The new building will be at 907 Reserve on the site of a single-family home that has been demolished.

The zone change was required because the land is zoned for residential use. The new facility is rated at 4 million gallons per year and will meet city needs for the next 20 years.

Key issues discussed during the public hearing were curbs and sidewalk infrastructure and landscaping. Councilors ultimately decided to put in sidewalks on three sides of the block and retain the arbor vitae landscape screening.

The project is expected to cost about $9.5 million, with the bulk of the funding coming from a loan from Business Oregon. The project will go out to bid and start construction this year with an expected construction timeline of 18 months.

• The city will apply for an Oregon Parks and Recreation Grant of $465,000 that, if approved, would allow plans to move forward for an 80-acre park near The Oregon Garden. Adding a hiking trail, a parking lot and a picnic shelter to the Pettit Lake property would cost $775,000. The city would use $310,000 in matching funds from parks system development charges to complete the funding.

The wooded property features a 20-acre lake. The trail would include a pedestrian bridge over Brush Creek.

The city applied for a similar grant in 2020 for the park project but was unsuccessful. During that cycle the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department received $12 million in requests but had just $4 million available for the grants.

• Councilors approved a $265,000 contract to K&E Paving of Salem that will pay for this summer’s street overlay project. The city will be performing a grind and overlay and replace the top three inches of surface on four blocks in the downtown area as well as improve sidewalks and add ADA ramps. The four blocks are Lewis from Water to First, First from Lewis to Jersey, Jersey from First to Second and Second from Jersey to Main.


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