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Costs rising – Silverton council agrees on new spending for civic center

By James Day

The City of Silverton has agreed to spend an additional $350,000 on “contract administration” costs for the civic center project.

Construction work on the new Silverton civic center.
Construction work on the new Silverton civic center.

The Dec. 19 City Council session included a Zoom meeting with project/design consultants from Mackenzie and Compass Project Solutions. The consultants have spent just more than $250,000 in contract administration costs to date and recognized that they were certain to pass the $350,000 that they were authorized to spend on such costs, which include submittal packages, substitution requests, furniture support services, artist coordination, consultant review, proposal requests, additional site visits, quality assurance and quality control.

Quality assurance and quality control were the top expenses incurred, totaling more than $91,000 of that $250,000 in spending.

Mackenzie and Compass Project have been spending $46,324 monthly in construction administration costs but vowed to limit the expense to $35,000 moving forward.

Despite the additional appropriation, city officials said the project still is “tracking under” its overall estimated cost of $19,453,320.

The project also is more than 50 days behind schedule. The civic center originally was set to open Aug. 1, 2023. The new target date is Sept. 25.

“I’m concerned about the increases, although I appreciate that we have design team members monitoring the progress,” said councilor and mayor-elect Jason Freilinger. “That said, I really don’t want to see you back here in three months with more requests.”

In other highlights from the meeting, Councilors-elect Eric Hammond, April Newton and Marie Traeger participated with the rest of the council and outgoing Mayor Kyle Palmer in a discussion of current city issues on what was the final meeting of 2022. The new council and Mayor Freilinger will be sworn in Jan. 9.

Traeger asked how elected officials are expected to handle concerns received from members of the public.

Palmer, who has been involved in elected city politics since 2004, noted that concerns tend to break down into issues that can be handled by staff, issues that must be addressed by the council and community issues.

Palmer also said that “you will get some really negative stuff sent to you and about you and I look forward to watching what the council will do and follow up with some thoughtful comments… in writing.”

Outgoing councilors Dana Smith, Jim Sears and Crystal Neideigh were asked to note issues and projects that remained undone as their terms ended. Water issues, the fate of the property at the south end of the civic center parcel, bike paths and sidewalk and pedestrian connectivity between the current city borders and new developments that are coming in on the fringes were among the items mentioned.

Councilors also discussed a 20-page memo of changes and revisions to the city’s street parking and right-of-way ordinance prepared by Sears and Silverton Police Chief Jim Anglemier. The discussion has been proceeding since Sears first raised concerns at the June 20 meeting. A key challenge cited by Sears was how long vehicles, particularly RVs, should remain on the streets. The discussion will be continued by the new council in January.

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