Pot activist and his brown paper bag

posted Sep 11, 2010, 8:36 AM by Ron Boozell   [ updated Sep 17, 2016, 7:54 AM ]

-declares again, "I am no longer a drug criminal."

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Bend awards $11.4 million sewer contract

Project could be headache for southeast Bend

By Tyler Leeds / The Bulletin

Published Oct 8, 2015 at 12:03AM / Updated Oct 8, 2015 at 09:43AM

The Bend City Council awarded an $11.4 million contract Wednesday night to Taylor Northwest to construct a segment of a new major sewer line in southeast Bend.

The Bend-based company will build a stretch of the city’s southeast interceptor that runs north from Ferguson Road through residential streets to SE Reed Market Road. City staff acknowledged the construction, scheduled to begin later this month and finish in November 2016, will disrupt life in the Orion Greens and King’s Forest areas of the Old Farm District neighborhood.

The interceptor is intended to relieve existing sewer lines that are overcapacity, which, in turn, will allow new developments to hook up to the system. The project will also allow sections of southeast Bend that are on septic tanks to connect to the sewer system.

“This will be very disruptive; we’ve never hidden from that,” said Tom Hickmann, who leads the city’s engineering and infrastructure planning department.

The city has met with community members to field concerns about mail delivery, school buses, the preservation of trees and other matters. Eric Forster, the project manager, noted the contract was awarded to Taylor Northwest in part because the firm is the best-prepared to accommodate residents during construction.

Taylor Northwest’s proposal, however, was not the cheapest option. In addition to the firm’s plan to work with the community, the city also cited the firm’s experience in rock excavation and its ability to minimize shaking residents would feel. Much of the pipe will require ditches at least 19 feet deep.

Councilor Casey Roats said if he lived in the area, he’d be “out waving” for the sewer line to be laid along his street, noting many neighborhoods that have self-financed sewer systems end up paying about $30,000 or $40,000 per household.

The city has construction scheduled through 2018, but segments of the interceptor have not yet been planned.

During the visitors section, community activist and recent City Council candidate Ron Boozell displayed a marijuana clipping. In July, Boozell displayed a cutting at a council meeting and was issued a citation afterward.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Boozell said his first display will cost him $850 in fines and fees. At the time, Bend Police Chief Jim Porter said Boozell violated a section of the state’s new marijuana law that reads: “Homegrown marijuana in public view (is) prohibited.”

Boozell said Wednesday his actions are “not a stunt,” instead emphasizing his second display was motivated by his view that he is “no longer a drug criminal,” despite the earlier citation.

Boozell left the meeting without being issued a second fine. Porter said it was clear Boozell “was agitated and looking for confrontation.” The chief added he used his discretion to not do anything Wednesday night, but said his department “will be investigating it further.”

In other business, the City Council approved an expenditure not to exceed $245,000 for additional inspection and testing at the city’s $33 million water-treatment plant, which is under construction. According to an issue summary, the additional costs are because construction is behind schedule and due to the contractor’s “chosen means and methods of construction.”

The plant is being built by Apollo Inc., which is based in Kennewick, Washington. The topic was part of the City Council’s consent agenda and was not specifically discussed.

The council also approved a contract for a behavioral health specialist to serve the Bend Police and Fire departments. Police Sgt. Brian Beekman stressed the importance of having such services available.

“There’s a large amount of data out there showing the cumulative effects of this type of stress and trauma (experienced by first responders) that manifests itself in physical and mental health issues,” he said.

— Reporter: 541-633-2160, tleeds@bendbulletin.com