The Port Orchard City Council approved two items related to the Bay Street Pedestrian Pathway on Jan. 27.
The council voted 6-1 for a change order and Washington State Department of Transportation supplemental agreement with Universal Field Services that would save the city $8,927.
According to Public Works Director Mark Dorsey, the contract reduction is based on WSDOT’s internal audit of overhead rates that tallied $15,480, and a contract increase of $6,523 based upon a revised scope of work.
Council member Bek Ashby, who voted against the item, said she supports the pathway but has concerns about what the true project costs are going to be and if there is funding plan in place.
“Is the number for contraction of $3 million an accurate number and is it a fair estimate of what it is going to cost us,” Ashby asked. “And does the council have any idea what the funding plan is going to be.”
Dorsey said the original engineer’s estimate from overall design was about $3.6 million. He noted that Segments 2 and 5 were constructed with non-federal funds — as will Segment 4 this summer.
“When you take the original $3.6 million, decreases of work that had been accomplished, throw in some potential cost with going back to a 14-foot wide pathway with some additional counter-levering — just from a check-and-balances value and engineering standpoint, I still think we are that same general ballpark of requesting around $3 million,” Dorsey said.
He told Ashby that until the right-of-way certification is complete, the city is unable to apply for construction funding.
“The plans can’t be revised or updated because we wouldn’t know what we are revising or updating to,” Dorsey explained. “We don’t know what the final plan is, so we can do a final estimate.”
When the right-of-way acquisition is complete and the plans are revised and updated, the city would know what it is applying for in the federal funding cycle of 2017-20, he said.
Ashby asked the council if they were comfortable moving forward without a funding plan, and if they have a funding plan.
Council member Rob Putaansuu said the funding opportunities for the pathway are greater than it would be for the Tremont Avenue project.
“It’s few dollars and less competition, and the dollar amount we are looking for is smaller than the $17 [million] or $18 million for Tremont,” he said.
Putaansuu said the pathway is an excellent recreation opportunity for the city.
Councilman Fred Chang acknowledged that he is a WSDOT employee, has not spoken to anyone with WSDOT about the project and will not gain financially.
“I am able to make a decision off the merits,” Chang said. “I do not intend to recuse myself unless any council member or member of the public feels I should, then I would be happy to step aside.”
No one from the council or public asked Chang to recuse himself.
Council member John Clause said he agreed with Pataansuu and that the project can be done in phases.
“I feel we should move forward,” he said.
The council voted 6-0 to approve a change order for an additional $5,000 for N. L. Olson and Associates, Inc. to pursue the pathway project with property acquisition and relocations. The money will be used for right-of-way plan revisions.
The city and N. L. Olson entered into a contract in October 2010 for the pathway project.
The change order extends the contract completion’s date to Dec. 31.
Before discussion on the item, council member Cindy Lacarelli recused herself because her husband is employed by N.L. Olson and Associates, Inc.
The meeting lasted only 55 minutes.