Bend Sewer Issue Headed to Mediation
Sunday, November, 6, 2016
The city of Bend has stated the Washington-based contractor involved in the sewer project is guilty of mismanagement and the parties are in the midst of trying to settle the dispute. The dispute arose after Bend’s sewer treatment plan expansion was delayed and had gone over budget.
Bend’s treatment plant is located northeast of the city and is responsible for treating all sewage produced throughout the city. The expansion launched in 2013 with the goal of doubling the capacity of the plant. City officials recognized a need for expansion as the population grew and began testing the limits of the old facility. Apollo, Inc., based out of Kennewick, Washington, was awarded the $32 million contract for expansion.
This past winter, the city council approved spending for up to $600,000 to pay for litigation and work on the dispute that arose from the initial project after it fell nearly a year behind schedule. The work was originally slated to be finished by summer 2016, but a portion of the total project was postponed. Bend has yet to file a lawsuit, but the city did begin mediation efforts with Apollo and more sessions are scheduled for later this fall.
Bend officials claim the construction company mismanaged the project, leading to delays and a number of changes in the construction plan. Apollo claims there were engineering design errors that led to added cost and increased the amount of time needed for the project. City officials claim they are trying to avoid expensive litigation, but they are growing impatient with the slow progression of resolving the matter.