JOHN DAY - Dice Construction, Inc. from Bend was named contractor for the replacement of Lamford Bridge spanning Canyon Creek by the John Day City Council at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 24.
Funded by an improvement grant from the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the total cost of the project, which councilmembers opted to include a concrete baluster rail, was bid at $232,437.50. Dice's bid is just above the engineer's estimate of $218,000.
A total of 11 sets of plans for the project were requested by area construction companies, but just one bid was returned.
"We only had one bidder which was a surprise," Public Works Director Stan McKay remarked. "However, the bid was only a couple of thousand dollars from the engineer's estimate. I'm very comfortable with the bid and with Dice Construction. They have put in a lot of bridges in the area and this one [Lamford Bridge] is similar to both the new bridges in Canyon City."
McKay reported in-stream work cannot begin before July 15 due to regulations on fish movement in Canyon Creek, and the entire project will be completed by November.
In other council business:
Police supervisor Sgt. Richard Tirico advised council members on his plans for the department's operation now that he is supervisor.
"I am comfortable with the new job and I'm very excited about it," he said. "I want to put the citizens of John Day first."
Tirico said he plans on being a full-time working chief and will be working an 8-to-5 shift Monday through Friday.
"The other officers will be working their regular 10 hour, four-day-a-week schedule. We will have full coverage 20 hours a day with call-out on Sundays," Tirico said. "Each employee will now have his own shift."
Tirico said the department will make up for hours lost by the departure of former chief Kent Wyatt by putting Tom Hutchison back on full-time patrol duty. Due to budget constraints, Hutchison has been working as a part-time dispatcher and a part-time patrolman in recent months.
"We will also be making additional use of our reserve officers," Tirico said. "Right now, we have six reserve police officers. Three of them are fully certified, having attended the reserve academy and completed the in-service training, and they can work on their own if necessary."
He went on to explain there is a 40-hour training academy for reserve officers, followed by a period of time ranging from six months to one year where the reserves ride in patrol cars with certified police officers before being allowed to work on their own.
"I also plan on going around and talking to all the local business owners in town to get their input on what they would like to see from the department," Tirico said.
Councilmember Gene Officer said Tirico has the full backing and support of the city council and said he thought he would do a good job for the city in his new supervisory position.
City Manager Peggy Carey said the city will not be in a hurry to replace the former chief.
"Rich deserves the chance to run the department and we'll see how it goes," she said.
Dispatch supervisor Jeff Williams said there has been some interviewing done in recent days in an effort to fill two soon-to-be-vacant dispatch positions, but indicated the candidates interviewed did not fulfill the department's requirements.
Williams and Carey said the city would be readvertising for the positions in an effort to obtain additional applicants.