Prineville awards well bid

By Rachael Scarborough King / The Bulletin
Published: April 05. 2007 5:00AM PST

PRINEVILLE – The Prineville City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to award a contract to Western Water Development to drill two new wells for the city.

Redmond-based Western Water put in the lowest of three bids for the roject at $419,355. The other two bids for the project came in at $566,920 and $457,213.

But at its March 27 meeting, the City Council decided to ask for new bids for the wells based on concerns raised by a city consultant, Jeff Barry, of the Portland firm Groundwater Solutions.

On Wednesday night, Barry, who spoke to the council over speaker phone, reiterated his concerns about Western Water’s equipment and ability to finish the project on time.

The city, which dug three wells last year at a cost of about $970,000 without hitting drinkable water, needs to have the new wells in place by July to serve summer water needs.

“Going out to rebid was going to take another three, possibly four weeks, and even still we might end up in a protest situation,” Barry said, referring to Western Water owner Robert Buckner’s statement at the March 27 meeting that he would file a protest if his low bid was not accepted. “I have to say that there is still concern here that Mr. Buckner will not meet the timeframes with the equipment that he has.”

City Attorney Carl Dutli said at the meeting that some conditions had been added to the city’s agreement with Western Water allowing it to use certain types of drilling equipment but requiring it to comply with the city’s technical specifications.

Barry added that Western Water would be fined a $500 penalty each day after the July 8 deadline if work is not completed on time.

“In my view, when the city’s out of water or has a water crisis going on, that’s not adequate compensation back to the city, but it certainly is motivation to him,” Barry said.

He added that work will start on the project April 9.

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