Business & economy

Nyssa City Council endorses plan for new water line for rail reload center

NYSSA – The final bid is in and accepted but work may not begin on a water line extension from Nyssa to the Treasure Valley Reload Facility for at least several months.
The Nyssa City Council approved a $1.6 million contract with Ontario contracting firm Warrington Construction July 12 to build the 2.5-mile water pipeline from Nyssa to the reload center. HECO Engineers of Payette designed the project.
The only other bid for the project came from Knife River Corp., at $2.8 million.
The new publicly-funded water line will not be exclusively for the rail center, said Nyssa City Manager Jim Maret.
“It can be for anyone who wants to tap into it. It is not just designed for reload,” said Maret.
Maret said it should take about three months to complete the project once work starts but it’s now in an extended holding pattern.
“The unknown is how long the contractor will be delayed from starting because of lack of materials,” said Maret.
Maret said dirt isn’t going to move any time soon.
“The preliminary indications are roughly a three- to six-month delay to get the materials,” said Maret.
Maret said Warrington Construction is expected to deliver a construction schedule in August.
“Our best guess at this point is six to nine months for construction, at least half which will be waiting for materials,” said Maret.
The project is funded through a special $3 million allocation made in the final days of the 2021 Oregon Legislature after it was requested by Greg Smith’s economic development team in Malheur County. The request was later assigned to a legislative budget committee where Smith holds significant influence.
Nearly a year later it still remains unclear how the plan for the extra $3 million was crafted or in what way Smith used his dual roles – as the then-paid county economic development director and as a state legislator – to make it happen.
Smith’s team originally planned to use a well for initial water needs but engineers determined that a more significant water source was needed to provide fire protection for the reload warehouse.
Maret said the city plans to replace two water wells with funds left over from the $3 million state appropriation.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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