The city awarded a bid on Monday night to MVG Construction for improvements on North 11th Street. (File photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

The Philomath City Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday night to hire a local construction contractor to handle North 11th Street improvements. Philomath-based MVG Construction submitted the winning bid for work to be done, which includes the sidewalks, some road work and stormwater infrastructure.

“This is just the sidewalk, the pavement in front of the new park and the stormwater that needs to be done in order to get the sidewalk in that area where it needs to go to allow for future street development,” City Manager Chris Workman said in describing the project.

Included are road and sidewalk improvements adjacent to the new Heather Glen subdivision. Said Workman, “We do have an agreement with (Heather Glen developer) Phil Doud to pay for his portion of this.”

The MVG Construction base bid came in at $601,510. The city received seven qualified bids for the project. The specific amount to be paid by Doud will be determined once the project moves forward and the contractor completes a line-item budget.

“The agreement specifies that that work will be completed within 12 months with money totally in that amount … to be placed in a secured account,” Workman said.

Doud’s financial responsibility for the project will be an estimated $250,000 to $300,000, which is roughly half of the overall cost, Workman said. Costs related to water line and storm drain improvements will be paid by the city.

“The number that the city is going to pay is this ($601,510) minus the Heather Glen subdivision portion of it,” Workman said. “We just don’t have an exact number yet because we don’t have the itemized bid.”

A construction contingency budget of $90,000 was included in the resolution to cover unknown conditions or issues that may occur during the project.

MVG Construction — also commonly known locally as Mid-Valley Gravel — dates back to the late 1960s when it was established by the Ellis family

“The city does a lot of other work with them; we feel very confident in their ability,” Workman said. “They’re going to do a great job for us. They don’t do shoddy work, they do very good stuff, and they’re very good contractors to work with.”

The bidding process will end with the city issuing notices about the decision and then the project will move forward to the next stage.

“We’ll schedule a preconstruction meeting with them probably two weeks from now and then they’ll be on the ground the day after that,” Workman said.

In other news from the Feb. 27 meeting, councilors discussed a draft version of the city’s 2023-27 strategic plan, which prioritizes goals and objectives while targeting specific action items and timelines. The report features five themes — responsive, effective and transparent governance; healthy economy; strong and resilient infrastructure; great neighborhoods; and safe community.

Toward the end of the discussion, Councilor Jessica Andrade suggested a review of the city’s zoning code that prohibits marijuana dispensaries.

“I would really like to simply have a conversation revisiting cannabis dispensaries and trying to figure out if we should rezone or not,” she said.

Councilor Ruth Causey expressed opposition to the idea “just because there’s an overabundance of dispensaries in this state and there’s a projected significant reduction in marijuana revenues because of that.”

Councilor Matt Lehman supported Andrade’s idea and Mayor Chas Jones agreed that a conversation should take place for the city to decide one way or the other. Councilor Christopher McMorran said he would like to see the discussion expanded to not only include marijuana dispensaries but other types of businesses that are currently restricted.

Said Andrade, “I think it would be a good idea to just have the conversation to revisit it, especially with a lot more people in the community and all the good that it can bring.”

Workman suggested the addition of an action item under the appropriate heading that the council will open a conversation to re-evaluate the city’s time, place and manner restrictions.

Workman planned to make requested strategic plan changes and bring the document back to the council for a future vote.

The council also approved an ordinance on a 6-1 roll-call vote (Andrade nay) to rezone property at the corner of South 19th Street and Chapel Drive from medium- to high-density residential. A developer plans to construct multiplex housing on the property, a project that attracted some attention through public comments and council deliberations. The council approved the rezoning application at its meeting earlier this month.

The vote also modifies another ordinance that updates the city’s comp plan and zoning maps. Since the vote was not unanimous, a second vote will take place at the council’s next meeting.