Engine woes to delay dredging of pond

Mechanical problems will delay the dredging of Bend’s Mirror Pond for at least a week, and perhaps as long as 30 days.

A 1,600-horsepower diesel engine on the 70-foot-long dredge being used on the pond suffered a “massive internal failure” Monday, according to Tom Gellner, the city’s public works director.

Sandau Dredging, the Salem firm that owns the equipment  called in a Troutdale diesel mechanic Tuesday to assess the situation. The mechanic estimated making repairs could take as long as 30 days, company owner Don Sandau said.

But Dick Turnow of Bend, the company’s project superintendent, said the company has found a possible replacement engine in Phoenix, Ariz., with a price “in the $60,000 range.” It could be imported and put to operation in about a week, he said.

Even if repairs did take a month, the city would not be concerned, said Gellner.

“They’ve still got three months to finish the project,” Gellner said, adding that the company has “plenty of time, with that big dredge.”

The city has given Sandau from April 1 through July 31 to get the job done. The company began work on April 25.

Asked if he knew what caused the breakdown, Sandau said, “No, not completely- not without tearing the engine apart and inspecting it visually throughout the whole area.”

He called the breakdown “highly unusual.”

“I guess it’s the first time in this man’s years in working with these engines he’s seen anything like it,” Sandau said of the mechanic from Troutdale, who he declined to name.

Sandau said he bought the engine new in August 1981.

The engine failure isn’t the only trouble the project has seen. Sandau said some sections of the 8,000-foot plastic pipeline he is using to pump the dredged material to an upstream holding pond has split lengthwise because of defects in manufacturing.

Because of the breakdown and problems with the pipeline, the company won’t make a profit on the Mirror Pond job, Turnow said.

Source: The Bulletin ©1984

City panel hires pond dredger; targets April 1

A floating dredge should be chewing up the muddy river bottom in Mirror Pond by April 1 because of action Wednesday by Bend city commissioners.

The commissioners awarded a contract to a Salem company, Sandau Dredging, to scoop out about 56,000 cubic yards of silt from the pond.

The company’s bid, the lowest of eight the city received, was for $267,280. Bend officials had set a $300,000 ceiling on the projects cost.

“That’s a relief,” commissioner Mike Rose said of the low bid.

Commissioners and other interested in having the shallow pond deepened have been trying for several years to get the job accomplished. It wasn’t until the past year, however, that enough money was raised to pay for it.

A number of parties have pooled their resources and amassed $300,000.

The city and the Bend Metro Park and Recreation District each have committed $50,000. Pacific Power & Light Co., whose dam near Newport Avenue created the looking-glass pond, has promised to pay $30,000. Another $20,000 has accumulated through the donations from the community, almost all of it from riverside residents.

Half the total has been generated via a grant from the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

Besides the $267,280 to be paid to the dredging contractor, other costs will be incurred in the project as well. Extra costs will include engineering and inspections by the city and restoration of Pageant Park near Harmon Park. The sod at the park will be skimmed off and transferred to a park site being developed across town before the dredge arrives in order to prevent the grass from being damaged when the bulky machine is put into the river.

In another matter related to the river, commissioners delayed a decision on an appeal by Jack Fuls of Bend, who wants to build a hydroelectric generation project in northern Bend.

Fuls’ lawyer, David Jaqua of Redmond, told the panel that Michael Dugan, city/county hearings officer, made a number of errors in rejecting Fuls’ application last summer.

He said Dugan’s findings and conclusions were inconsistent with testimony and evidence presented at a public hearing and with the city’s zoning ordinance.

He argued that the project would cause little harm to the environment in that it would preserve a minimum river flow of 40 cubic feet per second and would be subsequently screened from public view.

Fuls plans to take the water from an irrigation canal that diverts water from the river and returns it to the river after running it through a power house. The project would operate only during the non-irrigation season.

Commissioners said they would rule on Fuls’ appeal at their March 7 meeting.

Source: The Bulletin ©1984

Project on pond delayed

Bend’s scenic Mirror Pond will not be dredge this year.

The city commission Wednesday rejected all three contractors’ bids for dredging the pond and decided to rebid the project for completion as late as next May.

The pond is actually a swollen mile-long stretch of the Deschutes River between Galveston Avenue and Newport Avenue bridges, created by a Pacific Power & Light Co. dam.

Over the years, the pond has been filling slowly with sediment and vegetation, a condition that many local residents think looks and often smells bad.

Monday, city officials learned that three bids submitted by contractors to dredge the bottom of the pond were far above the $239,000 estimated cost.

Contractors saw too much financial risk in agreeing to do the work in cold fall weather on a schedule that would have required completion of the project in six or seven weeks, siad Tom Gellner, public works director. That conclusion, he said, comes from talking with 12 of the 15 contractors who had obtained bid specifications.

The rejected bids were from Marine Construction & Dredging, Mt. Vernon, Wash., $426,040; Jackson Marine Co., Vancover, Wash., $496,500; and Chinook Pacific Corp., Salem, $547,500.

 Source: The Bulletin ©1983

Group presents pond petition to commission

After years of talk, meetings and studies, a concrete step was taken Wednesday night toward rehabilitating Bend’s Mirror Pond.

Ray Babb, who lives on NW Drake Road, presented the city commission with a petition signed by residents of the area near the pond asking the city to forma a local improvement district to finance part of the cost of dredging the scenic pond.

The estimated cost of the project is $300,000.

Homeowners and other private property owners would pay an estimated $102,500, while the city would pay $23,5000 and the Bend Metro Park and Recreation District would pay about $175,000. Of the park district’s share, $50,000 would be raised through a fund drive.

The park-fringed, mile long pond has been filling with silt and vegetation over the years, threatening recreational activities and producing occasional foul odors.

Neighbors whose homes surround the pond met last summer to decide who should be included in the improvement district and how much of the financial burden they should shoulder.

The commission is expected to take official action forming the district Dec. 15.

In other action Wednesday, the commission:

-Set aside $15,295 in state grant money to help establish a 911 emergency telephone dispatch network in Deschutes County.

-Heard the first reading of a new industrial waste ordinance setting standards for businesses to follow in discharging wastes into the city’s sewer system.

Source: The Bulletin ©1982

Mirror Pond dredging project taking shape

Although digging out Mirror Pond may mean digging deeply into their pocketbooks, owners of homes along the pond want to pay their fair share of the cost, several of them said Wednesday.

Fifteen riverfront residents, most of whom live on Drake Road along the north bank, expressed support in principal for a proposed local improvement district to finance dredging of the pond.

They gathered at the home of lawyer Ray Babb, 407 NW Drake Road, to view a map of the proposed LID boundary and to learn how deep into their pocketbooks they may have to dig.

The mile-long pond, which runs from the Galveston Avenue bridge to the Pacific Power & Light Co. dam, needs to be scooped out to a minimum depth of about five feet, a study published last summer said.

Weeds and silt are choking the river channel. If left unchecked, the buildup could turn the pond into a mud flat.

The dredging project is expected to cost $300,000 at the most.

The LID boundary embraces 1.8 million square feet of private, public and semi-public property. Under the financing plan, private land owners would pay 43.5 percent of the cost, leaving the remaining portion to the city of Bend (7.5 percent), the Bend Metro Park and Recreation District (42 percent), the Elks Lodge (1.3 percent) and Pacific Power (5.6 percent).

The private portion would be financed through bonds sold by the city and paid off by property owners.

The proposal was put together by former Mayor Dick Carlson, whose home at 1000 NW Harmon Boulevard is on a bank of the pond, and by city officials.

It sets up two payment rates. Homeowners with property touching the river would pay 17 cents for each square foot of their lots, while LID residents with land separated from the pond by a road would pay 14 cents.

A homeowner with a 6,000 square-foot lot on the river would contribute $1,020 to the project. The same size property not directly on the river would be assessed $840.

Four-fifths of the property in the suggested district lies at the river’s edge.

Dick Gervais, 437 NW Drake, while supporting the financing plan at Wednesday’s meeting, asked whether the costs might be better distributed. He said the residents would actually pay for the project three times; directly through assessment of their property as part of the LID and indirectly through taxes paid to the city and the park district. Gervais suggested the rate paid by private land owners should be lowered to compensate for the indirect payments to both agencies.

Pat Metke, 647 NW Drake, said people outside the LID might be persuaded to donate money to help get the work done.

“There’s probably enough people outside who have enough interest in this project to participate,” he said.

The group appointed Babb, Gervais and Frank Loggan to work with owners on Harmon and Riverside boulevards on the proposal. Meetings are planned soon for both of those neighborhoods.

The excavation is expected to begin next spring. A floating dredge would vacuum about 60,000 cubic feet of silt from the river bottom. A place to put the silt, which is enough to form a one-yard-square dirt column 40 miles high, has not been decided yet. However, Brooks Resources Corp. indicated an interest last fall in having it pumped upstream as the Shevlin Center to be used as fill dirt. It is unknown if the real estate development company is still interested in the silt.

Another proposal has been to pipe it downstream to a piece of property owned by Clyde Purcell.

City engineer Tom Gellner said, however, that the second option is more expensive.

Concern also has been expressed about the effect of the dredging project on waterfowl on the pond. The study, done by Clark and Joyce Inc., a Bend engineering firm, said the impact should be minimal. It said the ducks and geese, which use grass-covered islands on the pond as a habitat, would probably move upstream until the three-month project is finished.

Source: The Bulletin ©1982

Landowners may pay for pond dredging

Property owners along Bend’s Mirror Pond are busy working out an agreement to finance the dredging of the pond.

Dick Carlson, who lives on Harmon Boulevard, is leading the effort to get the riverfront owners to decide on the fairest method of payment.

He said that after a decision is reached, which could come in two or three weeks, residents will ask the city to form a local improvement district to finance the work.

The mile-long pond stretches between Galveston Avenue on the south and the Pacific Power & Light dam to the north. It has been filling over the years with silt and vegetation, which is beginning to choke the deep channel of the Deschutes River that runs down its midsection — the pond is only a foot deep in many areas — prohibits recreation on the pond and enhances growth of vegetation that sometimes emits a foul odor. Restriction of the channel also is reducing fish habitat.

A study published in June 1981 by the Environmental Protection Agency recommended dredging of the pond to a minimum of five feet over its entire length and breadth.

Doing so would remove between 60,000 and 70,000 cubic yards of river bottom, roughly the same amount that would be contained in a one-yard-square column of dirt 40 miles high.

Dredging is expected to improve fish habitat and decrease growth of vegetation by keeping as much sunlight from reaching the bottom.

The project has an estimated cost of between $200,000 and $300,000.

During meetings last fall, concerned citizens decided that the Bend Metro Park and Recreation District should sponsor a one-time tax levy to pay for the work.

According to Carlson, however, that financeing method has been scrapped in favor of forming a local improvement district composed of property that fronts the river.

“i’ve talke to several of the property owners,” Carlson said, “and their repsonse is ‘Yes, the work needs to be done.'”

But, he said, they haven’t figured out just what is the most equitable method of deciding each property owner’s fair share of the cost.

“The questions are fairly complex,” he said, “such as, who ought to be included in the district? What type of formula do we use? Square footage? Lineal footage? The number of feet they live from the river? Is it fair for the guy on Riverside (Boulevard) to pay as much as the guy on Harmon?”

Carlson said some of the residents in the area are visiting with their neighbors to try to iron out those issues.

The park district, which owns several parks along the pond, has agreed in principle to accept responsibility for a much as 40 percent of the cost of the project. The city also would bear some of the cost.

Some concern has been expressed that dredging would have an adverse impact on the waterfowl that live in the reeds and marsh grasses along the pond.

The EPA study, however, estimates that the only adverse impact that will occur is during the three-month period the pond is actually being dredged. The study says that, because of the noise, the waterfowl would likely move away from the area while the dredging is being done. Birds probably would return, however, when the project is finished, provided their habitat is not disturbed.

Source: The Bulletin ©1982