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N. Chenoweth bid due soon

— Port of The Dalles officials expect to solicit bids for the first phase of the new North Chenoweth subdivision by the end of the month, aiming for completion next summer.

Development Specialist Michael Held told the port commission Aug. 14 that the project has progressed steadily since the commission’s July meeting. Northern Wasco County PUD has submitted its plans for utility installation, which Held said most other utilities will follow.

“The PUD has a lot of other things to consider regarding getting power to industrial lands as a whole,” Held noted.

Held said the port would be using a “qualification-based” bid process to assure the contractor chose has the capability to deal with special site issues, such as the large quantity of rock and debris on the site, and the wetlands that will be adjacent to the sewer line.

Bill Dick, the port’s attorney, said the port will have to pass an ordinance to modify its contract rules before the bid can be sent. That can be done in a brief special session later this month, he added.

Despite assurances that wetlands issues on the site are being satisfactorily addressed, Commissioner Kristi McCavic was skeptical, understandably so given that her family is involved in the proposed west The Dalles Walmart development, which has been wrestling with wetlands issues for years.

“I think wetlands are under a microscope,” she said. “Any problems, you are going to see a lot of finger-pointing.”

Commissioner David Griffith asked what the limitations of the subdivision’s infrastructure will be as they relate to the type of businesses that will suit the development. His example was a juice plant requiring significant sewer capacity.

“The constructed systems can support many kinds of business,” Held said, “a juice plant or major energy users.”

Because the sewage lift stations are more efficient at high capacity, their developer has designed them to include two stages, with only the first stage as part of initial construction, said Port Executive Director Andrea Klaas.

“We want to accommodate everybody, but we don’t want to overbuild on the front end,” Klaas said.

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