Council directs staff to release a Request for Proposal to seek bids from three teams.
The Lake Oswego City Council took another step forward in the preliminary efforts to construct a new wastewater treatment plant, which would be owned by the city through a public-private partnership (P3).
During the Sept. 15 City Council meeting, the council authorized City Manager Martha Bennett to sign an interim Intergovernmental Agreement with the city of Portland and directed staff to release a Request for Proposal (RFP) from three P3 bidders — EPCOR, Foothills Water, LLC and NW Natural — who would design, build, finance, operate and maintain a new wastewater treatment plant.
The current Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant was built in 1965 and needs to either be rebuilt or upgraded to meet regulatory requirements.
In January, the council voted by a slim margin to move forward with seeking a public-private partnership to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a new plant in the Foothills area, instead of upgrading the current wastewater treatment plant through the city’s partnership with Portland. The council also authorized staff to spend $450,000 in consulting services to release an Request for Proposals (RFP) for the three teams.
During the Tuesday afternoon meeting, Deputy City Manager Anthony Hooper gave an overview of the process and encouraged the council to authorize the interim IGA.
“Lake Oswego and Portland have come to terms on an Interim Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) that sets the parameters for our working relationship until enough information is available in about two years for both Councils to make an official ‘greenlight’ decision,” the staff report read. “During this time, critical deliverables will be accomplished by the selected P3 team such completing 60 to 70% design, accomplishing DEQ permitting milestones, securing real estate, developing definitive pricing, and more.”
Council President Jackie Manz said the wastewater treatment plant is a complex issue and that there would be three new councilors and a new mayor soon. She questioned if there would be additional off-ramps moving forward.
Hooper said about $272,000 of the $450,000 staff authorized for consulting services to release an RFP has been spent, so the rest will be used to float the city until March — which Hooper said is a significant time because the city could be on the hook for a substantial amount of money to do design work. He said that would be the first off-ramp for the investigative work but once a decision has been made in March on signing a predevelopment agreement, there will be several more off-ramp opportunities over the next year and a half.
The RFP package will likely be released mid-October and the proposal submittal date will be in the first part of January, with the selected proposer being announced in February.