City to approve construction contract for emergency communications tower
The city of Newberg has awarded a bid to build the long-planned emergency communications tower at the city public works department yard.
The proposed 250-foot tower would be for emergency purposes and not used for cellular providers. The communications upgrade was part of an agreement with the Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency (WCCCA), through which flow the city's emergency communications dispatches.
The city moved forward with a contract with WCCCA in fall 2017 after upgrades with WCCCA essentially rendered the city's dispatch center unable to communicate with the WCCCA and other regional dispatch agencies.
On behalf of the city, WCCCA sought bids for construction services. This included site preparation, grading, primary power installation, fencing, shelter, landscaping, tower placement and erection, foundations for the tower and shelter, generator, fuel tank, secondary power and all related services and materials.
The deadline for bids was April 30. The city received four bids and two of the bidders attended a site walk for the project. The lowest qualified bid came from Sandy-based Summit Solutions Group at just over $428,000. The only other responsive bid was from TSE Construction in the amount of nearly $657,000. WCCCA's estimate for the project was about $525,000 and Summit was deemed the most qualified bid.
Construction is expected to begin shortly after council approval and the project is expected to be completed by early August.
"We are very pleased to get (the bid completed) …," City Manager Joe Hannan said. "We're excited to see what's going to happen over the next several years here."
The total cost of the tower to the city is $3.15 million. According to city documents, of that estimated cost more than $3 million has either been spent or is under contract to be spent, including the contract with Summit.
The remaining funds are anticipated to be under contract before the end of the project.
The City Council had already approved a contract with Motorola for $2.01 million. The city has the responsibility for the overall financial management and funding of its portion of the project.
Part of the reason for the need for the tower is to accommodate the use of hands-free devices for emergency responders and an increase in coverage to about 12 miles. It is one of nine towers being added to WCCCA's service area in Washington County and 13 towers in Clackamas County.
The emergency communications system upgrade is Newberg's portion of a larger project with WCCCA and C800, Motorola's 800 megahertz digital radio system contract, to move from an analog to a digital public safety radio system. Newberg-Dundee Police Department, Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, Dundee Fire Department and the Newberg dispatch center utilize the WCCCA 800 MHz radio system for emergency radio communications.
The tower, the land for which is currently used as a storage yard, is the highest it could be to meet WCCCA criteria.