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The rebuilding project of Woodburn's AWARE Food Bank moves forward as necessary details are ironed out.

PMG PHOTO: JUSTIN MUCH - Empty lot where the AWARE Food Bank stood awaits the go ahead for bids to construct a new food-bank building in Woodburn.The bidding process to rebuild Woodburn's AWARE Food Bank should soon be in the works, maybe as soon as this month.

The food bank was severely damaged by a fire last year and operators have had to scramble to keep its services available to local residents with a need for them. Most recently the services have been rendered from a leased location at Hoodview Church of God on Mt. Hood Highway.

City of Woodburn Special Projects Director Renata Wakeley met with the Woodburn City Council recently to discuss some specifics pertaining to a $750,000 community development block grant the city has been awarded for the purpose of supporting the rebuilding project at AWARE's traditional location downtown across from the Woodburn City Hall.

As they ironed out necessary details pertaining to the grant, city officials inquired about the project's progress.

"I would like to say that AWARE would be ready to bid the project next week," Wakeley said. "If you've been by the site or were part of the (Fiesta Mexicana) parade, you would see that AWARE had successfully demolished the (damaged) structure.

"Some environmental tests are being conducted to make sure there are no soil issues, and there are no additional tanks on site," she added.

During the First Street renovations downtown in recent years, the city of Woodburn encountered multiple underground fuel tanks that required environmental mitigation attention, effectively delaying portions of the project.COURTESY PHOTO: CITY OF WOODBURN - City of Woodburn Special Projects Director Renata Wakeley imparts details attached to grant funding involved with the rebuilding of AWARE Food Bank during the Monday, Aug. 22 city council meeting.

"The city did assist, although the award is to AWARE or to Marion Polk Food Share, securing $60,000 from Business Oregon to support that environmental testing," Wakeley said. We do not have the results from that. Because we have community development block grant funds, an environmental assessment needs to be completed (and) it's a time-consuming process. The city is working through that with staff support."

Other attentive details to the process include stormwater consultations with NOAA Fisheries.

"The hope would be that in late September AWARE is ready to bid," Wakeley said. "Again, the city is not leading the construction; we are partnering and supporting. They will be the ones who will bid the project for construction. They are bringing the majority of the funds, but the city is participating."

Councilor Robert Carney asked if the construction project included a performance guarantee.

Wakeley said yes, and she stressed that AWARE is responsible for bidding the construction and setting up the prime contractor and subcontractors.

"Insurance requirements, limited liability, all of that will be required. There is no waiver of this," Wakeley said.

City Administrator Scott Derickson said federal dollars are involved, which subjects the project to federal stipulations.

"We are subject to things that we wouldn't be subjected to otherwise if we weren't using those federal dollars," Derickson said. "So, the contractor will be subject to federal rules, just like the city will as a recipient of these federal dollars."

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