On City Corner this week, KYUK’s municipal reporter Christine Trudeau brings us an excerpt from today’s show, which airs Monday, July 3 at 11 a.m., where she sat down with City Manager Pete Williams to get the latest.
Pete Williams became Bethel’s City Manager on January 2, 2017, and as such is responsible for many things: advising the City Council and overseeing all city departments, including the city's budget, to name a few.
In the several months since, he’s had to face two major ongoing projects for the city: the Institutional Corridor Project and the Water Sewer Lagoon Project.
The Institutional Corridor Project plans to lay new water line through the new Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation project.
“We’re right now finalizing the bid documents,” said Williams, “and I would imagine that this should be out to bid early next week on the fourth or fifth of July.”
That’s phase two of the project, says Williams. They’re hoping by mid-July to mid-August to be seeing some material come into port with some of the construction season still ahead.
“It looks like they’re going to be working in a little cold weather, but it’s a project that can be done when the weather changes,” said Williams.
With the Sewer Lagoon project, Williams says there are two parts: first is dredging out the sewer lagoon, and second is building a jetty dock for trucks to drive up to and dump items.
“On the sewer lagoon side, we just today wrapped up the bid documents and hopefully this afternoon - it’s Friday here - they’ll be out published in the newspapers and so forth, or put out to bid,” said Williams.
For the jetty, they’ve just finished the design and are starting work on the contract portion of the project.
All contracted work must make one final appearance before the City Council for final approval.
“And it kind of gives everybody one last shot to decide if they don’t want the project. They don’t like what it’s gonna cost, or whatever it may be,” said Williams. "It gives Council the last shot at either moving forward or not moving forward.”
According to Williams, projects, especially of this size, can take as long as five years to get to where they are with these two today. So already there has been a determination of need, a concept plan, an engineering study, a budget assessment, and permitting.
“For instance, for the Sewer Lagoon Project and the jetty, there is probably - aw jeez - three or four hundred pages of work and numerous Council meetings or items that they had to approve,” said Williams.
And now they are at the stage of putting the projects out to bid.
“The contractors will come back with a number or an amount that they’ll do it for, and again we’re looking at what we have on hand to spend and sometimes, a lot of times, we have to scale back the scope of the project to fall within the funds that we have available,” said Williams.
Hear our full discussion today at 11 a.m. and again tonight at 9 p.m., on City Corner. We’ll also be discussing the Bethel Fire and Police Departments, efforts to improve City services, the Seawall Project, and updating the city's IT systems.
Remember, you can submit general questions anonymously to City Corner by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.