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Port, broadband contractor agree to part ways


July 30, 2020

POMEROY––The contract between M&L Construction, the company building the broadband system, and the Port of Garfield was terminated by mutual agreement, and approved by Commissioners at the July 21 meeting.

Port Director Diana Ruchert also requested that the Port return to having two meetings per month until the broadband project is completed. She is hopeful that more frequent meetings may help avoid any more delays in the completion of the project. The meetings will be on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting will be August 4, 2020.

The Port agreed to a final payment to M&L in the amount of $11,846.80, for work completed, as well as the purchase of vaults already installed.

The Port is hopeful that by taking this action, they can get the project “back on track” after some delays.

To complete the project, the construction contract will have to be advertised for bids once again. After having a good response last fall, the Port expects to receive a good bid price, and get the project completed by the end of the year. The contract with M&L had a deadline of October 31, 2020, which most likely would not have been met due to delays.

Due to the resignation of Port Commissioner Cody Bye, the Port will begin advertising for applicants to fill the open position until the end of the term. The appointment must be made within 90 days of the resignation, and 30 days have already elapsed. A decision will most likely be made by the August 18, 2020, meeting date. Bye recently resigned due to moving outside of the district.

The Port’s U.S. Forest Service building has been reviewed for maintenance issues. A leak in the roof has recently been repaired, and the carpet and interior paint needs updating. The Port is proceeding with bids for the painting work, but will delay the carpet replacement until winter.

The Port Commissioners approved the cost of $20,912.16 for installation of back-up batteries and security for the Port’s power system for the broadband service. The amount will go to a subcontractor through Noanet, who provides the Port with lit fiber.


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