News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Mill City awards bid for Falls Park revitalization

Reporter for The Canyon Weekly

The MiIl City Council has awarded a $533,000 bid for revitalization improvements at Mill City Falls Park after the project was delayed earlier this year amid disruptions in the construction industry.

The project was awarded to Siegmund Excavation & Construction, of Stayton, after the Council considered three bids ranging as high as $680,000. There is not yet a firm date for work to begin, however smaller-scale improvements started in May.

The city began planning park improvements last year to beautify the area along Wall St. and complement the recent restoration of the nearby Mill City Southern Pacific Railroad Bridge. The goal of improvements was to create pedestrian access from the bridge to a parking lot on Wall St., and create an overlook above Mill City Falls.

Improvements include a retaining wall for the overlook, 240 feet of sidewalk, new lighting and trees, and an interpretive sign. 

Once completed, the city plans a second phase to add pathways, fencing, landscape improvements and park furniture. 

An initial estimate from engineers in November, 2021, placed the cost of the project at around $562,000, however only one qualifying bid from Sigmund was received for $796,505. This was attributed to increases in construction costs brought about by supply chain disruptions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the time the city intended to begin construction in February and complete improvements during the spring. However, because of this difference in expected costs, the city rejected all bids Feb. 22 and asked engineers to re-evaluate potential costs for the project.

One cost-saving measure was separating tasks from the overall project that could be less expensive if given to a smaller contractor, such as irrigation and fencing. The city also reached out to the Santiam Canyon School District and Canyon Catalysts for donations of materials and labor for tasks that would not require a contractor.

This left larger tasks such as the retaining wall, sidewalks and site prep, and on May 12 the city again advertised for bids. This time Siegmund was by far the lowest bidder and the council awarded them the project May 24.

When the second phase of the project begins, the city hopes to fund construction through a $450,000 grant from the Oregon Parks and Recreation, with a department committee scheduled to meet this month to review applications. The city would then be required to contribute roughly $100,000 in matching funds.

Previous Article

In Memoriam: Diana Knight (March 30, 1942 – May 30, 2022)

Next Article

Albany free fishing day set for June 11

You might be interested in …

Detroit Community Center

Grand Opening

Detroit and the greater Santiam Canyon will be celebrating the opening of its new community on Saturday, June 4 at 345 Santiam Avenue. The new facility will include Detroit City Hall, public meeting spaces and […]

Detroit Mayor Jim Trett, Marion County Commissioner Danielle Bethell, Mill City Mayor Tim Kirsch and Ron Carmickle, mayor of Gates, are shown at the Travel Salem awards event that honored the Santiam Canyon for its resilience.

Canyon mayors honored for recovery work

The Santiam Canyon communities have been honored by Travel Salem at the agency’s annual award program. Canyon residents and officials were singled out for being the “most resilient” part of Oregon, based on the region’s […]