By News-Register staff • 

Willamina board, council team up on water project

WILLAMINA - City Manager Kenna West and Public Works Director Jeff Brown met with the Willamina School Board at this month's session to discuss the water project on which the two sides are working together.

"We're working on amending our current Community Development Block Grant project to include what we call the 'school project,'" West said, following the meeting.

The grant totals about $2.5 million.

School Superintendent Carrie Zimbrick expressed appreciation for the city's support of the district's involvement in the project.

"She (West) plans for the city to grow," Zimbrick said. "She includes the school district. It's so helpful."

The intent is to lay a 10-inch water line extending from the city’s water tower at the end of Willamina Drive to the Oaken Hills Drive campus.

Lines currently serving the campus from the tower travel downhill and uphill, and the 10-inch line would improve the flow. Without an upgrade, it won’t be possible for the district to build new facilities and/or expand upon the current ones.

"This will put us in a great position to eventually go out for a bond," Zimbrick said.

The district will be responsible for engineering costs of about $87,500. Beyond that, costs that are incurred by the district have not been finalized. The city and district will fund the project with the assistance of grants and loans.

Zimbrick said the goal is for the work to be completed by December 2022.

She reported to the board at a previous meeting that the middle school building must have a sprinkler system to proceed with much-needed expansion. The addition of two classrooms would exceed the structure’s square footage, according to fire code, she said.

In an email to State Deputy Fire Marshal Shannon Miller, Zimbrick emphasized an "immediate need" for the classrooms, one a sixth grade class, currently being housed on the music stage, and the other a math class that presently moves from classroom to classroom each period. These would bring to eight the number of classrooms in the middle school building (seventh-eighth-graders).

"Our recent fire flow testing results showed adequate pressure, but low flow," Zimbrick reported to Miller. "We know that must be addressed and the new (10-inch) line will do that."

The superintendent said she was requesting approval to immediately add the classrooms based on the existing pressure and flow, in addition to the water pond located on the campus.

Zimbrick also told Miller the district is willing to install another dry hydrant, in which a  permanently installed pipe would have one end below the water level of the pond.

In other business, Angela Fasana has resigned her board position 5, effective Monday, Sept. 30. She was appointed in May 2016, and would have served through June 2021.

Fasana was the present chair. Vice-chair Clinton Coblentz will succeed her in that capacity.

The board will meet next at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 14 at The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. It will be the first of two board meetings this year in the neighboring community. 






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