Dallas takes over water system operations

DALLAS — The city of Dallas is canceling part of its contract with Operations Management International — also known as CH2M Hill — for operation of the city’s water distribution system.

Public Works Director Frank Anderson said the transition began Thursday and should be complete April 1. OMI continues to operate the wastewater plant for the city.

Anderson said the contract with OMI to operate both systems began in 2009, and was renewed in 2015. The contract has a provision for striking parts if both sides agreed. He said the city had concerns about customer service and had conversations with OMI about solving them.

“Through those discussions, we came to an agreement that OMI would transition out of that water distribution maintenance contract,” Anderson said during the Public Works Committee meeting on Feb. 26.

The city will hire a supervisor and two field workers to replace OMI’s supervisor and three field workers. Anderson said he believes the new crew will perform the work for about the same cost as the city was paying for labor through the contract, $232,000 annually. He said city-hired staff are more likely to live in or closer to Dallas. OMI’s contract required workers to live within two hours commute of Dallas.

Anderson added the city will monitor operations at the wastewater plant.

“We feel pretty comfortable, at this point in time, with them continuing to do the wastewater treatment plant,” he said.

In other business:

• Public Works is meeting with Energy Trust of Oregon for assessment of city facilities for possible incentive opportunities. Interim City Manager Greg Ellis said the Dallas Aquatic Center installed a new boiler that came with an energy trust rebate of $50,000.


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