Feb. 29, 2020 — The Florence Urban Renewal Agency (FURA) met Feb. 26 at Florence City Hall with a short agenda but faced a decision on whether or not to spend thousands of dollars for two gateway monuments on Maple Street, as one of the final pieces in this phase of the ReVision Florence Streetscaping Project.
The agency began the meeting with Chairperson Bill Meyer welcoming new member Mark Tilton to FURA. The attention of the group was then directed to issues related to the ongoing ReVision Florence project.
The original ReVision Florence called for monuments to be built to welcome people to Historic Old Town Florence. The plan was to have a total of three built and to place two on Maple Street and one on Quince Street.
Unfortunately, the cost for all three of the pieces exceeded the monies budgeted for the project, according to Florence Project Manager Megan Messmer. The scope of the project was reduced by eliminating the Quince Street component from the equation.
In a memorandum Messmer provided to FURA directors explaining the decision she wrote, “The budget for this project was $396,000. Unfortunately, both bids came in above the budget and the engineer’s estimate of $416,000, which included a construction estimate of $396,000 and $20,000 in contingency. … Staff does not believe that removing the Quince Street monument would have a large impact on the integrity of the ReVision Florence Project as a whole.”
Messmer’s memorandum also pointed out that when these monuments were originally designed, the Quince Street property across from the FEC was not owned by the agency. Now that FURA has control over that property and is seeking lodging or related developments there, she believes there is value in waiting to construct a gateway at Quince.
The future gateway at this location could include additional directional signage for Old Town that includes lodging, shops, restaurants and the Florence Events Center.
Messmer also wrote that the current ODOT contract will construct the base for a monument at Quince Street that will be usable for another type of monument at a later date.
During the meeting, she recommended that directors accept the negotiated bid and to enter into a contract with Specialty Metal Fabricators LLC in the amount of $375,000, for the construction of the two gateway monuments at Maple Street, which they did.
Messmer also asked directors to authorize the City Manager to enter into Amendment 5 with the Engineering firm Murraysmith for construction administration, engineering and inspection for $57,000, which will result in a net change to the contract of approximately $34,000. The total expected expenditures for the two monuments on Maple Street will be approximately $409,000.
Directors discussed the financial ramifications of the agreement briefly before approving both of Messmer’s requests.
Messmer also presented the directors with an update on the construction currently underway with ReVision and presented a proposal for a FURA Redevelopment Assistance Program, which included suggested eligibility guidelines, program application and an overview flyer.
Directors voiced support for the program and approved moving forward with the proposal.
The second major update of the meeting came from City Manager Erin Reynolds, who provided a recap of the steps taken to this point regarding the marketing of the Quince Street property which is owned by the city.
Community and Economic Development Assistant Sarah Moehrke also made a brief presentation on the property, asking the directors to approve the first phase of landscaping the area at a cost of approximately $5,000.
This phase would remove underbrush and forest debris from the location. A second phase of the landscaping effort would focus on delimbing trees and removing larger brush from the area. The second phase would be considerably more expensive, and Moehrke reported the city would continue to accept bids for Phase 2 of the project.
Directors then approved the request.
The next FURA meeting is scheduled to take place at Florence City Hall on March 25 at 5:30 p.m.
For more information, visit www.ci.florence.or.us/urbanrenewal.