On Tuesday night, Bethel City Council gave the city manager permission to sign the first contract for the Avenues Piped Water and Sewer Project. DOWL Engineering submitted a draft of the contract that totals almost a million dollars. The engineering firm has laid out seven phases that will go into developing the design.
The action memorandum allows the city manager to negotiate and sign the contract. However, Acting City Manager Bill Howell is on leave until the end of September so that he can run his meat processing business during moose season. And the new Acting City Manager, Roberto “Bo” Foley, has been at the helm for less than two weeks. Council member Mitchell Forbes had some reservations.
“Not doubting your character or fitness Mr. Foley, but obviously you’re not deeply involved in this project. You’re kind of just getting up to speed,” Forbes said. “We don’t have a city attorney right now. I’m kind of uncomfortable doing anything on this.”
City Clerk Lori Strickler informed the council that Michael Gatti, the city’s temporary legal advisor, had likely not seen the contract yet. Council members mulled the idea of postponing the action memorandum until Gatti reviewed the document, but decided against it.
“This project a long time coming; there’s been delays already,” said council member Leif Albertson. “I mean, Gatti’s going to look at this sometime, right?”
So council settled on verbally directing Acting City Manager Foley to obtain legal approval before signing the contract.
The action memorandum passed unanimously. Fritz Charles was the only council member absent.