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City to seek Civic Center project manager
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McMinnville officials will be accepting proposals for a project manager for its $10 million Civic Center investment. 

The city’s Parks and Recreation Committee has chosen to go out for bids for the position before consideration turns to hiring a professional service.

‘I think there is enough interest in this that it warrants bidding it out to see what proposals we receive,” said Alderman Steve Harvey. “If we don’t receive anything that we want to accept, we can consider hiring a professional service.” 

Professional services such as architectural, engineering, or consulting firms do not have to be bid. By law, officials can selected those based on qualifications. If city officials want to choose a licensed contractor, the selection process must be conducted using competitive bidding.

“I like the idea of having somebody local only because they are here,” said Alderman Everett Brock. “If we need them in five minutes or 10 minutes, they can be here.”

Sain Construction Company took control of the building on Monday. Barring any unforeseen complications, completion date is end of August 2020.

McMinnville Mayor Ben Newman wants to make it clear that the fear is not shoddy work by Sain Construction. 

“Sain is a reputable builder, but they have a lot of subcontractors,” said Newman. “Some they use a lot of the time. There will be some that we just don’t know about. Not to point the finger at anyone, but that’s where I think some of these issues could come up. If there’s an issue, you want to be able to stop it before it becomes a long-lasting issue that’s a thorn in the side of the building for the rest of its life. That’s what this position does.” 

Alderman Kate Alsbrook added, “I want to do anything we can to protect this investment. Moving smoothly from this point on is crucial.” 

HFR general architecture division director Steve Griffin urged officials to hire a qualified individual. 

“The key is getting someone who is qualified,” said Griffin. “We have worked with people who aren’t qualified. It didn’t work very well. If you get someone who is qualified, and I understand you are talking to some people who are very qualified in my opinion, it shouldn’t be a problem. I wish more of our owners did it. The only thing that concerns me about this building is the plumbing.”

Newman stated, “Because it’s incased on concrete and you can’t see it?”

“Yes,” said Griffin.

Prior to going out for proposals, a scope of work for a project manager must be written to make sure all applicants can generate their salary based on the same information.