Waterline plan studied

Liability issues cause Millwood, church to re-examine water main proposal

The Millwood City Council decided during Tuesday’s meeting to have its engineering firm look at options for a waterline that would run under Millwood Community Presbyterian’s proposed multipurpose building.

The church is planning to build on land – a portion of an alleyway between Dalton and Euclid avenues – that the city vacated last year.

In March, the city signed an agreement allowing the church to build over the waterline with the stipulation that the contractor replace the line with a main-in-sleeve line, similar to what is used under freeways or railroad lines.

This month the architect designing the project for Millwood Presbyterian, John McLean of Blue Room Architecture and Design, requested the city and church sign a release of liability or indemnity agreement for the sleeved water main.

“It’s not his decision to put the water main there,” said the Rev. Craig Goodwin, of Millwood Presbyterian. “It’s the city’s decision. It’s the church decision. We want to work to make John happy and we want the city to be happy with however we can do that.”

City planner Tom Richardson consulted with the city’s insurance provider on the indemnity agreement.  A letter from the insurance carrier’s attorneys recommended against signing the agreement.

Michael Connelly of Koegen Edwards Attorneys wrote that “by signing the indemnity agreement the city would be assuming responsibility for Blue Room Architecture and Design’s potential negligence or other liability and may be without recourse if future injury did in fact occur.” Connelly suggested the parties “explore other alternatives.” 

Goodwin proposed redesigning the water main to run under the hallway instead of the main building so that the pipe wouldn’t have to be sleeved. He also suggested the city consider abandoning the line.

“If we could revisit that, that would be by far the easiest,” Goodwin said about abandoning the line. “If that could work for the city that would be the best.”

Councilman Kevin Freeman suggested the city should get the city’s engineering firm, Welch Comer, involved. After a discussion, the council agreed. In other council action, Millwood accepted a sidewalk easement from West Valley School District. The easement allows the city to add angled parking and a sidewalk along the east side of the Millwood School grounds as part of the city’s upcoming sidewalk improvement project scheduled to begin in July.

The project includes the construction of 1,950 feet of sidewalk on the north side of Buckeye Avenue between Argonne and Vista roads, as well as drainage, pedestrian ramps and flashing school-zone signage. The project is funded by a $261,345 Transportation Improvement Board grant awarded to the city last fall. The grant covers 95 percent of the estimated cost of the sidewalk project. The city’s estimated portion is $13,755.

The easement allows the city to put the project out to bid. the council plans to award the contract at its July meeting.

The council awarded the curb replacement project at the corner of Argonne and Buckeye Avenue to Bacon Concrete, who bid $2,478. Sharp-Line Industries won the bid for paint striping the raised intersection at Empire Avenue and Fowler Road for $1,045. Both projects are planned for this summer.  

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