Baker County commissioners on Wednesday awarded a bid to Gyllenberg Construction of Baker City to build a new fire station in Richland, but the award is contingent on either the county or the Eagle Valley Rural Fire Department raising additional money for the project.

Gyllenberg’s bid is $1,363,312, but the federal block grant the county received is for $1,288,700.

Baker County will be requesting an additional $211,300 from the block grant program to reach the program maximum of $1.5 million, commissioners decided Wednesday.

The Eagle Valley Fire Department is also seeking grants from the Leo Adler Foundation and other sources.

Gyllenberg’s bid was the lowest of the four the county received.

The company’s original bid of $1,475,000 was reduced by eliminating some items, including air-conditioning.

In other business Wednesday, commissioners designated ECO West as the sole source provider for seeking permits for a project to install a hydroelectric plant at Mason Dam, which forms Phillips Reservoir on the Powder River about 17 miles southwest of Baker City.

Dredge tailing mining

Erik Tofsrud attended Wednesday’s meeting to discuss his proposal for leasing 35 acres of county property in the dredge tailings in Sumpter Valley for exploratory mining.

Tofsrud said his company has a revised proposal to address concerns brought to him before the meeting by Commissioner Mark Bennett, including a security fence and security gate into the property.

Commission Chairman Bill Harvey said the county sent a request for proposals for other companies that might be interested in leasing county land in the tailings. Because the county didn’t receive any proposals, it can negotiate directly with Tofsrud’s company, Shukrain Investment Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia. Tofsrud said his goal is to return to the county with a timeline by the middle of November.

Weed department

Baker County Weed Supervisor Arnie Grammon gave an update for commissioners. He also announced his retirement in 2020, saying his goal is to leave the noxious weed program on solid financial footing.

In other business, commissioners amended the agreement with Timothy Bishop and Baker Co. Unlimited to move out the renewal date for the contracts to give commissioners more time to decide on contracts.

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