With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down businesses last year, it also halted several projects the city of Portland had been trying to get off the ground.

Portland City Manager Randy Wright told the city council last week that two of those projects are moving forward and opened both projects for  bids last Thursday – one for the Indian Point Pier Pavilion Project and one for a new audio/video system at city hall.

The bold design for Indian Point Pier Project was presented in 2018 and approved in late 2019 with hopes of it moving forward quickly.

Portland Mayor Cathy Skurow said at the time that both Sunset Lake and Indian Point Pier are tourist destinations and something not only needs to connect them, but showcase them as well.

The conceptual design from Richter Architects features poles to represent the Native Americans where Indian Point Pier gets its name and large, flowing coverings to represent wind and sails from Portland. 

“Quite truthfully when I saw this I thought, ‘Oh this is a little different,’” Skurow laughed when the designed was unveiled. “A lot different. Maybe too different from what our community was looking for.”

After listening to the artist’s explanation of the design and what it represented, Skurow said she was hooked.

“I want, just as I think you want, something iconic when you come into Portland,” she added. “And this could be our defining iconic structure coming into Portland.”

Wright added that while the final cost of the project won’t be known until just prior to construction, he said back in 2019 that it may cost around $500,000.

He continued, “We’ve also got a bid opening for our audio visual project for the city hall and the city council chambers.

“That’s kind of been a long time coming. It’s been exacerbated by the fact that we’ve been through COVID and had so many long distance meetings. I think we’re going to finally get everything up to speed and we’re electronically proficient in the way that we conduct our meetings.”

That project will be replacing the current system which was put in place when  the ‘new’ city hall was built in 2006.

“It’s really outworn its usefulness, so we’re really happy to get that going,” Wright said.

He expects to announce both project bids at the Aug. 8 city council meeting.

•pgonzales@mysoutex.com•

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