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Coos Bay Transitioning to In-house Wastewater Operations
Coos Bay City Councilors authorized city staff to begin the process of terminating its contract with Jacobs for the management and operation of the city’s wastewater treatment system. The city had asked Jacobs to fulfill its contractual obligations, deal with staffing levels, and address a long list of violations and exceedances from both treatment plants. The council unanimously approved exercising the no-fault option in the current contract amendment. Staff will now provide 180 days termination notice to Jacobs which currently operates the plant for around $2.3 million dollars per year. The city will take over the operation of two treatment plants and sewer collection systems. In the last few months, Jacobs had asked for an amendment to the contract that would have increased the operational costs retroactive to January by 30 percent. The city is also facing DEQ fines for exceedance issues at its treatment plans. Jacobs also proposed a million dollars of infrastructure project over those that had been budgeted that city staff believes were likely caused by Jacobs failure to do them in a timely manner or even inform staff to budget for them. Jacobs or one of its two parent companies have held the contract for 25 years.