Old Bend Bridge

Bend Bridge

Alderman Mike Pigg said fellow Alderman Steve Myers got ahead of himself when he sent a letter to residents telling them to talk with their alderman about a 50-50 cost share on repairing the Bend Bridge before explaining the proposal to aldermen.

Speaking at the Dec. 3 board meeting, Pigg said communicating with aldermen about something as serious as the bridge is just common courtesy.

“In no way do I want to come across as negative about the need to reopen the bridge. I’m in favor of us sharing the cost and getting the bridge open,” Pigg said. “But we (aldermen) get calls about a 50-50 share and we don’t know anything about it. Wouldn’t it be common courtesy to give aldermen a heads up?”

Myers accompanied City Administrator Harold Selby to a meeting with Franklin County officials with a plea to re-open Bend Bridge, which has been closed since Nov. 15.

During the meeting between city and county officials the county agreed to make the needed repairs and reopen the bridge on the condition that Pacific would pay half the engineering and repair costs for as long as the old bridge remains open.

Myers distributed a letter to some residents before other aldermen were aware that the 50-50 cost share had been discussed.

Myers defended his action, saying he had met at city hall with Selby following the Franklin County meeting and Pigg could have attended.

The 50-50 share is the only way this is going to happen,” Myers said.

But Pigg said the issue was whether aldermen knew the city’s proposal before the residents who were supposed to call them knew.

“Walter (Arnette), Carol (Johnson) and Mike Bates didn’t have a clue,” Pigg said. “Just as a courtesy, if you want them to contact us and let us know what happened.”

Myers stood his ground saying, “You could have attended the meeting.”