Invokes penalty for utility work; seeks help from new company
The City of Marysville has some problems with the contractor working on its waterline replacement project, and council made that known at its meeting Monday night.
“There’s been a level of frustration with all of us with the waterline project,” City Administrator Terry Emery said. “The consent item tonight is going to help us move that project along.”
Council passed a last-minute agenda item that will take Rock River Construction off the West Sixth Street portion of the project from Court to Maple streets. Council waived the legislation’s second and third readings, passing it immediately.
The city will purchase all remaining materials from Rock River. Court and West Eighth streets will remain under Rock River’s responsibility. The remainder of the Sixth Street’s work will be done by Beheler Excavating, the company currently working on infrastructure installation at Innovation Park on Industrial Parkway.
Started earlier this year, the city hired Rock River to carry out replacement of out-of-date cast iron water lines on Court, Eighth and Sixth streets. Altogether, the city was eyeing about a mile of lines to update.
Earlier this month, however, the city expressed frustration at the progress being made. This month was the intended end date of the project, and the contractor still had a large portion of work to do.
In an email to the Journal-Tribune, Marysville Utility Engineer Kyle Hoyng said as of Tuesday, the city has collected $7,000 in liquidated damages from Rock River, $500 for each day the company went over deadline. The city will continue collecting that money until Rock River’s work is finished.
He also said the new date for completion is Dec. 8, “but that date could slide to the following week.”
In a phone interview, Hoyng said the city did not pay a lump sum to Rock River for the work, instead paying an amount per material the contractor uses. He said the city is not having Beheler cover Eighth and Court streets because throwing them into nearly finished projects they’re unfamiliar with could create more setbacks.
The city is still negotiating a price with Beheler. Hoyng said after some talks, the price is coming out considerably less than what the city would have paid Rock River for the same stretch of road.
The city will then have Decker Construction carry out the paving work to come after waterline work is finished. The city has worked with Decker Construction for paving services in the past. The intent is to pave the entire width of Sixth and Eighth streets, and half of Court Street.
Emery said there could be delays on the paving work, depending on the weather the area gets.
Emery told council that the decision to bring the legislation to the meeting came from the continually slow progress Rock River has made.
“We had until Nov. 1,” he said. “The contractor still isn’t making the progress.”
Mayor J.R. Rausch commended the city for finding a solution to the problem, which has spurred complaints from residents in the area.
“I know our engineering department has spent a lot of time and headaches (on this),” he said. “I do believe this is the best resolution to that.”
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