Drain construction goes over budget
Work one-third complete
Construction on the Short and 2A drain has quietly gone $ 373,871 over budget to date, Ward 4 Coun. Glenn Campbell told Tuesday’s council meeting.
Referring to a staff report he had requested, Campbell said an additional $ 182,400 is being sought by Coco Paving in construction costs after encountering heavy blue clay.
The consultants, R.J. Burnside and Associates are also seeking an additional $ 191,471.63 in costs for tendering and construction inspection costs.
However, Campbell is questioning claims that the discovery of heavy blue clay was unexpected. He said the engineer, Tom Pridham, had studied the drain for six years.
However, Pridham said Wednesday that no one had ever mentioned heavy blue clay to him and that he had only ever walked on silt when in waders on site.
Campbell said the information wouldn't have even come before council if he hadn't have asked for it and said the drainage board, which handles these matters, was insulated from council. He is concerned since the drainage referee's decision of Aug. 21, 2012 states that any extra claims greater than 10% of the tendered amount shall be paid by the city out of general funds and believes residents from Bethany to Bobcaygeon will be on the hook for added costs. He further wanted Pridham to appear at a future council meeting. "It's clear to me and others that due diligence was not applied." He said it was well- known to local residents that blue clay was there and residents had made an effort to tell the company and the city. "I think Mr. Pridham has some explaining to do."
Council voted against request- ing Pridham to appear, however city staff said they would be asking the company questions. The city will hold off on getting outside legal advice.
Pridham retorted that in the event of open drains, an engineer does not typically do any test pits. He added that he believes the clay should have been removed as far back as 1915 when original drain work was done. He added that regardless of whether the clay was found at the outset R. J. Burnside's work, or now, there would still be a cost to remove it.
Campbell said the work is only about one-third complete and "it is a bit terrifying to consider there could be more to come."
McGee said the drainage dispute had been akin to the Hatfields and McCoy's but Campbell retorted it was an engineer who didn't do his job, a statement Pridham disagrees with.