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Added cost of dam work sparks board questions PDF Print E-mail
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Written by STEVE OSTERMANN   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 18:26

Trustees want more details on change order that would increase project bill $77,000

Repairs to Grafton’s Bridge Street dam are nearly completed, but that hasn’t kept village officials from disagreeing over how much money should be spent on the project.

The Village Board on Monday voted 5-2 to send back to committee a change-order request that would add nearly $77,000 to the $1.1 million project cost.

Staab Construction Co. made the request to pay for additional concrete and other materials in upgrading the downtown landmark.

Village Engineer Dave Murphy said the change order should be approved because Staab has done the work and is awaiting payment for added quantities of material, as allowed in the project contract. Although the Public Works Board recommended approving the order Jan. 13, Trustee Sue Meinecke asked for another review of the new costs.

“I would like the committee to have more detail on the material,” said Meinecke, who was the only Works Board member opposing the recommendation.

Murphy said much of the additional concrete was needed for work on the dam’s west abutment.

“I felt it was pretty clear why some of these quantities changed,” he told the board.

Meinecke requested a spreadsheet providing a breakdown of new expenses. In November, she was the only trustee voting against an earlier change order from Staab that added $15,000 to the project cost.

Trustee Jim Grant, who has publicly questioned the state’s requirement for dam repairs, also favored a more detailed review of the change order.

“We accepted a bid and now we’re adding costs. I’d like to see the big picture,” Grant said.

Trustee Lisa Harbeck questioned the need to scrutinize the change order. “Every single project the village does has change orders,” she said.

However, Village President Jim Brunnquell said additional documentation from Staab would clarify any questions board members might have.

Last June, the village accepted a $1.1 million bid from Staab for work that included repairing both abutments, widening the spillway, installing a hydraulic crest gate, raising the grade of the riverwalk and rebuilding the overlook area.

The village subsequently borrowed $1.2 million for the project to cover additional costs.

The latest change order would bring the total project cost to $1,185,000. A state grant is defraying $354,000 of the cost, with the village paying the balance.

Murphy said a third and final change order is expected from Ayres Associates, which designed the project. The money would cover project management and inspection fees.

Murphy said work on the dam, which will bring the structure into compliance with state flood-control regulations, is 95% completed. With the installation of the crest gate, plans call for water to be pumped behind the gate this week for testing, he said.

If there are no leaks, construction equipment will be removed from the work site and the Bridge Street bridge overlooking the dam will be reopened to vehicular traffic, Murphy said.

The remaining project work will include new grass, plantings and other landscaping in May. Decorative dam lights are expected to be installed on the bridge in April or May.


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