Board displeased with sewer plant changeELLSWORTH — Ellsworth Village Board members voted for a change order requested by the contractor for the village sewer plant renovation, but balked at paying the full price for it.
By: Bill Kirk, The Republican Eagle
ELLSWORTH — Ellsworth Village Board members voted for a change order requested by the contractor for the village sewer plant renovation, but balked at paying the full price for it.
Trustees passed a resolution Monday to approve the change order, but only pay $1,500 of the $4,634 requested by general contractor Rice Lake Construction Group Inc.
And the resolution passed by a 3-2 vote, as Trustees Rick Sweig and Dick Hines objected. They felt it was Rice Lake’s efforts to extract more money from the village.
“They made the mistake and they should pay to fix it, all of it,” Sweig said.
Sweig’s comments were part of a general consensus of unhappiness with Rice Lake, especially with the fact company officials were not present at the meeting.
“At the very least if we do this, they’ll start showing up and addressing our concerns,” Hines said.
The mistake, according to board members, was constructing a new building next to the existing plant 8 inches below the grade, which will require a piping system necessary to remove any excess storm water away from the plant.
Trustee Neil Gulbranson stated in his “yea” vote he simply wanted the matter dealt with and fixed, but he agreed the village only should pay for part of the costs. Trustee Mike Steele said Rice Lake officials led the board to believe there would be negotiations over the final costs when the project is finished, but village attorney Bob Loberg warned continued acceptance of change orders may adversely affect the village in any kind of negotiations and/or legal situations.
Indeed, two change orders requested by Rice Lake totaling $5,627 were approved unanimously upon water and sewer committee recommendation. One was a plan to put new fencing around the plant and the other to install a check valve.
The board later went into an unrelated closed session on property litigation for the Crossing Meadows Business Park. Trustees came out of closed session and took no action.