By Wayne Allen
Scioto County officials are reporting the new anticipated completion date on the Eden Park Sewer Project is expected to be the middle of July.
“At the last monthly meet they expected to be completed by the middle of July,” said Joe Delong, Scioto County sanitary engineer. “I think they have pipe in now and are down to yards (left of installation).”
Delong said the anticipated completion date comes as good news to his office, which has monitored the project since inception.
In April, Eden Park Sewer Project Contractor J&H Reinforcing & Structural Erectors sent a letter to Delong asking the county to declare the Eden Park Sanitary Sewer Extension substantially complete. At the time of the letter the Scioto County Commissioners said the county cannot make that judgment because there was work left to be done.
“They (J&H) sent us a letter wanting us to drop the fine and wanting the project declared substantially complete. We can’t to that because not all of the attachments have been made, and I don’t know if we have the authority to do that,” said Mike Crabtree, chairman of the Scioto County Commissioners, at the time of receiving the letter.
Since beginning construction, the $2.3 million Eden Park Sewer System has seen its fair share of delays. It was reported in March the project was nearly a year behind schedule with an anticipated completion date of July 2014.
In January, Delong acknowledged the project had entered meditation. Danielle Parker, assistant Scioto County prosecuting attorney, said through the meditation process an interim agreement was agreed upon between the two parties, the county and project contractor J&H Erectors.
Parker said J&H Erectors agreed to complete the job done, with any issues or claims being reserved.
One stipulation written into the original contract is that for every day that the project runs over its original completion date (Aug. 5, 2013), the company will be assessed $1,500 in liquidated damages. When asked if the $1,500 in liquidated damages is still being assessed, Delong said, “we are still deducting monies from their estimate, yes.”
Delong said he could not acknowledge the amount being assessed because the issue is in meditation. When asked the same question, Parker said, “there is still an assessment that is involved.” She said the assessment is now $1,000 a day and that was mutually agreed upon between the two parties.
According to the commissioners, once the project is declared substantially complete the assessments would stop. Crabtree has been quoted as saying the assessment will continue until the project is complete.
“If it keeps on going maybe they’ll eat up all the money and start paying us (Scioto County),” Crabtree said.
In its letter to Delong, J. Mark Rollings, Division Manager for J&H wrote, “The basis for this request that substantial completion has been achieved is as follows; 230 or 250, approximately 87 percent, residents are presently connected to the system. 19,608 feet of 20,978 of main line and manhole structures have been installed and tested, approximately 94 percent. Metering manhole A13 is ready to be put into service, pending inspection issue to be resolved by the Owner, which would track any flow through the lines.”
Rollins wrote that J&H believes the project can be utilized for its intended purpose while remaining work is complete and tested.
“Accordingly, J&H requests that the engineer inspect the work and either issue a tentative certificate of Substantial Completion or provide its reasons why such certificate cannot be issued,” Rollins wrote.
Commissioner Doug Coleman said there is “quite a bit of more work to be done” on the project including sidewalks.
When asked what the definition of substantially complete was Crabtree said, “if the entire sewer was in operation and all they had was some finish work I would consider that substantially done. If all the tests were done and everything was in operation, that would be substantially done and it’s not there to my knowledge.”
Once installed, the system will serve about 230 residents and businesses. The system will run along Ohio 139 and Munn’s Run northeast of New Boston.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.