Cost cause of concern

Bethany J. Royer

February 18, 2014

By Bethany J. Royer

Staff Writer


PIQUA — Amy Havenar, city engineer, was at the helm for Tuesday’s commission meeting as two of the three resolutions on the agenda were related to projects with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and a third to the laying of pipes for the impending new water treatment plant on State Route 66.

The first resolution was of notable concern as several commissioners questioned how to keep infrastructure improvement costs from becoming a surprise. At issue was extra asphalt discovered and subsequently removed in the U.S. 36 Beautification Project (Phase I) as 50-year-old blueprints failed to show the full extent of the paved area. The result was an additional expense being incurred for its removal by ODOT with only an estimate for the work after it had already been completed.

“Why is it our responsibility to make up for it?” asked Commissioner John Martin over the city being faced with the financial increase due to a lack of information from the blueprints. Havenar proceeded to explain that had the concrete been found before bidding, the initial amount would have reflected the increased costs anyway.

“Either way we would have paid for it,” said Havenar as Commissioner Joe Wilson inquired as to whether the city could be made aware of potential extra expenditures in the future.

“They could have spent $300,000 and we wouldn’t know about it until the end,” said Wilson with the city having no choice but to pay the bill. “I don’t like that procedure.”

As explained by Gary Huff, city manager, surprises such as the extra pavement needing to be removed for the U.S. 36 Beautification project are a potential during any infrastructure improvement and, “That’s the difficulty, sometimes we’re very fortunate, other times we run into issues.”

Wilson asked if they could revise plans in the future to save money if faced with similar circumstances again with Huff answering, “Redesigning will cost you more than just moving forward.”

Though the final amount from ODOT may not be received for several months, commission proceeded to adopt the resolution along with a resolution eliminating the need for city consent from ODOT for Interstate 75 related projects such as resurfacing. The final resolution was also adopted, authorizing O.R. Colan Associates to perform right-of-way services related to the new water treatment plant for the placement of two 24-inch finished water lines.

Commission meetings are held at 7:30 p.m. every first and third Tuesday of the month, on the second floor of the Government Municipal Complex, in the commission chamber. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

For information on meetings, work sessions, and more visit piquaoh.org.

Bethany J. Royer may be reached at 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall