Home Local Government Lyndon Contests Water Project Charges

Lyndon Contests Water Project Charges

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Workers install new water lines as part of the water service upgrade in Lyndon last summer.

Lyndon Board of Tustees members Bryan Bowen and Gary Sutton engaged in questioning, at length, representatives from two of the companies involved in the upgrade to the Villages’ water system last summer, during the villages’ monthly meeting on Tuesday. Several final payments to contractors were on the agenda to begin closing out the project.

The Council approved final payments to Stichter Construction for $163,563.74; Tecorp Inc. for $61,245; Community Funding and Planning Services for $15,000 and a second payment for $5,000.

Questioning of a bill from Albrecht Well Drilling led by Bowen and Sutton ensued due to confusion over dates and amounts on several change orders which were necessitated during an upgrade to one of the village’s water wells.

One issue was determined to be a change order to add epoxy coating to the pipe used for the well at a cost of $4,000, which according to the company Mayor Doug Dunlap approved, who resigned in November due to health concerns, however there was no evidence of a signed change order or approval from the full council, which is required.  Additional confusion was due to Albrecht’s base bid to upgrade the well, which did not include materials as they would be unknown until the project was complete.

Jacob Albrecht answered questions regarding the well drilling company’s work with the Council finally agreeing to pay Albrecht $33,130 for work and materials to upgrade well #1.

A second discussion was held to approve or deny payment to IMEG Engineering, who was the project manager of the water system upgrade. The original bid for the company’s services was $29,810. John Kusek, the on-site project manager, was asked to explain the final bill of over $79,500, a difference of $50,000 from the original bid.

Sutton and Bowen asked for explanations as to what caused the huge increase from the original bid. Kusek explained some of the costs were related to additional inspection time needed on the water tower painting project. Bowen said, “I hate to say it, but a horrible job of estimating and telling us what this project was going to cost.” Sutton added to the questioning saying, “Why did it take so long? Why did it go over so G*****N much?” Kusek responded with, “I’m not happy about it going over either.” Acting Mayor Becky Piester said, “Some of the issue too, is before it got to this amount, someone from your company should have come to the board and told us, this is where we’re at, but no one did.” Kusek said, “We had a contact person in the previous mayor, Doug Dunlap, who was on-site much of the time, and he was aware of what was going on.” Sutton replied, “So when he disappeared (Dunlap’s resignation) you didn’t call anyone in the office to tell us what was going on.”  “I apologize for that,” said Kusek. Sutton replied, “Well for $50,000 you could’ve sent me a sympathy card. This isn’t right.”

The council had called a special meeting on February 5th to meet with Dan Pepin from Community Funding and Planning Services, which was hired by the village to complete an IEPA loan application for the project when the project was being planned in 2018. The meeting was to discuss implications of the cost over runs. CF&PS acts as an intermediary between the village council and the IEPA submitting all costs and paperwork associated with the loan for the project. Reached for comment Pepin said that IEPA is questioning the amount billed by IMEG due to the huge increase from its original bid.  “They will have to show substantial justification for their increase, said Pepin. Depending on the decision of the IEPA, the village may be stuck with having to pay some of the costs out of their own funds.

Sutton suggested no payments be made and that the Council have further discussion on the topic. Piester suggested that a partial payment of $22,460, the amount of the original bid, be paid to IMEG and it was approved. The balance of the IMEG bill will be discussed at a future date.

Other Business

John Wright spoke to the Council regarding his family’s annual Easter Egg Hunt. This year the event will take place on Saturday, April 11th at Noon at Richmond Park. Wright thanked village for their past support of the event. Last year the event drew participants from 61 different towns with an attendance of approximately 3,500 including 1,800 participants. 30,000 Easter eggs were spread out across several fields in the park filled with candy and prizes. 410 new bicycles, tricycles and toddler trikes were given away.

Wright told the Council that the organizers will try to not grow the event any further as it is currently becoming “somewhat overwhelming.” He requested and received permission to hold the event at the park and offered to pay a portion of the cost of needed law enforcement. The village also made a donation of $800 to the event.

Board Action

Approved Saturday, May 9 as the date of the town wide garage sale.

Approved Monday, May 18 as town cleanup day. Residents are allowed to put out bulk waste items on that day for pickup by the village at no cost. Tires and electronics will not be picked up.

Executive Session Action

Named Tyler Scott to fill the vacant located seat on the board. He will serve the remainder of the term which ends in April 2021.

Hired Mike Dickey as a part-time worker for the public works department.

Increased public works department employee Mike Piester hourly wage by $2 per hour.

The next monthly council meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 10th at 6:00 PM.

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