As the Village of Waterville’s renovation project on the Wastewater Treatment Plant nears its finish, the general contractor has requested all of its money back given as a security deposit of sorts on the project.
Department of Public Works Superintendent Jamie Bechy informed the Waterville Village Board at last week’s meeting of the Notice of Claim received this month. Although the project is not finished, the general contractor has requested all of the $165,813 put up front as a retainage fee for the $2.5 to $3 million project.
Bechy said the contractor contends that an equipment delay in 2020 came because the Village re-bid the project after first bids were over budget. Bechy said the early months of the pandemic caused a delay in receiving materials.
Left for the general contracting firm to complete are paving the area and restoring the greenspace around the buildings at the Route 315 facility. Cost of doing that, Bechy estimated, will be close to $165,000.
However, on the bid received from the general contractor, paving the area was put at a cost significantly lower, Bechy said. That would result in a big loss of money to the company, he said.
Village Attorney Bill Getman said a Notice of Claim usually is a precursor to a lawsuit unless the parties can negotiate a deal.
Mayor Gene Ostrander asked if the Village could obligate the contractor to stick by the contract. “There’s none of the retainage back until the project is finished, I think.’’
“Yes,’’ Getman said, “but the issue is do we litigate or say the village will finish it up on our own?’’
Also during the meeting, Bechy and Ostrander discussed with four members of the Waterville Fire Department, including Chief Jarrod Waufle, the need for communication when the department uses fire hydrants. Bechy said the sudden outpouring of water on the flow readout usually signals a big water leak.
The discussion came about because earlier this month two members of the department spent a Friday afternoon flushing hydrants. Because Waufle and other officers had not been asked for permission to do the flushing, it took several phone calls between the DPW and department members to figure out what was going on…