May 26, 2009 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
At its meeting on May 18, the Liverpool Board of Trustees learned of cost overruns totaling nearly $50,000 on the sewer replacement work on Fourth and Tamarack streets.
The bad news was delivered by Rich DeGuida, an engineer with Clough Harbour & Associates, which is overseeing the $650,000 project.
The higher costs involve sidewalk repairs, concrete gutter construction and paving, DeGuida said. He admitted that Clough Harbor had inadvertently underestimated the cost of concrete gutter work on the 900 block of Fourth Street due to a mathematical error.
Trustee James Rosier, who is the board’s liaison with the village Department of Public Works, criticized Clough Harbor for its low estimates.
“Clough Harbour should’ve had these estimates for us when we started this project,” Rosier said. “It’s easy to come in here now and say we have cost overruns of $49,000, but our pockets aren’t that deep.”
DeGuida defended his firm by noting that, “We’re at the mercy of the contractor, the number of crews he has working and even the weather.”
Nevertheless the engineer predicted that the sewer work could be completed in two or three weeks, and he hopes to have the rising costs mitigated within a few days.
The Salina-based contractor, J.J. Lane, may absorb some of the overruns, suggested Trustee Nick Kochan.
“Is there any chance that David Lane may be willing to take some of these costs out?” Kochan asked.
“Yes, he’s been very approachable,” DeGuida replied, “and he wants to work with the village.”
A half-million dollars left over from last year’s replacement of sewer mains on Tulip and Oswego streets has been applied to this year’s repairs on the 600, 700 and 900 blocks of Fourth Street and on Tamarack Street where the neighborhoods are having sewer mains and house laterals replaced.
On May 24, Mayor Marlene Ward said she expects to call a special meeting of the trustees this week.
“We want to make sure of what we’re doing and how we spend the money,” Ward said. “It’s more a case of actually getting a solid report on it, clarify what went wrong, what happened and why. I mean you never want to spend any extra money. We need accountability.”
The village could cover the $49,000 overrun, Ward said, by dipping into its in fund balance.
Trustee Gary White pointed to several reasons for the overruns.
“The village added options to that project and then the increase in the cost of inspection services was an oversight,” White said, “and so it’s partly our fault and partly the engineer’s fault, but we’ve had no complaints as we have in the past, and we’re really pleased with the work. I think we’ll get it taken care of.”
Brush pickup dates change
The village board voted May 18 to try out a new day for brush pickup starting Monday, June 15.
While the DPW presently picks up brush left at the roadside of homes on the first and third Thursdays each month, starting in mid-June the crews will pick up brush on the first and third Mondays of each month, through October. Then the village board will revisit the issue to decide whether to make the Monday schedule permanent.
DWIs jump to 23 in April
According to a memo from Liverpool Police Chief William Becker provided to the village board at its May 18 meeting, officers issued 324 citations for violations of the state’s vehicle and traffic laws during April. Nine traffic accidents were investigated.
More than twice the usual number of driving while intoxicated arrests were made last month: 23.
Officers made 462 residential checks during the month while investigating a total of 312 complaints.
Outdoor fires, cable TV
Village trustees tabled a May 18 public hearing on a proposed change to the village code regulating outdoor burning. That issue will be discussed at its next meeting, at 7 p.m. June 15. A second public hearing is set for June 15, to consider a proposed initial franchise agreement for cable television service in the village with Verizon New York, Inc. The village’s current contract with Time Warner expires in 2011.
Winter parking hours
At their May 18 meeting village trustees voted 3-1 to change the wintertime overnight parking ban to cover the hours of 12 to 8 a.m. In the business district parking on village streets will be prohibited from 2 to 8 p.m.
The lone dissenting vote was cast by Trustee Dennis Hebert. “I still think that midnight is too early,” he said.
For many years the parking on village streets was prohibited from 2 to 6 a.m. from Nov. 1 through April 15.