Village Trustee criticizes engineer for low estimates

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.

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