NORTH WEBSTER — Members of the Lakeland Regional Sewer District called for a special meeting to be held Wednesday evening, May 18, at the North Webster Community Center in order to find resolution for a system design failure. The group left with one motion and 20 minutes of expressed disappointment.
Following a design flaw in Crane Pumps and Systems’ Barnes type one stations for 24-inch basins that wouldn’t allow the stations to slide into the in-ground basins, LRSD board requested Crane extend its five-year warranty to a more substantial 25 years. Representatives from Crane appeared to find this agreeable during the last meeting, held just over a week prior, and even suggested the warranty be extended to cover all these type one stations instead of just those that had been identified as problematic.
What the board came back to was a warranty offer the board could not and would not stand behind. Board President Jim Haney opened the discussion with Crane representatives, noting the confidence they had once felt in their company and grinder station selection had diminished. “We were all of a sudden very concerned,” said Haney.
Crane came back with a warranty offer far less than what the board had requested, prompting members to question just how sure the company was on its repairs. Board treasurer Mike DeWald pointed out the extended warranty was “no risk to you” to the grinder station representatives, noting if their work was quality the warranty life shouldn’t matter.
Just a few hours before the meeting, the LRSD board sent an additional proposal to the company that included a 20-year warranty for all type one grinder stations for 24-inch basins. The proposal also noted any costs associated with the repair process or relating to the alterations to those grinder stations would be at a cost to Crane Pumps and Systems.
Since the representatives from Crane had not had time to approve this proposal, the representatives requested a few days to send it to company headquarters. The board made a motion to authorize an approval proposal by Haney, noting the proposal must be nearly identical to the one laid out by the board this afternoon, with a few exceptions to be made on typos in the writing.
The board passed this motion, hoping to speed up the process for contractors who will soon be waiting on the next shipment of grinder stations to continue work on the multi-million dollar project. With $28 million invested around the Barbee chain of lakes, the board placed pressure on Crane to extend the warranty and to do so in a timely manner.