NORTH WEBSTER — Lakeland Regional Sewer District board members met for the regular monthly meeting Thursday evening, June 2. The focus of the night revolved around the progress of the four contracted areas and the positive feedback from customers around the district.
The board and DLZ engineer Casey Erwin went straight to business, with Erwin laying out the pay applications as he explained the progress on each part of the project. Erwin noted in terms of time frame, the district is about 62 percent through the project with the substantial completion date set for Dec. 27.
The board approved pay applications in the amounts of $348,126.55 and $256,290.52 for Seldge Construction; $438,479.15 for Advanced Rehab Technologies; $1,040,421 for R.E. Crosby and $52,320.20 for work done by the DLZ engineering group. The board also approved change order number six for electrical changes and the additional of stainless steel hardware in the amount of $3,318.
The board thoroughly questioned Erwin on the change order, wondering why the hardware was not accounted for in the planning stages. “What’s the downside if we don’t approve this change order?” asked board president Jim Haney. Erwin noted the hardware would likely need to be replaced within just a few years due to rust and corrosion. Board member Bob Sanders took note the stainless steel hardware was not in the specs during the planning phase, asking, “And it wasn’t spec’ed out because…?” Erwin responded simply, “we missed it.”
With the approved pay applications totaling more than $2 million, the intense questioning seemed a bit out of place. Public member Larry Emmick spoke up during the public comments portion of the meeting, asking how much of a contingency budget the board was granted. Haney noted a little more than $300,000 was set aside with nearly $14,000 of it used so far. “I understand why you’re being so cautious,” said Emmick.
Treasurer Mike DeWald reviewed monthly cash and invoices, noting the board had adjustments of $366 the previous month. DeWald felt this was unnecessary, and asked the board to keep it in mind while moving forward. The billing company for the district, JPR, sent out two liens unnecessarily last month because of address errors on the board’s part and also on JPR’s end. DeWald offered to follow up with Jennifer Ransbottom to confirm the mistake on JPR’s end wasn’t being charged to the district.
The board opened a dialogue about the new connections and the progress being made on making payments for each of those. Each customer who has added onto the project has a 30-day deadline to pay the amount in full. The district is waiting for five estimates from Seldge. Haney noted Seldge seems to be dragging its feet on getting them finished.
The upcoming workshops Saturday, July 23, and Saturday, Aug. 27, warranted much discussion by the board. Members of the board agreed it is in their best interest and the public’s best interest to have as many contractors there as possible, but also to offer booths for governmental assistance programs, the health department and various other services. For those who attend the large public meetings, they will be able to talk to each group involved in the project.
The board is scheduled to meet again at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at the North Webster Community Center