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Board to question water project engineers

OBSERVER Photo by M.J. Stafford Pictured is the Fredonia water treatment plant. Engineers for Fredonia’s water project are set to appear at next Monday’s village board workshop to answer questions.

Representatives from the engineers for Fredonia’s water project are set to appear at next Monday’s village board workshop to answer questions about delays and alleged design issues.

Trustee James Lynden used his report time at Monday’s meeting to offer some updates and lament the progress of the project.

“I did visit the water treatment plant today to see if any further work has been commenced. There hasn’t been,” he said.

Lynden said he also received further information Monday on the clarifier situation, the biggest current holdup to the project. The clarifier machinery was supposed to be updated with new equipment, but the equipment didn’t fit.

He said that according to an email shared by Chris Surma, water treatment plant operator, two-piece rings were requested for the clarifier by project engineers OBG. However, the contractor and the project schedule called for three-piece rings.

“Didn’t we receive something from the engineers saying they want to come talk to us here?” Trustee EvaDawn Bashaw asked. “Can they come to the workshop so these questions can be asked and answered?”

Mayor Doug Essek confirmed the village received an email from OBG asking to appear before the board. “That’s what I think they should do, that’s why I’m kind of reporting on this,” Lynden said.

“The project has essentially ceased,” he continued. The trustee added an extension was already given in January on a contract for the project that was put in place Feb. 24, 2020, with a completion time of 335 days.

“They got their extension for 150 days, which means that this contract should have been completed June 23, 2021,” he said. “We’re getting very close to that date and they haven’t started the second clarifier. I know that there was issues along the way, but accountability has to be held here.”

“We definitely need to have more input from the engineers and from Chris on how it’s currently operating and so forth right now,” Essek said after Lynden concluded his report.

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