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‘Curious’ development

Streetscape change order annoys Bashaw

OBSERVER Photo by M. J. Stafford Construction continues Friday in the project to remake the area around Fredonia’s Barker Common.

The depth of the pavement was allegedly miscalculated during the Fredonia downtown streetscape project, and the contractor has put in a change order to get more funds so it can do more milling.

Trustee EvaDawn Bashaw was critical of the request by Lakeshore Paving of Jamestown, discussed by the Board of Trustees at its workshop last week.

“I find this curious because, if you’ll remember, the first week that this project started, Scott (Marsh, Department of Public Works director) said to us, the levels are not the same and they’re going to have to mill down considerably more in order to make things work out with the drainage and the curb setting and everything else,” she said. “This is that very thing that he said was going to have to be done, at $21,900.

“I understand the change order thing,” she continued, “but one thing I have issue with is, contingency budgets are created for unexpected finds and unexpected problems that come up. We seem to be spending our contingency budgets on mistakes and miscalculations, and not necessarily things that we’re surprised… in all the projects that I’ve seen in the past two years, we’ve spent the majority of our contingency budgets on mistakes that have been made by the engineers.”

“Do you have proof that this is a mistake made by the engineer?” asked Mayor Douglas Essek.

Bashaw replied, “I do believe, and I think that Scott pointed that out the first week the project started, that it wasn’t calculated correctly. Do I want to fight that? No.”

She continued that paying for mistakes out of contingency funds is an ongoing problem.

“What actually may happen here is taking out the brick in these areas … the blacktop only goes down six inches,” Essek said, referring to the old brick pavements that are still under the surface in much of Fredonia’s thoroughfares.

Trustee Scott Johnston suggested the contractor might have known about the pavement depth issue but realized it is worse than they thought.

“I’m saying that, they had to know there were bricks under the street, and they had to know that that particular milling depth of the road, in comparison to the curb, wasn’t going to work out,” Bashaw said. “Our department head looked at it and went, ‘No. This is wrong.'”

However, she acknowledged the work has to be done to complete the project, so the board will have to approve it. There was no further discussion and the item will presumably be on the agenda for the board’s next meeting on Monday.

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