The City of Brainerd Safety and Public Works Committee approached Council Monday night, notifying members that they would be pursuing liquidation charges on contractor Tom’s Backhoe for the delay on the South Seventh Street project.
“We have decided to pursue the $6,000 liquidation fee on the project and refer them to our district attorney for the damages to project 10-06, South Seventh Street,” said Safety and Public Works Committee Chairman Bob Olson.
First addressed by city engineer, Jeff Hulsether in a Jan. 5 Brainerd City Council meeting, the claim is that Tom’s Backhoe “didn’t have adequate manpower or equipment on site to complete the South Seventh Street project on time.”
Olson said the contractor continues to deny the charges but committee members decided to change the fee to $6,000 instead of the original $11,000 asked at the City Council meeting in January.
Work started on the project on July 18. Construction work involved Center Point Energy’s gas crew to relocate a gas main. Tom’s Backhoe removed the road’s surface, relocated the water main and reconstructed the sanitary sewer between Vine and Willow streets, taking an extra 15 working days than originally allotted and going beyond the deadline by 11 days. The contract for the South Seventh Street project was valued at between $500,000 and $ 1 million.
All members were in favor of the motion to charge the $6,000 except Council member Lucy Nesheim, who previously opposed charging the contractor in the first place, citing “the project should be judged by how it looked when it was completed not the few days longer that it may have taken.”
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