Several disputes from an area contractor for compensation on construction jobs were heard by the Brainerd Safety and Public Works Committee Monday.
The construction projects -- at Highways 18 and 25, North Fourth and H streets and Cora Street -- were bid to Tom's Backhoe Service of Brainerd. On the Highways 18 and 25 project and on the Cora Street project Tom's Backhoe sought compensation for what he claimed was extra work done by his company on the projects. On the North Fourth and H street project, the city, citing a work stoppage, sought damages from Tom's Backhoe.
On the Highways 18 and 25 project to extend water and sewer to all sides of the highway intersection Tom's Backhoe Service owner Tom Thompson submitted a pay request for additional topsoil work and for work to install a culvert and regrade of a ditch.
Thompson claims the city's project engineer, Bonestroo, Williamson and Kotsmith, didn't provide grading plans or grading stakes to determine depth of topsoil. Keith Yapp, Bonestroo project engineer, said Thompson never asked for the plans or for staking, which he was required to do.
The issue of the culvert, on the south ditch along Highway 18, remains a mystery. Thompson said his crews don't recall taking a culvert out of a road approach, but pictures presented to the committee show it was there.
The committee tabled all issues concerning the highways 18 and 25 project until its next meeting on Oct. 6. Committee member Gary Scheeler abstained from discussion concerning the Highways 18 and 25 water and sewer project because he said, as a business owner at the intersection, he wanted to avoid possible conflict of interest.
On the Cora Street project, Thompson requested compensation for an extra 147-square-feet of retaining wall that he said had to be built higher because the city changed the plans.
The committee approved, by a 2-1 vote, a recommendation to the city council to pay for 75-square-feet of additional retaining wall. Voting against the recommendation was committee member Mary Koep, who said Thompson should've known what was needed to be done.
"As a contractor it would seem to me you'd know what you had to do and bid accordingly," said Koep.
Also on the Cora Street project Thompson was seeking compensation for watering for dust control on the project. City Engineer Jeff Hulsether said though dust control hasn't been needed for a city project for several years, it was requested by property owners on the project and was part of the contract documents. Thompson said it was never in the specifications.
The committee, by a 2-1 vote, approved recommending to the city council to split the $5,200 cost of dust control. Koep voted against the recommendation.
On the North Fourth and H street projects, the committee approved a recommendation, by a 2-1 vote, to the council to not seek damages of about $6,000 from Tom's Backhoe for a work stoppage on the project in July. The city had ordered Tom's Backhoe to stop work on the North Fourth portion of the project. Thompson said work was stopped on H street as well because the two streets were part of the same project.
In other action:
The Safety and Public Works Committee met Monday to discuss assessments for several projects in the city, including the Northern Pacific Center, Gilbert View Estates, a frontage road near Brainerd Medical Center, Riverside Drive, College Drive, the Highway 371 frontage road on the Norgaard Addition, Brainerd Oaks, Wonderland Park Road and Russell Road.
The Brainerd City Council met in a joint session with the Crow Wing County Fair Board Monday to discuss the extension of Wright Street across the north end of the fairgrounds. No action was taken by the council or the board.
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