Reversing recommendations from the Safety and Public Works Committee, the Brainerd City Council Monday denied two requests from an area contractor for compensation.
However, the council decided not to seek damages from the contractor for a work stoppage on a second project and tabled discussion concerning a compensation request from the contractor on a third project.
Tom Thompson, owner of Tom's Backhoe, requested $2,204 from the city for extra work he said he did in building a retaining wall in an alley on the Cora Street project.
At a special meeting of the Safety and Public Works Committee on Sept. 29, the committee approved recommending to the city council to pay half the cost -- $1,102 -- of the additions to the retaining wall.
The city council, however, denied Thompson's request by a 5-2 vote, with council members Mary Koep, Jim Dehen, Kelly Bevans, Anne Nelson Fisher and Bob Olson voting against splitting the costs. Council members Gary Scheeler and Lucy Nesheim voted in favor.
Koep, who sits on the Safety and Public Works Committee with Scheeler and Nesheim and was the lone dissenting vote at the committee's Sept. 29 meeting, said the terms and specifications of Thompson's contract were clearly defined.
"It's his responsibility to accept that, or if he chooses not to bid because of that, to not do so," said Koep.
Thompson also was seeking compensation for watering for dust control on the Cora Street project. The committee recommended to the city council to split the $5,200 cost of dust control but the council, by a 5-2 vote, approved only $858, as recommended by City Engineer Jeff Hulsether. Voting against splitting the costs were council members Koep, Olson, Dehen, Fisher and Bevans. Voting in favor were Scheeler and Nesheim.
"I think he went above and beyond the bid, as he saw it when he bid, to accommodate the neighborhood," said Nesheim. "I don't think this is fair compensation for the efforts he made."
On a second project concerning Tom's Backhoe, the North Fourth and H street projects, the council, by a 5-2 vote, followed a recommendation from the Safety and Public Works Committee to not seek damages of about $6,000 from Thompson 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. At the Sept. 29 committee meeting, Thompson said work was stopped on H Street as well because the two streets were part of the same project.
Bevans and Mayor James Wallin, both who live in north Brainerd, said Thompson wasn't at fault for the work stoppage.
"Never in my life have I seen a project so dysfunctional, disorganized, by the city," said Wallin. "We made more stops and go's, if I was the contractor I would've said 'rebid this job or find another contractor.'"
On a third project that Thompson is seeking compensation -- the extension of water and sewer at Highways 18 and 25 intersection -- the city council tabled discussion to a special meeting of the Safety and Public Works Committee at 3 p.m. Oct. 13.
For that project, Thompson submitted a pay request for additional topsoil work and for work to install a culvert and regrade of a ditch.
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