Lake Lou Mistake Benefits City Of Litchfield

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A miscalculation by Endrizzi Contracting during the Lake Lou Yaeger watershed restoration project yielded a benefit for the City of Litchfield, but it’s yet to be determined how costly that miscalculation will be for the Vienna-based business.

During the Litchfield City Council meeting on Thursday, Dec. 17, Ted LaBelle of Crawford, Murphy and Tilly (CMT) Engineering spoke to the board about the miscalculation in which Endrizzi removed a half foot more of material from two lake basins during their work.

LaBelle said that the amount removed was an additional 20 to 25 percent excavation beyond what the contract stated and by removing more, the city would benefit by not having to excavate the basins as soon in the future.

In the specifications of the contract, Endrizzi is responsible if they go beyond the amount excavated, but LaBelle said the business is asking the city to assist in the added expenses. Based on the unit price for Bishop’s Cove, the amount extra is $60,000.

LaBelle said that Endrizzi is requesting the additional funds, not making a claim for them since they are at fault. He added that the city can accept their proposal, negotiate with the contractor or not pay anything extra. 

LaBelle also said that he believed Endrizzi did an excellent job on the project on a short schedule and have only a small amount left to do in the spring to finish the project.

Mayor Steve Dougherty said that the city might be willing to assist Endrizzi with the costs, but he asked LaBelle to get an actual amount of their expenses, not the $60,000 which includes the company’s mark-up.

Alderman Dwayne Gerl asked LaBelle if anyone from CMT was on the site to make sure the work was done correctly. LaBelle said that they were doing periodic visits and that they had told Endrizzi at one point that they had gone too far down on one of the coves. Endrizzi made some adjustments, but still went too far down again on the second cove.

LaBelle added that the dirt was soft and stuck to the equipment and Endrizzi representatives said they just wanted to make sure that the job was done correctly.

Special project coordinator Art Levoy said that excavating isn’t an exact science, but Endrizzi should have realized that they were removing much more material than they were supposed to. He added that the contractor and CMT should share the responsibility for the miscalculation and that the project could have been monitored better.

Levoy also said that the contractor should have come to the council when he first noticed the mistake, instead of continuing to finish the project.

City Attorney Kit Hantla agreed with Levoy and said that if the city pays anything (because they did yield a benefit), it should probably be the actual costs, which LaBelle said he would provide at the next meeting.

In other business, the council approved a contract renewal for outdoor advertising with Dusty’s Outdoor Media for a cost not to exceed $670 per four-week period and vinyl production of $1,200 for a new design, approved the merger of working cash and utility accounts into one cash account and solicit bids for banking services (which would be resolicited every five years) and accepted the ordinance to final plat, covenants and infrastructure improvements for the Eagle Ridge subdivision. Aldermen Gerl, Alderman Mark Brown and Alderwoman Marilyn Sisson voted against the Eagle Ridge measure.

The only other item to be approved was the emergency repairs for the membrane filtration system VersaViewer from Pall Corporation, starting with the rental and set up of a temporary laptop at an initial cost of $3,240.

Water Superintendent Ray Weller said that the equipment crashed, as it did in 2019, and Pall is proposing a full upgrade to Windows 10 at a cost of $36,000. Weller said that he would like to see if the current system could be repaired first before doing the full system upgrade.

Weller also said that the primary CPU currently runs on Windows XP, which Alderman Woodrow Street said worried him because that system is no longer supported. Street also said that the system needs to be fixed correctly and while $36,000 is a lot of money, it’s nothing compared to the cost of the water plant as a whole.

Weller said that a health check of the system was budgeted this year, but the failure happened before that could be done.

After the discussion, the council approved the temporary costs while it is determined if the old system can be repaired.

The council adjourned the meeting at 7 p.m. They will meet again on Thursday, Jan. 7, at 6:30 p.m.

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