The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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December 19, 2013

Camanche Council spars over boulevard payment

CAMANCHE — A discrepancy between the city of Camanche and a local contractor has council members questioning the legitimacy of a contract between the two for a $3.5 million rejuvenation project on the city’s main road, Washington Boulevard.

At a City Council meeting on Tuesday, city engineer Dan Sochlenberger presented a new pay application for $26,670 to finalize the Washington Boulevard project, a presentation that was not well received by members of the council.

The revised pay application comes after the city previously approved a final payment Nov. 5 to general contractor Langman Construction for the work on the Washington Boulevard project, which left many council members with questions.

“I would like to see where this $26,000 was missed,” councilman Paul Varner said. “I mean what exactly is missing. Where was it at? How much was it? What was entailed with it? I would like to see what that $26,000 is for.”

According to Solchenberger, the request for the $26,670 comes from a miscalculation between the city and Langman Construction after an examination of the project displayed several driveways that were constructed and were not accounted for in the final bid.

Councilman Trevor Willis felt that when the the city and the construction company signed the final pay application, the city’s responsibility was completed.

“Did we not make the final payment?” asked Willis. “Why should we have to pay another $26,000 for something somebody missed? That has nothing to do with us spending the money. We made a final payment, that job is done. If they missed out, they missed out.”

On a legal standpoint, city attorney Tom Lonergan warned officials that if they didn’t pay the revised application, they could face even higher financial burdens if the situation is taken to court.

“Somebody made a mistake. I understand that a final pay app was made, but that doesn’t mean that the door’s forever closed on that,” Lonergan said. “Legally we’re in a tough position. If they provided the labor and materials, it’s under budget. It’s still funds available that were not expunged on the project. I think the city would be in a tough position to say, ‘we’re not going to pay it period.’”

The City Council did not decide Tuesday whether to approve the revised pay application, but did request a meeting with the construction company and subcontractors to discuss how the mistake was overlooked, and if the two parties can settle the issue in a timely and cost-effective manner.

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