SILVER SPRINGS - Lyon County commissioners, acting as the board of the recently completed Silver Springs wastewater reclamation facility, unanimously agreed to pay $100,000 to a project contractor rather than risk a possible court settlement.
Commissioner Bob Milz was not pleased with having to pay anything, but agreed it was necessary.
"I hope we have learned something from this process. It does not please me to vote for this, but I'll have to do that. I hope in the future we can address these issues before it gets to this point."
A & K Earthmovers claimed they are entitled to additional money for sewer lateral construction to home sites within the general improvement district because site plans supplied by the district engineering consultants did not provide sufficient detail at bidding time. As a result, laterals had to be excavated to greater depths than expected.
A & K made an initial claim of $125,000 in April 2000. It was increased to $225,518 on May 26, 2000. The reduced amount was arrived at following negotiations between A & K, district consulting engineers AMEC and representatives from the District Attorney's Office.
The District Attorney's Office stated in a letter of recommendation to the board that if the issue were to go to arbitration and the GID claimed A & K is entitled to nothing, the settlement could be anticipated to be somewhere between the two extremes, "And it is not unreasonable to assume that A & K would receive some amount greater than $50,000."
Commissioner LeRoy Goodman said he didn't think all the problems were with A & K and AMEC should be held to some responsibility.
Larry Owens, a member of the GID oversight committee, agreed with Goodman.
"I think we got thrown under the bus by AMEC. Our streets are still messed up, but we have to pay these guys $100,000. I have real heartburn with that," Owens said.
In a separate action, the board also agreed to pay AMEC an additional $6,800 to cover the costs of unexpected additional meetings with the Army Corps of Engineers and $1,400 for providing requested information to the assessor's office.
The lone dissenting vote, Goodman claimed any costs for additional meetings with the corps should be billed to the Army Corps by AMEC. He said the board has not received enough information as to why the corps was "stringing this out."
In support of the additional funding, Milz pointed out it was not AMEC's fault the corps wanted more meetings. He explained the difficulties in obtaining the corps grant, noting it will help lower costs for the system's users.