Paxton committee recommends late charges for contractor's work

Paxton committee recommends late charges for contractor's work

PAXTON — The council's water and sewer committee will recommend to the full council in August that it pay contractor Leander Construction of Canton for work done on the wastewater plant but subtract late charges for the project not being finished on time.

The recommendation is that the city subtract $6,500 in liquidated damages from the $14,650 Leander submitted for its final pay request. The project cost $293,000.

The project was completed 13 days later than mandated in the contract. Water superintendent Mark LeClair had complained to the council over the previous months that workers weren't at the site on a regular basis. "The whole month of March it seemed like no one was out there," LeClair said. He said the Paxton job seemed like "fill-in" work for the company, which was working simultaneously in both Rantoul and Hoopeston and "they drug their feet" on ordering replacement parts for the filter system.

The committee is not recommending the company be charged for $540 of labor that city employees did to finish the project and is not considering the $4,300 in additional charges that Leander project manager Barry Reed submitted earlier this month, past the 30-day deadline after the work's completion to submit such a request.

Though there was some concern in the committee that Leander might pursue some sort of arbitration in the matter, Alderman Rob Steiger's sentiment was the committee's: "We shouldn't back off."

Earlier this month, Reed met with the committee and claimed the delay was not the company's fault because LeClair was displeased with the paint color and application used in the project and Leander's work was halted because of that. Reed said LeClair would have had ample time prior to his actual complaint about the paint to address it and not cause the delay. Reed said his company was prepared to be finished with the project on April 29, plenty of time before the May 8 completion date.

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