The Clark Street parking garage in downtown Warren will cost an additional $27,500 to complete.
During its meeting Monday evening, Warren City Council approved a change order from Nathan Contracting, the contractor on the project, for $27,500 for the repair of additional cracks that were found in the decks of the garage.
"Included in the contract was...repairs of 5,000 (linear) feet of cracks in the concrete," Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz told council. "There were more cracks than what was estimated."
In total, 23,000 linear feet of cracks needed to be repaired.
Holtz explained that, since the work was unforeseen, the contractor has asked for additional payment.
"(The amount is) down from what they originally asked. We have a seven-year warranty on the surface. I think it's a wise move and a good recommendation," Holtz added.
But the recommendation met some resistance.
"This is the second month in a row we've got a change order from them and they say it was unforeseen," Councilman Chris Park said. "To be off by that kind of amount seems ridiculous to me."
Holtz noted that the contractor asked for substantially more. The original amount requested was $54,000.
Mayor Mark Phillips asked whether the added expense is in the contingency for the project and Holtz said that it was, noting that approximately $981,000 of a $1.1 million cap has been spent on the project.
Park asked whether the contractor knew of the $1.1 million contingency, saying that contractor may be "trying to get as close to the contingency as possible."
"We don't want to be penny cheap for a million dollar job," Holtz said. "I know $27,000 is a lot of money. How much is $27,000 in a million (dollar project) over seven years?"
City Engineer Doug Sceiford said that the contractor brought the news of more extensive cracking "up to Mike (Holtz) as soon as they found it. Mike said, 'Do the job and then we'll come back and talk about this.' (The cracks) weren't even visible. Basically, it came down to the end of the job that this needed to be worked out because they felt they were still owed a substantial amount of money."
"I'm looking at this from the point of view of let's do this right," Councilman John Lewis said. "It's costing us less and we're doing it thoroughly. (It) doesn't surprise me that the cracks are there."
"We got $77,000 tied up (between this change order and a change order for additional painting approved last month). We should be done now," Councilman Jim Zavinski said.
"We don't pay extra unless it was included that unforeseen work was done," Councilman Sam Harvey said.
"I want to see the cracks filled," Lewis said.
"They are, it's done," Harvey said.
"There is a very significant change between what they anticipated and what they discovered," Sceiford said. He explained that the cleaning they performed on the deck actually removed the top layer. "When they take the first layer off, the cracks become very visible," he said.
"The contractor sent this letter in good faith," City Manager Nancy Freenock said. The letter was sent in 2009 and work continued. She added that,$27,500 would "meet him in the middle. It's fair."
"They have not had a bad attitude," Holtz noted. "They waited a year and a half. I never heard them once ask for it (the additional money) until the end."
Lewis, Dr. Howard Ferguson, Zavinski, and Mayor Mark Phillips voted to approve the request. Harvey and Park cast their vote in opposition.