After submitting a contract time adjustment of 37 days due to delays caused by the utility companies and city crews working on the water and sanitary sewer lines, Linaweaver Construction was awarded 25 additional days to their contract by the Platte City Board of Aldermen on Tuesday night.
Linaweaver Construction, who’s responsible for the general construction of street improvements for the current CIP project, claimed that his crews lost 37 days of work time due to interference from city crews and utility companies working on the water and sanitary sewer lines on the same streets. Linaweaver also asked for additional compensation of $180,000 if the time of the contract was not extended.
Casey Patton of Bartlett and West Engineers met with Mark Linaweaver, owner of Linaweaver Construction, along with city officials and reviewed Linaweaver’s claim for lost days. In a letter sent to City Administrator Keith Moody, Patton states, “The supporting material shows that a delay exists between the scheduled work and actual completion. The contractor has performed work in other parts of the project, but has not been able to work at full capacity due to the utility conflicts. It is our opinion that the contractor has a valid claim and is entitled to equitable adjustment in contract time in accordance with Article 12.03.B of the General Conditions of the contract.”
While Bartlett and West did believe Linaweaver should be compensated with additional time, they saw a difference in opinion regarding the number of days the city should grant Linaweaver.
In Patton’s letter he states, “We do not consider 37 days to be an equitable adjustment in contract time,” he said, instead recommending 25 days.
During Tuesday’s meeting, Patton addressed the board, stating that since delays have continued to occur since the awarding of the 11 days at the last meeting, he felt the 14 additional days was acceptable compensation time.
“Delays have still occurred since awarding the 11 additional days,” said Patton. “That’s why my recommendation is to award the 25 days.”
When asked by the board if the crews would later come to them asking for additional days, Patton responded for Linaweaver Construction.
“This is dealing with delays because of city crews. We’re six weeks behind the ball right now. You can’t say there won’t be additional problems on the job because no one can guarantee that. For these factors causing this delay, this should take care of it,” said Patton. Patton noted that these 25 additional days do not include rain days and should not be penalized if the crews can’t work because of the weather. “You can’t hold them accountable for rain days because they’re not responsible for that and have no control over the weather.”
With the approval of the 25 days adjustment, the new substantial completion date is Oct. 24.
In other action, the board approved revisions to the city’s pay scale that will take affect Nov. 1.
The pay scale was compared to MARC’s (Mid America Regional Council) most recent Salary and Benefits Survey as well as the Employment Cost Index-Wages Only-for Local Government Workers, to make sure the City of Platte City is remaining competitive with other area entities.
“Over a period of nine years the city has adjusted the beginning and ending of our positions to where their pay ranges are in line with those of competing governments in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Each year we revisit the minimum and maximum pay to ensure employee pay remains competitive,” said Moody.
The proposed change in beginning pay amounted to an average increase of $.37 per hour or 2.28% for the entire pay scale. Moody pointed out that the increase is slightly less than the change in the ECI-Wages Only Index (2.32%).
“The parks and recreation director position is the only position whose beginning pay was adjusted outside of the ECI limit due to increasing responsibility of this position. I anticipate other positions will see similar adjustments from time to time as the responsibility of those positions expands as a result of our growing community,” said Moody. Some of those positions Moody noted were the city clerk and the finance officer.
Moody said the new pay scale should not have an effect on the current year budget (FY 2005), however it may be different for the FY2006 budget.
“The only impact the new pay scale may have on next year’s budget, is that an employee previously at the top of their pay range will now have a higher maximum wage limit which affords them the opportunity to receive a merit or cost of living increase where that opportunity was not previously available,” said Moody.
The board also adopted an ordinance amending businesses licence regulations and fees. The new ordinance now states that the licenses be renewed on an annual basis and will be due on Feb. 1 and be paid no later than March 1. There will be a penalty equal to $50 per month for each month after the license is delinquent after March 1.
The old ordinance stated licenses needed to be renewed by Jan. 1 and be paid no later than Feb. 15. There was a penalty equal to $5 per month for each month after the license was delinquent after Feb. 15.
The board also amended the $1 fee for businesses if their license was lost or destroyed to $10, by recommendation of Alderman Ron Porter.
Following his recommendation, Mayor Dave Brooks questioned Porter’s recommendation by simply asking him “Why?”
“A dollar isn’t enough money for the time and effort for the city clerk to do it,” said Porter. “Amy, how much time and effort does it take for you to do that?” asked Brooks.
Hubbard responded, “It takes about five to ten minutes and requires three signatures.” The motion by Porter was seconded by Alderman George McClintock and carried out by a unanimous vote.
In the mayor’s report, Brooks addressed the issue of the parks board after a recommended appointment of his was turned down at the last board meeting.
“On the issue of park board recruiting, at the last meeting Ron had a question that people should be here for more than two years to be qualified. The requirements say that a member has to be here for two years. Bill Knighton gave me a name of someone who might be interested in serving, I spent time talking with him and at the end of the conversation I asked him how long he’d been here and he said a little over two years,” said Brooks.
“This is an imposition on the parks department. It’s your job and my job to get the position filled with qualified people so they can do the best job possible.”
On this week’s agenda was the appointment of Jerry Keuhn to the parks board, who at the alderman meeting was turned down by the board to fill the open park board spot. Keuhn was recommended to fill the parks spot by Brooks.
“When we get to the item on the agenda I would like someone to table the discussion until the July 26 meeting to find a qualified candidate because at that time we may be two to three people down,” said Brooks.
In general discussion at the end of the meeting, Porter asked Brooks how many spots on the park board were vacant and who the two vacant spots were.
Brooks responded that Dick Stephens and Bill Williams were no longer on the park board and that “we may soon have another one,” not identifying the specific board member.
Porter asked if Stephens decided himself to step down or if it was the board’s decision to remove him. Brooks said, “At the last meeting we decided he shouldn’t be on the board again.”
The aldermen are currently seeking two volunteers to serve on the park board and may soon be looking for a third. Discussion revolving around the parks board and the openings will take place at the July 26 alderman meeting.