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Questions Raised Over REC Project Delays

Issue Date: April 12, 2018

Questions and concerns were raised by Council members at the Wednesday, April 4 Marinette City Council meeting regarding an update from Scherrer Senior Project Construction Manager, Dan Bay on the progress of the Community REC Center, along with review of change orders and pay requests.

At the March council meeting, Bay stated the project suffered setbacks because of installation issues with metal wall panels that go around the perimeter of the structure. Improper installation of the front panels affected the installation of other areas, such as corners and gutters.

Bay and the city have been working together with the manufacturer and contractors to rectify the situation. Bay previously stated construction would be completed the beginning of April to mid April latest, but with the improper installation of the panels, that date will not be feasible. The new date for completion of the project is now moved to the end of May, possibly the beginning of June, with occupancy projected to be mid June.

Alderman, Rick Polzin asked Bay why the project has seen a major slip in its timeline when the original completion date was supposed to be the beginning of March. Bay said the main reasons for the delay were the approval of a security system installation, the netting for the turf gym, cables for the curtains in the middle gym and a monument sign for the building. He added that two weeks of subzero temperatures in January prevented pouring of concrete, which set the project back.

Polzin asked, "Why is it taking so long to fix the panels"? Bay replied Scherrer Construction had to communicate through a subcontractor to work with the panel manufacturer. They were not allowed to communicate directly with the manufacturer.

Bay said, "We are all anxious to get going at this, but sometimes if you poke somebody too much, they hold back."We would have loved to have this taken care of a month ago."

Alderman John Marx asked, "How did the panels become installed improperly in the first place with supervisors and contractors watching over the project"? Bay replied that Scherrer Construction supervises the project and those working on it, but there is an element of trust that subcontractors know what they are doing. "We don't check every screw, we don't check every wire, we don't check to make sure the plumber is putting in exactly the same pipe," he said. "We couldn't be at 20 different places at one time...It just fell through the cracks. Big crack," commented Marx.

On the flipside, Bay commented with the change in direction to get the building enclosed due to winter weather, it allowed them to get a lot of the interior work completed in a timely manner. It is just unfortunate the panels were installed improperly.

Polzin pointed out that the construction issues could incur more cost to the city in the long run, and Alderman Brian Walters said the delayed opening of the Community REC Center was also a form of cost to the city.

To rectify the issue with the exterior panels, Bay said he was waiting on documents from the manufacturer before the plan can be presented to the city. He anticipated the plan would finished and in the hands of the city by the end of the week of April 2.

Mayor Genisot said that a special City Council meeting would be scheduled before the planned Sine Die meeting on April 16 to review the plan before final approval.

Bay continued with an update of what has been done thus far, stating interior concrete is complete, masonry is complete, all doors and hardware are installed, aluminum doors will be going on, glass on the front of the building is finished, all bleachers have been installed and netting for the turf gym portion of the facility will be installed at the end of April. After that, the ceiling on the turf gym will be installed before the turf itself is installed. The installation of the sports flooring on the main gym will begin, providing the construction team can reduce the moisture in the room before installation and the tennis flooring will take a week to install and another week after that to cure.

The ice rink should be ready soon and a monument sign for the building will be put up the end of May along with a final layer of asphalt to be put down and painted toward the end of May also.

Lastly, inspections will be completed, owner training will be done for the HVAC, electrical, fire protection and security systems and the building is completed.

The City Council then proceeded to run through the list of pay requests for the project for approval, but halted when it came to a pay request from Roy Ness Contracting and Sales Inc. Genisot asked for a revision of the request for $10,871.78. He explained that the company has a pending $265,000 pay application from the last set of requests which the city had not paid because it was waiting for resolution of the issue with the panels, the installation of which Roy Ness Contracting and Sales was involved in.

"We are asking if the council would, tentatively, allow $180,000 to be released once the panels begin to be removed," Genisot said. "We would not release those funds until the work began."

He added that an additional $75,000 would be paid to the company after review of the situation after removal.

"It's a partial, good faith payment," said City Attorney Jonathan Sbar.

Alderman Jason Flatt said, "It seems like you're paying a lot of money for them to take down a couple of panels, and then if you don't like what you see, they've walked off with it".

Finance Director Jacqueline Miller explained that the invoices withheld for Roy Ness Contracting and Sales was for work done on the facility's roof, which had been completed according to plan. Additionally, a $135,000 bill from work in March was also being withheld.

"I don't know if the city is going to be on the line to buy new panels at city expense and install new panels at city expense," Flatt said. "And if we are, I'd just as soon not hand any money over to the people that put us in that position until we know what the end is going to be."

Sbar explained that Roy Ness Contracting and Sales were not responsible for the work on the panels. Scherrer Construction brought in a different company, some of the work of which he said is "under review." Roy Ness Contracting and Sales holds the original contract for the panel work. "We would like them to complete the repair, but don't want to give the impression that whatever issues we have with the side panel issue were done by this particular company," he said.

Polzin made a motion for approval of the $180,000 good faith payment pending approval of Scherrer Construction's plan for rectifying the panel issues, with $75,000 to be paid after approval. Flatt seconded, but the motion failed at the vote, 2-7, after aldermen Flatt and Polzin voted in favor and alderpersons Walters, Marx, Ken Keller, Jeffrey Skorik, Wally Hitt, Peter Noppenberg and Dorothy Kowalski voted against it. Kowalski then made a motion that the city release the $180,000 as a good faith payment with no contingency. It was seconded by Hitt, and passed with a vote of 8-1, all in favor with the exception of Flatt.

Approval was granted by both City of Marinette and Marinette Board of Public Works to install three "Free Little Libraries".

Mariel Carter from Stephenson Public Library and Hayden Knox, local Boy Scout Troop Member presented their plans to build and place three of these library stations at outside locations in local park areas to include Fred Carney Park, Higley Field and the Duer Gym. Carter commented the library will also provide other programs at these locations as well throughout the summer.

The goal of the program is to allow children to take a book, read it, bring it back and take another book. The intent is to encourage children to continue reading through the summer.

Knox volunteered to build the boxes to earn his Eagle Scout Award. Wisconsin Building Supply is providing the materials and Public Works Department will dig the holes for the base post. The boxes are designed to be removed for storage during the winter months.

Mayor Steve Genisot and Alderperson John Marx both commented the three little libraries that already exist are very successful and get a lot of use with people picking up and returning books on a continual basis.

Four area businesses were approved for grant applications for building improvements under the City of Marinette Facade Improvement Program (FIP). Included are the Law Office of Travis A Crowell, new windows and some signage, approved grant of $2,043.93; Former Peddler Antiques building, Brick and masonry to the exterior of the building, approved grant of $10,000. Best Western/Riverfront Inn, new windows and panels for 15 rooms, approved grand of $10,000 and Joe's Cheese House, paint front of building, paint and box-in the mouse, approved for $1,750.

Council approved nine new liquor license applications for: Ashley Laga, Kelly Maye, Jennifer Mouford, Timothy Rogers, Elaine Rosene, Nicole Sauve, Kristi Thoreson, Chase Trottier and Taylor Vrrette. Two applications were renewed for Tammy Birling and Dorna Gabrielle.

Also approved was a temporary class B fermented malt beverage license application for Marinette County Tavern League Foundation for a Softball Tournament to be held at Higley Field on June 8 and 9.

Mayor Genisot asked for approval of adopting Friday, April 27, 2018 as Arbor Day. This day has been set aside every year since 1872 for the last Friday in April as a special day that is observed throughout the nation and world.

The purpose is to bring awareness of the importance of trees as a renewable resource giving us paper, wood for homes, fuel for fires and countless other wood products.

Trees also reduce erosion of topsoil by wind and water, cut heating and cooling costs, moderate the temperature, clean the air, produce oxygen and provide habitat for wildlife, along with enhancing the economic vitality of business areas, beautifying the community and trees wherever planted are a source of joy and spiritual renewal.

Adoption of Arbor Day was granted and the city urges all Marinette citizens to celebrate and support the day to protect our trees and woodlands by planting trees to promote the well being of this and future generations.

Consideration and action was taken to waive the procurement policy to allow the Marinette Fire Department to purchase an inflatable firehouse for training purposes at a cost of $6,995.

Several bid results from the Board of Public Works were approved, including: Street and Utility construction on North Raymond Street and Watson Court, awarded to low bidder, Barley Trucking and Excavating of Menominee at $435,442,77 versus $493,214.50 form DeGroot Inc. of Green Bay; Chip seal coat and spray patching approved bid amount of $102,951.10 to Fahrner Asphalt Sealers of Iron River, being the only bidder; Bid for seasonal material requirements for topsoil from only bidder, Halvelka Construction approved at $1,495; Four bids were received for seasonal material requirements for gravel with Biehl Construction approved as low bidder at $875 with other bids of $950, Peters Concrete of Green Bay, $975 Halvelka Construction of Iron Mountain and $1,075, Jackie Forester Inc. of Little Suamico

The annual Common Council Sine Die (Adjourned) meeting is scheduled for Monday April 16 at 6 p.m. and the Annual Common Council Reorganization meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 17 at 5 p.m. Due to time conflict with the annual meeting, the April date for regular committee meetings for Finance and Insurance, Board of Public works and Personnel and License will be one day later on Wednesday, April 18 and Parks and Recreation will be held Wednesday, April 25.


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