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Justice Center parking lot agreement being revised

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

By ANDY MCCAMMON

tamccammon1@yahoo.com

County officials still aren't completely satisfied with an asphalt subcontractor's offer to correct problems with the parking lot of the Clay County Justice Center.

During a joint meeting Monday, members of the Clay County Board of Commissioners and the Clay County Building Corp. nearly agreed to the latest remediation proposal from Wabash Valley Asphalt -- a partial re-surfacing and complete re-sealing of the lot that carries a 10-year warranty -- but ultimately decided to request greater attention to unsightly patched sections on the lot's east side.

The Board of Commissioners first voted to approve the subcontractor's offer, then rescinded its decision after consulting with building corporation member Tim Stearley, who arrived at the meeting after the initial vote.

"I'd like to see the patches on the east side squared up," Stearley said, referring to a section of approximately 1,500 square feet that required repairs when the original pouring of asphalt began to degrade.

The subcontractor has acknowledged that some of the asphalt used for the parking lot was allowed too much time to cool before it was applied, Stearley added.

Board of Commissioners President Charlie Brown said earlier in the discussion he still wasn't satisfied with the latest remediation offer from Wabash Valley.

"I'd show him problems and he said, 'Well, you're gonna have to live with that.' That stuck in my craw a little bit," he said.

Commissioner Daryl Andrews countered that a 10-year warranty -- "unheard of" in the asphalt industry, he said -- was too good to pass up.

"We have a lot to gain by figuring out how to work with them," he said.

Board members acknowledged that the county has very little leverage in the matter-- the board is withholding from the subcontractor just $10,000, a fraction of the cost of the repairs Wabash Valley detailed in their latest offer.

Andrews voiced concern that the subcontractor might easily walk away from their $10,000 if faced with another counter-offer from the board.

"What if they turn it down?" he asked. "What if they say 'Keep our $10,000, we're tired of dealing with you'?"

The board ultimately approved the offer from Wabash Valley pending the subcontractor's approval of the additional repairs requested by the board.

County Attorney Eric Somheil said the company should still be willing to work with county officials toward resolving the issue.

"They have a contractual obligation to do the work, and they've acknowledged that there are problems," the attorney said.



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