CITY VOTES NOT TO PAY FOR REBUILD
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DUMP STATION DECISION 9-4-14 LMS

The Salmon City Council has directed City Attorney Fred Snook to write a letter to the engineering firm of Keller Associates and officially demand the company pay to correct the design errors at the cityís newly upgraded Waste Water Treatment Plant.

The amount of slope on a pipe leading into the plantís Headworks Building is not enough to facilitate a gravity flow and therefore crews have to manually wash the deposits through the line. It was explained at the City Councilís September 4 meeting that if allowed to go unfixed crews will have to continually take steps to avoid major freezing problems throughout the Winter.

Council discussion on Kellerís request that the city pay for the rebuild to rectify the problem centered on the fact the grade of slope was constructed according to the design engineered by Keller. The council concluded the original design flaw is not the fault of the contractor that built the facility or of the city which paid Keller to design a workable system.

The city has obtained bids from local contractors on how much it would cost to resolve the problem and they range from $9,830 to $14,500. Keller has offered to contribute up to $3,000 however the city does not feel it should have to pay twice to make the system work. It was also noted by City Public Works Superintendent Harry Shanafelt, Keller admitted to the Public Works Team that particular part of the system was badly designed.

Public Works Team Chairman/Councilman Fred Waidely reported there has been no word from Keller Associates since the last council meeting where it was decided not to make any decisions until word had been received from all parties involved. Shanafelt said he has spoken with Keller engineer Skyler Allen since then and has received another design plan from the company which would be a less invasive fix to the problem. He said he has had no contact since. In answer to council questions he said the new design looks good compared to the first suggested fix which would have caused additional grade problems elsewhere in the system.

Waidely questioned how the city can be held accountable for something it did not create. He said the responsibility lies with Kellerís design and he assumed the company has insurance which covers such circumstances. Shanafelt mentioned the faith the city had put in the company. He said Keller was not only paid to design the treatment plant system upgrades it was paid an additional $40,000 to inspect the end result but that inspection did not catch the grade problem at the Headworks Building.

Mayor Leo Marshall said he had been advised by a retired civil engineer that Kellerís offer to pay for a part of the repairs constitutes an admission of faulty design.

Waidely made a motion to direct Attorney Snook to write an official letter to Keller and the motion was passed unanimously.


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