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Change Order in Pettibone Road Project Questioned by Public Works Committee

Councilmen Bob Pelunis and Rick Bell questioned a change order that would add about $87,000 to the $14 million project

Two members of Solon's Public Works Committee are questioning a change order that would add $86,858 to the roughly $14 million project to rebuild Pettibone Road.

But this might not be the only additional cost for the city, which has already approved three other change orders for the project, raising the price by nearly $1.6 million. 

Law Director Thomas Lobe told the Public Works Committee that the city is discussing with contractor Kenmore Construction Company Inc. who will pay an additional $900,000 in costs. 

Who will end up paying those costs remains up in the air, Lobe said. He said he and other city officials will be meeting with Kenmore representatives July 1.

"It's an ongoing issue," Lobe said.

As for the most recent requested change order, Councilmen Bob Pelunis and Rick Bell both want to know why the contractor, Kenmore Construction Company Inc., is asking for the extra money, which is for maintenance of traffic during construction.

While the public works committee was set to pass the change order on to city council for a vote, they instead tabled it and referred it to Lobe to get more information.

"We don't want to unjustly enrich the contractor," Pelunis said.

But Councilman Bill Mooney said he believes the payment is justified and voted against referring it to law director.

Under the city's contract with Kenmore, the city planned to pay the contractor a lump sum of $150,000 for 24 months. The contract also says that Solon would pay an addition $6,250 for each additional month.

Since the three phases of the project took a total of 36 months, that would add an additional $75,000 to the cost. The remaining $11,858.21 in the requested change order is for miscellaneous construction items that ended up costing more than projected.

The reconstruction of Pettibone road was approved in November 2008 with an initial price tag of about $12.68 million. Kenmore was supposed to complete all three phases of the project by late 2010.

But weather and other delays resulted in schedule changes. Now the project is expected to be completed this summer.

According to the Plain Dealer, the city did not want to use Kenmore, which was the lowest bidder, but did not want to lose out on $2 million in federal funding that would have been at risk if city officials had picked a different contractor. 

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