Miscalculation leads to $138,968 error

BY PHIL CUSTODIO
Clarkston News Editor
A $138,968 math mistake and other miscalculations meant Independence Township is short $220,000 in its DPW building renovation and expansion project.
Independence Township Board took no action, Feb. 5, on a request to authorize the $220,000 budget amendment request from Hubbell, Roth and Clark (HRC).
“These are some substantial numbers relative to what we approved,” said Trustee Jim Tedder, who proposed delaying action on the request in order to review about 20 pages of documents provided by HRC on the matter.
David McKee, DPW director , said the calculation error regarded the amount of stone and asphalt needed for the project, and was discovered late last year.
Nancy M.D. Faught, PE, executive vice president for HRC, took responsibility for the mistake.
“We missed it. I don’t know what else to tell you,” Faught said at the meeting. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years and I’ve never missed something this big. We should’ve had this quantity in the bid package and we didn’t.”
Trustee Ron Ritchie asked if their contract with HRC provides mitigation in this circumstance.
“Hubbell, Roth and Clark has always been an upstanding company with us so I’d like to see that continue,” Ritchie said.
Faught said HRC is talking to Supervisor Pat Kittle, who was absent from the meeting, about it.
“We do stand behind our work and I’m working with Pat and Wendy (Hillman, finance director) on this,” she said.
To offset the cost overrun, the DPW can adjust its 2019 Capital Improvement Plan by re-appropriating funding for approved projects and purchases that are part of the 2019 budget, McKee said.
The reappropriation of funds would not reduce or diminish core services and functions, but would delay much needed upgrades to vehicles, equipment and DPW facilities, he said.
HRC’s calculation of the amount of asphalt and aggregate stone for the DPW addition was short $138,968.
Also, driveways north and west of the DPW building were found to have deteriorated drastically since the project started and need full replacement. The original project included rehabilitation of this area. The additional work will increase the overall budget by $49,288, McKee said.
Other changes including additional steel bollards, new concrete collar on a storm drain, changing a spillway from concrete to asphalt, widening a driveway, additional stone needed for the winter, and upgrade crushed concrete to limestone, increase the overall budget by $26,736.
The project was posted and bid opening for the construction and renovation phase was on May 17, 2018.
The Township Board approved $60,936 for HRC to create the DPW design plans on June 6, 2018.
HRC and the DPW office worked together to create the formal bid specifications for construction of the project, and on June 19, 2018, the original construction budget was approved and awarded to Reliance Building Company for the DPW addition for $1,504,388, with related engineering and contingency expenses not to exceed a total of $1,585,000. Of this amount, $30,296 was for Hubbell, Roth and Clark for Construction Engineering Services and the remaining $50,316.00 was for construction contingencies, McKee said.
Clerk Barbara Pallotta said she is also interested in reviewing the budget amendment request along with Tedder.