Town council okays change order, water leak adjustment
Members of the Cathlamet Town Council addressed a variety of business when they met last Monday.
The council approved a $6,071.10 change order for the new waste water treatment plant that is nearly complete.
Consulting engineer Ken Alexander said $5,439 of that amount was required by federal auditors. They noted that the contract award was made more than 90 days after bid opening, and federal law requires that the most current federal wage rates be used at the time of the award. The rates had changed the day the contract was awarded, and no one had caught the change.
Other charges related to outdoor work that couldn't be completed last fall because of weather, Alexander said.
The project cost now totals $7.55 million, Alexander said. Final expenses will push the total close to $8.1 million.
Councilmember David Goodroe commented that it appeared the town wasn't taking advantage of a grant but was going to use federal loans to complete the project. He wondered if loan costs could be lowered by using the grant.
Alexander replied that it is necessary to use both the grant and loans to fund the project. There will be a $450,000 charge for biosolids disposal from the old sewer lagoons, he said, and the contractor's retainage will have to be paid. These expenses will total around $650,000, he said.
He added that when the town accepted the second federal loan for the project, it was able to lower the interest rate substantially.
Alexander said he would provide councilmembers a detailed analysis of points Goodroe was questioning for their next meeting.
Councilmembers voted 2-1 to approve a $132.05 adjustment to a water bill for a property that experienced a leak. Town law allows a one-time adjustment for a water bill because of a leak. In this case a tenant renting the residence is ready to move to another house, and the landlord asked that the one-time adjustment be attributed to the property, not the tenant, who wouldn't have an opportunity for an adjustment at the new property.
Councilmembers discussed whether or not the adjustment should reside with the person or the property. After discussion, Goodroe and Hannah Booth-Watts voted to approve the adjustment for the property, and Councilmember Bill Talbott voted against that motion. Councilmember Andy Lea abstained.
Councilmembers said they would consider the issue and possibly change their ordinance.