Two Bloomfield City Council members, Matt Cronin and Darin Garrett, expressed their frustrations at Thursday night’s council meeting with the delay in action on completing the stabilization of the buildings at 112 and 113 S. Madison Street
In a proclamation issued Oct. 23, Mayor Dan Wiegand proclaimed an emergency to expedite the process of stabilizing the common wall between the two buildings and removing a portion of the front façade before bricks came tumbling down.
Three months later, the stabilization procedures have not yet been fully approved and demolition of the front façade has not yet taken place. Duncan Construction has assured City Administrator Tomi Jo Day the company will be in Bloomfield to take care of the few remaining details of the stabilization on Jan. 20.
“There were no teeth in the agreement,” said Councilman and Mayor pro tem Darin Garrett. “There was nothing in the agreement with the contractor to force him to be here by a particular date.”
Councilman Matt Cronin complained of the delays and wondered why DPW Richard Wilcox didn’t step in earlier in the stabilization process and indicate there were problems with the work.
Wilcox said Monday he knew there were certain parts of the job that were not being done according to the Engineer’s (Tometich Engineering’s) specifications, but he cannot give instructions to the contractor and workers without becoming part of the risk.
“I can only observe the process,” Wilcox said, “then when they are finished, I can say ‘these parts are lacking’ and pass that information on to the engineer. The engineer then acts as the city’s agent and sees that corrections are made.”
Wilcox described the engineer as a shield who lessens the city’s risk in this type of situation. “There is often a short list at the end of a project such as this,” he said. “This risk is very solvable.”
Wilcox said the buildings would be stable enough to completely remove the front façade in preparation for rehabilitation after stabilization is completed.
“We have a good team working on the project. We have to be patient and complete the project with the least amount of risk. I have a high degree of confidence in getting these buildings done right to remain in the community.
“My job was to minimize the financial and physical risk to the city with this project,” he said, “and we did that.”
Day reported the goal for completing the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year is the end of February. Consultant Cindy Kendall will be assisting.
Wilcox asked for council input on determining which streets should receive asphalt overlay in the upcoming year. Garrett said he would like to see sidewalks and curbs and gutters around the square included in the project.
In other action, the council:
• approved overage payments for HR Green Company as indicated at the last meeting;
• approved a change order for Woodruff Construction to install larger electrical conductors at the wastewater treatment plant;
• approved a payment of $431,561.19 to Woodruff for work on the wastewater plant;
• approved a resolution amending cemetery charges;
• approved an incentive to encourage the public to submit low-to-moderate income surveys in preparation for obtaining a CDBG grant;
• learned the public can bring in damaged garbage cans and exchange for new ones from Waste Management.