Emotions ran hot Monday evening as Polo officials hammered out what to do about street work they consider unacceptable.
At a special public meeting before the regular city council meeting, Mayor Doug Knapp and several aldermen voiced their dissatisfaction to engineer Matt Hansen, from Willett, Hofmann & Associates, Inc. Dixon, over the paving done on West Oregon Street last year.
“Somebody has to be responsible for this stuff. It’s not the city’s fault,” said Alderman Randy Schoon told Hansen.
“Fischer didn’t step up and take responsibility. Civil didn’t take responsibility. Willett & Hofmann didn’t take responsibility,” he said. “I want to see fairness, and fairness isn’t going on.”
Fischer Excavating, Freeport, was the contractor on a $933,000 project to replace sewer and water mains on Maple Avenue and Oregon Street, install new water services on Oregon Street, and rehabilitate the lift station on South Congress Avenue.
Civil Engineering, also of Freeport, was hired to pave the eastbound lane of West Oregon Street which was torn up to do the work.
Since the project was completed last fall, aldermen have been receiving complaints from residents who live and drive on the street.
The westbound lane is also scheduled for repaving, but the work has not yet been done.
Hansen explained the problem is that the eastbound lane is incorrectly sloped.
He said the street should be gradually sloped from the centerline to the gutters to allow for drainage, and the slope should be constant throughout.
However, the lane slopes too steeply from the center to the parking lane, and then slopes more gradually than it should toward the gutters.
In addition, Hansen said the manholes on the street are lower than the pavement rather than flush with it, as they should be.
Alderman Troy Boothe said both Fischer and Civil are capable of doing higher quality work.
“It’s all about money,” he said.
Schoon said he doesn’t want either company hired to pave the westbound lane.
In the end, Hansen suggested hiring the two companies.
“We can go back to them and say the city is willing to award you the contract for the westbound lane, but you’re going to have to correct the eastbound lane for nothing,” he said.
Hansen said he will mail written notices to both companies and will withhold the final payment for the project until the problem is resolved.
The westbound lane is not part of that project and will cost another estimated $89,000.
“We have to do it anyway,” Knapp said.
Alderman Jim Busser also brought up a problem with water standing on the pavement on the Maple Street portion of the project.
“There’s a problem there, too,” he said.