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Village board frustrated over road damage

The Forreston Village Board found themselves in a uncertain situation after a disappointing revelation that a construction company is not actually responsible to fix damages incurred on a road resurfaced only years ago.

During Monday evening’s village board meeting, Village President Mark Meztger said that officials from Freeport-based Civil Constructors, Inc., claim they are not responsible for repairing the cracks on Avon Street.

The street was resurfaced last year, but damage has already began to show.

Metzger said when the board tried to enact a one-year maintenance agreement through Fehr-Graham, the engineering consultants used for the project, it was rejected due to not using fiber-reinforced concrete, which Civil would normally use to ward off cracking.

“Fehr-Graham responded ‘well, we never put in the original bid to put in the [fiber-reinforced concrete] to help with the cracking,’ and Civil is basically saying ‘Hey, you guys didn’t do what you were supposed to do, so now we’re not responsible for something like this,’” said Metzger.

Several trustees were upset with the revelation.

“We’d have never went through with it if we knew it was just going to crack again,” said Public Works Superintendent Al Cruthis.

Trustee Jeff Freeze said the point of hiring consultants is that you trust them to take care of all the details.

“You don’t look over a doc’s shoulder to make sure he cut you open right — you trust him to do it,” said Freeze.

Trustee Gary Buss expressed frustration over the maintenance agreement amounting to nothing.

“This is the second or third time we had this guarantee, and it seems like it means nothing,” said Buss.

“In most cases, they try to keep the costs as low as possible for the municipality,” Metzger said. “However, it would have been nice to have known that information.”

Outside of action, Metzger said he wanted to get a full survey done of Fifth Avenue, including plats, parcel numbers, and boundaries, because multiple properties are out of compliance, having structures built over their boundary lines.

Property owner Betty Wubbena brought concern to Metzger asking how many structures extend onto her farmland, and what complications it could bring if she tried to sell it.

“It’s just getting to a point where I think we need something that, if we’re going to enforce ordinances and require compliance, we need to have actual documentation that states all the information we need,” said Metzger.

Metzger clarified that this does not mean homeowners will be receiving plats of their homes for free, just that the village will have the information for its records.

The village board meets again on Monday, July 16 at 7 p.m. at village hall, 102 S. Walnut Ave. The meeting is open to the public.