Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Clay settles differences with fire department building contractor

J-E News Editor
Clay City Council members sat down last Tuesday night to speak candidly with the contractor who had designed their new fire department and the contractor who built it.

The building was scheduled to be completed by June 30, but according to council members, the city has been locked out of the building since the deadline came and went.
At a meeting earlier this month, Fire Chief Jeremy Moore also told the council that when a contractor had come to relocate the fire department’s sirens, it had been discovered that some of the three phase wiring had been installed using aluminum wiring. While aluminum wiring is not a violation of the electric code, it was listed as ‘prohibited’ by the city’s approved building schematics.
After opening the meeting in the council chambers, the council adjourned to the fire station. Following a tour of the building, the meeting was continued at the fire department.
“I came down here with only two issues I was concerned with,” Mayor Rick Householder said. “My number one concern is the aluminum wiring. It has to be fixed. My other concern was the bathroom. It looks like something you would see in a bar or at a rodeo.”
Engineer Duke Gaston told the council that although he had not specifically listed metal stalls in the blueprints, he never imagined that wood stalls would be considered.
“I’ve done 100 buildings and never once had to say ‘don’t use wooden stalls’,” Gaston said. “When I came down David Miller (contractor) was already putting the wood stalls up. I told him they needed to be metal, but he said someone with the city told him they would be okay as long as they looked good.”
That seemed to be at the heart of the issues the city is facing with the building; a lack of good communications.
“My responsibility somewhat stops at the end of the design phase. I did come down every two or three weeks to check on the progress. I was getting a bit frustrated that decisions were being made and I’d come down and not know what was going on,” Gaston said. “By the time I got here the wood stalls were already being put in. I didn’t like them. But since someone from the city had given him permission to use them, I didn’t feel it was my place to tell him to take them out.”
Council members agreed that none of them liked the wooden stalls for the bathrooms, voting unanimously that they needed to be replaced with metal stalls before the city took ownership of the building.
They also instructed Miller to have the electrical contractor come back and replace the aluminum wiring with copper, which is what they had paid for.
In the end, all sides agreed on a tentative 30-day completion date. The only hold up would be refinishing the floors in the office area of the building.
When the floors were painted, the stain had not reacted the way it was expected to, leaving them with a sticking feel.
“I’m more tore up about the floors than I was the bathroom stalls,” said Householder.
Miller said that he would have someone from Sherwin Williams to take a look at the floors to see what could be done.

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