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Amsterdam project contracts discussed by commissioners

STEUBENVILLE — A multi-million-dollar project to upgrade the sewer system in Amsterdam took another step toward completion Wednesday morning with substantial completion documents submitted by the second of three contractors on the project.

A certificate of substantial completion from Alex E. Paris was approved by the Jefferson County Commissioners, who were meeting on Wednesday rather than their usual Thursday meeting time.

However, the board, in approving an amendment to its contract for engineering services on the project with the county water and sewer districts engineering consultant firm, ARCADIS, pushed for the remaining work to get completed in a timely manner.

The amendment added a $40,000 cost increase due to added length of the time frame of the project, some of which, it was noted by ARCADIS’ Chris Sporer, have been due to delays in getting materials and other issues encountered that have been out of the contractors’ control.

“It’s time to get all the stragglers and close it up,” Commissioner Dave Maple said. “If we don’t close it up, it will just keep going and going and going. I would like to see a really hard effort to say, ‘OK, everybody is done.'”

She said the project, even with the increases, is still under budget, but it is starting to get close.

“We have pressed them on (tightening up),” Sporer said.

The contractor that has not filed for substantial completion yet, Sporer said, is scheduled to do so in December.

They are waiting on a control panel to come in, in order to be able to finish, it was noted.

Also brought up regarding to the project was a call Commissioner Tony Morelli got from a resident who was concerned about the instillation of grinder pumps as part of the project.

Michael Eroshevich, the county water and sewer director, explained that not every home will have one, and they are placed where it was determined they would be needed due to elevation. There are nine pumps installed during the project.

The concern Morelli heard was from a home owner who was not happy that the grinder pump is tied into his electricity, but his neighbors do not have one and will not experience an increase in the electric bill that he will.

Eroshevich said that the pump is estimated to cost less than $20 per year to operate.

He noted that in many cases, grinder pump maintenance is responsibility of the home owner, but the county will maintain these pumps, and homes with them could have a lower tie-in cost.

Commissioner Thomas Graham was absent from the meeting.

Next week’s meeting is scheduled to go back to Thursday.

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