Damakant Jayshi

The completion date for Wausau’s new drinking water treatment facility has been extended yet again along with another cost addition, due to a contractor’s alleged inability to meet timelines, city officials said this week.

The revised completion time, Dec. 9, which is two months after a previously revised target of Oct. 4 and the increased cost were announced in a statement by Public Works Director Eric Lindman during a meeting of the Board of Public Works on Friday. The original timeline of the project that began in 2017 was Aug. 16. The cost had already been increased by over $306,000. This week, city officials increased the project expenses by another roughly $100,000.

The revised total cost is $38,315,191, with Miron Construction spearheading the facility’s construction. The Board of Public Works on Friday morning discussed the changes, but did not include the financial information in a packet until after the meeting concluded. Besides Lindman, City Attorney Anne Jacobson and Finance Director Maryanne Groat are the members of the BPW.

Dist. 3 Alder Tim Kilian requested the financial details be made public on Friday.

The City of Wausau and Wausau Water Works are uniformly infuriated by the delays in the construction of the new Drinking Water Treatment Facility, the city said issuing a press release.* The statement added that some of the treatment processes did not meet specifications and there were a number of mechanical issues that prevented a complete startup of the facility.

“I will say once again that this is beyond frustrating to have a contractor that is not capable meeting construction timelines,” Lindman read from the statement. “To date, the city has assessed over $250,000 in liquidated damages to Miron which is being used to offset the city’s additional cost for the project.”

The statement was not included in the meeting packet even after the financial documents were uploaded for public view.

The attached work change directive says the contractor agrees to the new change order and will be responsible for “any and all costs associated with or resulting from the change ordered herein, including all impacts, delays, and accelerated costs.” The directive says no other changes have been proposed. The directive also contains escalating liquidated damages schedule and charges.

The Board of Public Works also approved a revised contract with another firm, Becher-Hoppe, for additional services. The attached documents say another contractor, Donohue & Associates will deduct about$23,000 in fees. The deduction is related to replacement of chemical feed tubing with a larger diameter tubing. The adjusted amount now stands at about $4.6 million.

This item on the agenda appeared as an addendum.

Lindman did not respond to a request for his statement, and an email sent to the city’s media requests mailbox was also not returned.

*The city issued the statement after this story was published.