Road block encountered at building site

PALMER RAPIDS – The regularly scheduled Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan (BLR) meeting was held on September 4 at the Quadeville Community Centre due to the current construction at the Palmer Rapids Township Office. At the meeting, council learned that the construction project had been halted due to a recent finding.
Mike Anderson, BLR project manager of the office addition project and Tyler Peters, project manager for Evergreen Energy Solutions both shared their sides of the story with respect to a recent discovery of boulders and leaching pipes found at the north line of the proposed foundation for the addition.
According to Peters, because of the uncertainty behind the findings on August 29, there was a halt to operations until the matter was discussed further with council.
Anderson said Peters and Ken Trevallion, the project architect, had stated they would begin removal of the assumed drywell if provided with an upset value of $10,000.
Anderson said he’d never heard of such a thing in his 25 years working as a licensed carpenter and explained it was too early in the job to be looking for extra money when footings have not even been set in the ground.
Tylers said there was no issue with excavating the materials, but their challenge was with not knowing what they’re dealing with.
“When we discovered these boulders the assumption would have been it was likely a dry pit of some sort, but it is technically an unknown,” Peters said.
Anderson referred to Peters’ request for proposal (RFP).
“Your RFP clearly states that your project’s scope is the site prep including removals and excavation,” Anderson said.
“So, let’s take out a couple of scoops and see what we have,” Councillor Garry Gruntz said.
“But we’re not putting on no ten-thousand dollar figure on it,” Lidtkie said.
Lidtkie wondered where everybody had been since last Thursday when it was discovered and why it wasn’t checked out further at that time.
Peters said that until this issue was resolved they could not go any further with the design and building process due to the location of the boulders.
“The concern was with the size and that if this assumed dry pit was in fact associated with the works garage, then there might be environmental implications with this,” Peters said.
“I just want to know what this is going to cost us, are we paying to float this hoe back in there?” Councillor Heather Phanenhour asked.
Councillor Steve Jessup said he hoped that this project didn’t run this way to the end, with them stopping and waiting for approval.  “I have to agree with Mike that it’s all part of the excavation,” Jessup said.
“Let’s dig it out, see what’s there and then we can make a decision based on knowledge not on unknowns,” Gruntz said.
“We need to get out of the ground for sure and whether it takes digging a little bit further into the ground to make it happen so be it,” Anderson said.
Peters said he expected it to be a minor thing, but regretted the impact of the ten-thousand dollar number.
“It’s not a ten-thousand dollar item, we were asked to provide an upset limit and conservatively without understanding the scope of the work that’s what we’ve provided,” Peters said.
Councillors made it clear they would not approve of or support an upset fee.
The day after the council meeting, on September 5, an excavator was on site to dig further at the area of concern. According to Phanenhour, who was at the location at the time of removal, she was told by the head contractor from Evergreen Energy Solutions that the drywell found, was small and not contaminated in any way.
In addition, she was told by the contractor it must have been very old because it was dry and there were no pipes going into it. As a result, the area was dug out, re-filled, packed down and operations resumed.
BLR Fire Chief John Rutledge was present to discuss his concerns with council regarding the licensing requirements for volunteer firefighters driving fire trucks.
Rutledge said that the Township’s Occupational Health and Safety Plan states that no person other than an approved qualified operator will be permitted to drive any piece of township equipment.
Story continues in the September 11, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.