Vienna-area sewer pact altered

VIENNA — An Akron firm will provide technical services and other tasks associated with construction of the fifth phase of the Little Squaw Creek Interceptor Sewer project.

Trumbull County commissioners last week approved the engineering agreement with Glaus, Pyle, Schomer, Burns & DeHaven Inc., also known as the GPD Group.

The county is expected to pay $224,561 for the GPD Group’s technical services on the project, which is expected to lay sanitary sewers along state Route 193 north of Warren-Sharon Road to the Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport.

Commissioner Frank Fuda said the project had to be scaled back because of cost. In August, the county approved selling short-term notes not to exceed $450,000 to pay for the continuation of the Route 193 sewer line. Planners had expected the fifth phase to take the line north to King Graves Road. However, Fuda said the new line would still tie into existing sewers at Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport and the Youngstown Air Reserve Station.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring, according to Gary Newbrough, project planning director at the Trumbull County Sanitary Engineer’s Office.

Commissioners will later enter into an agreement paying an additional $155,450 to GPD Group for construction services.

According to Commissioner Mauro Cantalamessa, the county is asking the contractor to include insurance in the contract to protect taxpayers from any legal costs, in case problems occur.

County officials were cautiously approaching this Vienna project in light of the problems they encountered with the contractor of Phase Four.

In the spring of 2015, county officials sent a letter to the attorney of Marucci & Gaffney that outlined 14 problems that needed corrected with the Little Squaw Creek sanitary sewer. The problems involved drainage issues, as well as damage to sidewalk and roads during the construction phase. There were also natural gas leaks caused by line ruptures during construction, county officials noted.

The owner of Brothers Pizza on state Route 193 in Vienna had threatened legal action against Marucci & Gaffney for alleged $60,000 worth of damage done to his business because of a flooded basement.

It was also Marucci and Gaffney that had to be taken off the recent Kinsman sewer project because of problems. The issues in Kinsman led to a county lawsuit, but the contractor later won the case in binding arbitration leading to a loss of thousands of dollars for county taxpayers.

“If at all possible, we will want to avoid binding arbitration in the future,” Cantalamessa said.

Commissioners noted that they are trying to have another contractor, ms consultants, share in the arbitration costs for the Kinsman case, but that negotiation is heading toward nonbinding mediation.