The contract to build the Mahoning Township's equipment garage is halfway through and due to expire in early January, but Penn State Construction of Lewistown only began digging post holes in the last day or two sparking serious concerns with supervisors with regard to their ability to meet the contract deadline. Supervisor Bruce Steigerwalt who has been overseeing the building process told supervisors that the project is severely behind schedule and the contractor is violating terms of the agreement in his opinion.
"We were supposed to have a plan November 1st and a schedule, and we got drawings December 1st," said Steigerwalt. "They have one month from tomorrow to complete this building."
He told the board Carl Faust received the plans on that day as well and put in time over the weekend to review them and returned with a list of items that needed to be changed to bring the drawings into conformance.
Steigerwalt said he was notified just before the meeting the crew digging holes was in violation of the contract's terms with regard to their work hours. Their agreement states they are to work from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., yet the township's code inspector Carl Faust notified him they were working with lights at 6 p.m.
That wasn't the only issue. He told the board there was a door in the wrong location on the original drawing and they repeatedly were told to correct it but it took them at least three tries before they changed the mistake. He also told them the road crew has been signing for materials, a practice which he ordered stopped.
"We shouldn't be signing for and unloading their materials," he said. He pointed out that if the materials were damaged while being unloaded the township would be liable. In the same respect, the contractor should be verifying the materials delivered are correct and not damaged, and it is not the township's responsibility.
There is also a matter of running pipes to the building for the septic and water usage. Steigerwalt said he told the contractor the township would dig trenches to the outer wall, but from there it was the contractor's responsibility. "We are not digging inside the building," he said.
He also mentioned Penn State Construction was violating the terms of the contract with regard to its crew as well. "We told them we did not want sub contractors used. Well, the three people out there are sub-contractors." Chairperson John Wieczorek asked how that was determined and he answered the men told Road Crew supervisor Ron Reeser in a casual conversation they were not Penn State Construction employees.
Supervisor Frank Ruch said he was concerned as well with the idea that the PSC would be pushing the electrical and plumbing contractors to work inside the building while they were potentially working on the roof. He said he wouldn't want to be working under them. He added that the other contractors should not be forced to hurry their work simply because Penn State Construction was behind.
Wieczorek told the board he felt they should meet with Penn State Construction with Faust, Solicitor Tom Nanovic and engineer Greg Duncan to determine what is happening and to find out what the schedule is now that they are a month behind. "They have a month to finish this," he reminded Wieczorek and the board. Due to scheduling conflicts, Wieczorek said he believed they probably would not be able to meet until late in the week or early the following week.
Steigerwalt mentioned that the crew was also told the holes they were digging need to meet requirements for load bearing and they were informed of this.
Supervisors hope to have a better idea as to what their next steps will be after this meeting.