Council hears construction delay explanation

STRASBURG – Representatives from the firms building Strasburg’s new wastewater treatment plant and public works facility met with Town Council at a work session Monday to explain their request for a yearlong delay on the facility and 270-day extension on the plant.

According to Henry Myers, vice president of English Constriction, the wastewater treatment plant is roughly 90 percent complete and the public works facility is roughly 40 percent complete.

He said both buildings will be finished by April 10, 2017.

Regarding the delay, he said, among other issues, much of the paving cannot be completed during the cold of winter weather.

“We’re not going to be able to get the paving done this fall,” Myers said. “I don’t see any way it will happen in its entirety. We need to be sure we communicate that those aspects of the project will require waiting until the spring.”

According to both Myers and employees with Wendell Construction, another key reason for delay comes from the design-build process the firms and town undertook. This entails beginning construction when design plans are 30 percent complete to build in a flexible environment.

Myers said the original plan called for the plant to be built on a section of the site with poor soil requiring special contracting. Instead of shelling out the extra money or burdening the town, the building was repositioned to a piece of land on site with better soil.

While this process took time, Myers said it saved taxpayer money and maintained quality.

“With all these changes you work through to maximize the dollar, at the end of the day, they often do have time impact,” he said.

Council then closed its session to engage in a Q&A with the firm representatives in private. In the vote to enter a closed session, all councilors voted to close the doors with the exception of Councilwoman Kim Bishop, who voted to keep them open.

The session was ultimately held in private.

Although the delay is frustrating, Myers said it beats the alternative of a timely, yet inferior final product.

“We’re in the business of maximizing the dollars for the product that we produce, and the last thing we’ll do is try to reduce quality in any way in order to get you into the facility quicker just so we can be done,” he said. “We don’t want our name hanging on anything like that.”

Contact staff writer Jake Zuckerman at 540-465-5137 ext. 152, or jzuckerman@nvdaily.com.