JASPER, Tenn. — City administrators recently learned they can recover the extra money they had to pay out for delays in a waterline relocation project.
The laying of the line, which runs along U.S. Highway 41, was delayed in connection with the construction of a bridge across Nickajack Lake.
The deadline for the waterline project’s completion was May 2, officials said, but it was not completed until the middle of June.
Last month, Gary Cosby of CTI Engineers Inc. asked the Jasper Board of Mayor and Aldermen for an additional $12,500 to cover the engineering services brought on by the delay.
“We had budgeted six weeks [for inspection] for a total of $15,000, and we gave the contractor six weeks to do the job,” Cosby said.
The time frame was “compressed” because the board was worried that construction on the bridge might wreck Jasper’s new waterline, he said.
“We were concerned about how quickly the [Tennessee Department of Transportation] contractor would get in and start digging and possibly tearing up our line,” he said.
The board approved the extra money in June with the stipulation that Jasper would seek to recover the money from the contractor at the end of the contract.
Last week, the board found out it will be able to recoup those funds.
Jasper Attorney Mark Raines said the terms of the contract with Chastain Construction in Ooltewah give Jasper the right to charge liquidated damages for exceeding the contracted schedule.
“Given the language of the contract and the duration that they’ve gone over the time to complete, there’s more than enough money in the liquidated damages clause to cover the expense that the town has incurred,” he said.
Raines said he sent the contractor a letter informing the business of Jasper’s plans.
“We put them on notice so that they know they’re going to have that money withheld out of the final payment,” he said.
Ryan Lewis is based in Marion County. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.