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SE council approves $25,000 contract penalty

For street and utility project

December 12, 2012
By Fritz Busch - Staff Writer , The Journal

SLEEPY EYE - The Sleepy Eye City Council approved Tuesday a $25,000 contract penalty to MR Paving & Excavating of New Ulm regarding the 2012 Street & Utility Project.

The resolution, which was recommended by the City Finance Committee, centered on cement work that was done intermittently over the summer and fall.

City Manager Mark Kober said MR Paving's project quote was $700,000 less than the next lowest bidder.

Mayor Jim Broich said the City still "got a helluva deal" on the project from MR Paving.

In a letter to the city council dated Nov. 26, Matt Mathiowetz of MR Paving said he was aware some interim completion dates were not met. He said some of the delays were caused by the firm's original concrete contractor, but that the substantial completion date of Oct. 31, 2012 was met.

Mathiowetz wrote that due to some of the delays, his firm already incurred significant additional costs to complete the project by the substantial completion date; however, none of the costs were passed on to the City in any way and they will not be.

Mathiowetz added that MR Paving worked long hours including weekends to complete the project by Oct. 31. He wrote that additional work and City-requested change orders not part of the original project scope included steam tunnel system removal, asbestos abatement, blocking and filling several stairwells, bituminous patching, additional water main and sanitary sewer work, hauling and placing fill along city waste water ponds, stripping, hauling and placing a fill area on the Snow property instead of City farm, among other things.

The letter asked the city to strongly consider only assessing actual costs it incurred as liquidated damages against MR Paving, such as additional staking and surveying.

In another matter, Kober reported on his trip to Boston with Broich for the National League of Cities Convention Nov. 27 to Dec. 1. Tours included the Roxbury area of Boston, a predominantly minority neighborhood that was a slum 20 years ago but was rehabilitated and restored, reducing crime and making the area vibrant. Kober and Broich toured several buildings that sold excess energy to utilities. Information included refitting older buildings to make them more efficient, which he said could be useful in Sleepy Eye.

The council also approved:

A $3,462,160 2013 budget, $21,881 higher (1.9 percent) than the 2012 budget.

Tabling a $19,860.12 Wetland Banking Credits Purchase Agreement with Steven R. and Katherine L. Whittet for Snow property improvements.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at



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