Council won’t pay bill for inspections

South Williamsport Borough Council unanimously voted to deny payment of a $13,660 invoice for special inspections to Larson Design Group Monday evening.

Larson Design Group is the engineer for the borough’s wet-weather tank construction, which will eliminate sewage releases into the river.

The invoice is for special inspections and the project’s increased duration time period from 15 to 18 months.

Council previously had approved the time extension, but not the special inspections, borough Manager Michael Miller said.

Larson Design Group completed the project’s budget in 2009 or 2010, but did not include the cost for special inspections qualified by the International Building Code of 2009, said Director of Construction Inspection Duane Daniels, Larson Design Group.

“You don’t know what special inspections (will be needed) until the project is designed,” Daniels said.

However, when the design group did know special inspections would be needed, the group did not notify council. Instead, it initially was presumed in the group that the budget would cover those costs, so the group did the inspections – and later found the budget did not cover those costs, Daniels said.

The inspections were done “in-house,” and contractors provided testing services, Daniels said.

Miller said the special inspections were not within the scope of the contract, and were done without council’s knowledge or approval.

Daniels acknowledged afterward it was an oversight that Larson Design Group did not submit the statement of special inspections to council.

No further special inspections need to be done; those completed number in the hundreds, Daniels said.

Daniels explained that with “the increased duration of the construction duration, more time equals more effort,” regarding inspections and increased costs.

Councilman Henry Frey Jr. suggested borough Solicitor Joe Orso review the situation for a month and give a recommendation at next month’s meeting, but instead council held an executive session to discuss the situation, after which followed the vote.

Daniels said Larson Design Group will discuss their next course of action.

Council also passed a motion to issue requests for qualifications for engineering and solicitor services.

In other business, council approved:

Trick-or-Treat Halloween hours from 6 to 8 p.m. Oct. 31

An accessible (handicapped) parking spot at 364 Clark St.