Excavation guarantees recommended for OK

The city believes it has a handle on the problem of depressions occurring in the street when utility crews perform excavation cuts.

An amendment has been made to the street excavation ordinance requiring utilities and contractors to do and pay for any repairs, should settling occur within a five-year period.

The city Public Works Committee Tuesday gave the measure a positive recommendation for the full body of City Council to review Thursday.

Changes also were set up for deadlines so work isn’t done over the winter months and completions are done within a reasonable period.

Excavations deemed as emergencies may be approved between Nov. 1 and March 31 but, for the most part, jobs are done by the end of October, according to Councilman N. Clifford “Skip” Smith, committee chairman.

Fines went up as well and are proposed at between $500 to $1,000.

“I think $1,000 will get their attention, but I don’t expect it to go that far,” Councilman Don Noviello said.

William Molino, the city’s part-time street excavation inspector, said he typically sends a letter to the contractors whenever there are issues regarding pavement settling.

Molino, who works about 25 hours a week on inspections, has requested contractors notify the city within 24 hours of the day of work starting.

The rules will be applicable to jobs requiring city street restoration and for streets maintained by the state Department of Transportation.

Every time a contractor applies for an excavation permit, a copy of the regulation will be attached to the permit.