Galesburg settles lawsuit with engineering firm

Galesburg settles lawsuit with engineering firm

Source: http://www.galesburg.com, August 6, 2018
By: Rebecca Susmarski

A lawsuit the city of Galesburg filed against the engineering firm it hired for the Oquawka water treatment plant came to an end Monday.

The Galesburg City Council agreed during its regularly scheduled meeting to settle the city’s lawsuit against AECOM, the parent company of engineering firm Consoer Townsend Envirodyne Engineers Inc. AECOM will pay the city $73,710 in accordance with the settlement.

The city sued AECOM in June 2015 to recoup money lost due to defects in the design of the water treatment plant, according to The Register-Mail’s archives. The city contracted with Consoer Townsend Envirodyne Engineers Inc. in April 2007 for design services on the water plant, which commenced operations in 2010.

“The plant was built and began operating, after which, the city alleges, a host of problems appeared, including malfunction of water pumps within the plant, corrosion of ductwork and electrical components, insufficient heating, problems adjusting water flows within pipes, problems with drainage, various difficulties with the placement of pipes and other equipment, and several missing devices that were required but not in the original plans,” according to the lawsuit.

AECOM denied liability and the existence of any deficiencies in the design of the plant, according to the settlement. Galesburg City Attorney Brad Nolden offered no further comment on the settlement.

The council voted 6-0 to approve the settlement. Alderman Jeremy Karlin, Ward 7, was absent.

The aldermen also unanimously voted to approve an ordinance authorizing the city to borrow $2 million for the third phase of its lead water service line replacement program. As with the past two phases, the city will borrow the money through the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency’s Public Water Supply Loan Program, and the IEPA will forgive 100 percent of the loan’s amount once the project is complete.

The city estimates that phase three will allow for the replacement of 500 to 550 service lines, depending on the bid prices received, according to a council agenda. Phase three is expected to start in April 2019 after the city goes out to bid for the project later this year.

“We are currently working on developing the list of addresses for phase three,” said Wayne Carl, director of planning and public works for the city. “We will be replacing the service (lines) based on the lowest-income blocks — first based on census blocks from the 2010 census — and are planning on 500 addresses being included in the contract.”

The city replaced 499 service lines during phase one from July 2017 through March 2018, more than the 409 anticipated due to construction costs coming in lower than expected, Carl said. The city is currently working on phase two, which started in April 2018. Contractor J.C. Dillon Inc. has replaced 125 service lines so far out of the contracted 475.

Carl estimated that the city would be able to replace 500 service lines total during phase two if construction costs come in lower than anticipated, and that phase two would wrap up by the end of November. The roads included in phase two for replacements are North Henderson Street; East Main Street; South Linwood Road; Grand Avenue; and Lincoln Street.

“It’s very exciting that the IEPA has allowed us the opportunity to continue our program,” Carl said.

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