Feb 18, 2022
The village of Fredonia tabled a proposed settlement on a design issue with the engineers who worked on its water treatment plant project.
The Board of Trustees voted earlier this month to table the settlement with Ramboll until they have time to look over an invoice that the company was said to have sent just that afternoon.
“The final invoice is $12,835. Doesn’t say what it’s for. It just has the amount,” said Trustee Jon Espersen.
“And if they’re going to give us a $20,500 reduction, and then add back money, I don’t know how that’s a true reduction,” said Trustee James Lynden.
Village Attorney Charles Roberts said the invoice was originally sent to him and he shared it with village officials. “I certainly wouldn’t have you go ahead with the settlement without looking at it and making sure the invoice is in order,” Roberts said.
Lynden continued to voice displeasure with Ramboll, as he has ever since the design issue was discovered last summer. Steel rings designed by Ramboll for new water clarifiers did not fit correctly, temporarily delaying the completion of the project.
Ramboll representatives attended a Board of Trustees meeting in June and denied any wrongdoing.
On Tuesday, Lynden expressed frustration with “the idea that they want to hold no liability for any issues associated with any sort of the project, when in fact the reason they were giving some type of settlement was because there was some type of issue.”
Lynden acknowledged that Roberts told him companies usually do not admit liability in such settlements.
“It sounds like you’re touching on two issues,” Roberts said. “The release in this case is limited to the $20,000 which was the additional cost related to the extension rings… Certainly if there’s any other issues with Ramboll, we want to talk about that.”
Lynden said Ramboll had offered compensation for going past its expected end date. “They were given an extension of six months and they went significantly past that deadline.” He said he thought there should be a separate settlement on that.
Roberts said, “If there’s real issues we have to flesh them out there.” He agreed to talk to Ramboll’s attorney about the delays.
Lynden said he wanted some sort of acknowledgement from Ramboll about the delays.
“They did come here before us and said they would work with our attorneys and the contractors… to come to an agreement on that. And I still see nothing of it,” Lynden said.
Mayor Douglas Essek said he would set up a conference call with Roberts and Ramboll representatives, and he asked water committee trustees Espersen and Michelle Twichell to attend as well.