By Grace Moore
Paving of Pendleton, Lakeview and a portion of Vista Grande started Monday. For the last few years, Pine Haven has attempted to rectify an unanticipated issue that developed with the hard surface process completed on these three streets about two years ago.
The chemical used was not designed for the weather and surface conditions in this area, causing issues when the treated roads got wet with rain or frost. The contractor, Wyoming Earth Movers Corporation, who advised the town to use the process, as well as the manufacturer, Dallas Road Way Products, admitted their inability to fix the recurring damage.
The council found their only recourse was to pave the affected streets. At this point, there has been no recompense from either company to assist the town in the reparation, according to town staff, so the funding is coming out of the town’s coffers.
The amount budgeted for the paving is estimated to be more than the enterprise is actually going to cost and the governing body has been considering paving a bit more than they had originally planned. Councilwoman Karla Brandenburg expressed her concern, “This is our money so we really don’t need to spend all this money, we can just do whatever we had planned, correct?”
Councilman Mike Pommarane disagreed. “We can spend to budget…[The streets] are one of the top priorities we get every time we…survey so I’d be more inclined to say spend it all, but spend it where it makes the most sense.”
The issue of extra funds may prove moot, however, because the council did not, as of last week, have the total cost for the road work performed by contractor Fuller Construction, including installing a culvert and aggregate. The paving was awarded to Sacrison Construction out of Whitewood, SD, but Fuller had been working with town staff to prepare the roads.
Councilman John Cook observed, “I never saw a quote, he was just hauling rock.” The mayor agreed that he had not been presented with a bid either, “I don’t think he gave us a quote on that.”
Brandenburg asked, “How did he end up doing this? Who told them they could do this?”
The mayor said that the public works department determined it was necessary to manage the preparation of the roads over the last weeks. Brandenburg asked, “So we have two employees who just went out and hired somebody to come in and fix those roads?”
Cook opined, “I don’t think they had a line of communication with Sacrison and they do have a line of communication with [Fuller Construction]. They know he’s there and ready to work. I would guess that they figured that [Fuller] would be as good as Sacrison and easier to get. I don’t know if that’s true or not, I haven’t talked to them about it, but that’s my gut feeling.”
Suchor suggested for the future, though, that if public works hires someone to, “come in here and do the work, they should have daily time cards that they sign for each day. We than could monitor what those charges are and we would have a better feel for where we’re at”.
Councilmen John Henle, Brandenburg and Cook concurred that any remaining funds should be returned to the budget for future use.