Flandreau’s new city administrator may need to smooth a bumpy road – figuratively – when it comes to the First Avenue water and sewer project, in order for work to get completed in a timely way.
Two city aldermen, Dan Sutton and Brad Bjerke, asked Jeff Pederson, who was attending his first council meeting as new administrator last week, to get the contractor and engineer together and smooth out a relationship that might have been deteriorating a bit since work restarted this spring on the project.
“If they’re fighting with each other, that project is just going to get delayed,” Sutton said. In addition, Clark Engineering’s representative has not given a local contractor enough warning on what work they are ready for, he said. After the local contractor brought in a large piece of equipment to be ready for milling work on a Monday, they were told at 4 p.m. the previous Friday by Clark that there would be no milling done Monday, for example, Sutton said.
“There might be a little friction down there,” he said.
Bjerke said a change in Clark’s administration on the project has led to a lack of continuity. Clark and the contractor, H&W Contracting of Sioux Falls, also disagreed over a frost issue on when work could start this spring, he said.
“It’s just kind of been a sour, bumpy road project,” he said.
Pederson said given the amount of work left on the project that is scheduled to be completed in July, any day that there is no work going on should be documented by the engineer, including the reason for the delay.
He said some curb and gutter work on First Avenue, which is outside of the contract for the sewer project, also has been started. “I’m told that’s been done with your knowledge,” he said.
Pederson said he met with city department heads his first week on the job and eventually, will be meeting with others in the community.
In other business, Pederson swore in Jason Unger, the new council representative, and incumbents Bart Sample, Karen Tufty and Bob Pesall. Sutton was re-elected council president, and Pesall will serve as vice president.