Drainage at 911 Center a problem

Commissioners question who should pay to fix issue

BAKERSVILLE – The future of the drainage system at the county’s new 911 Center will remain in limbo until the Mitchell County Board of Commissioners can have a special meeting alongside the construction project’s engineer.

During the regular meeting of the commissioners Tuesday, Sept. 3, the board discussed three separate change orders for the 911 Center project, including change order No. 7, which county manager Kathy Young explained is related to necessary changes to the building’s stormwater drainage system. 

The need for the change order, Young explained, comes after an official from Asheville-based Davis Civil Solutions recently looked at the flow of water in the new drainage system, and determined changes would be necessary to avoid stormwater buildup.

Commissioner Jeff Harding said since he deals with landscaping and maintenance in his job, he has a unique perspective on the drainage system and said it’s easy to tell the drainage system was doomed to failure. 

“I’ve been on the site, and I’ve seen what a mess it is,” he said. “I’ve seen what poor workmanship has been done up there. It’s pathetic. They’ve turned all the water to the building.”

Harding pointed out in previous meetings with the project’s engineer he strongly recommended a system that pulls water away from the building rather than a retention pond.

The change order calls for approximately $36,000 to correct the drainage issues – money that the commissioners agreed should come out of the right pockets.  

“Are we paying $36,000 for something that was not done correctly to start with?” Harding asked. “If that’s the case, why are we paying for it again? Somebody’s got to eat that.”

Hickory Construction, which is working on the 911 Center, is holding back about $107,000 in contingency funds. 

Harding and the board agreed to hold off on approving and funding the change order until the board can have a special meeting with the project engineer who can present, review and explain the original design of the drainage system and discuss the latest revised drawings of the site plan. 

Board Chair Danny Burleson urged Young to set up that meeting as quickly as possible so the board can determine who will be responsible for the charges.

“It’s embarrassing,” Harding said about the drainage system issues. “A one-eyed monkey can see it.”


The MItchell News

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