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City Council Drills Water Contractor over $60 Million Statement, Maps. & Meters

July 14th, 2014 by




Following Wednesday’s MLive article spotlighting the $60 million rumors circulating the city about the water system improvement project, the City Council quickly called a meeting for Thursday night, to discuss the issue.

Some Councilmembers were familiar with the questions; while others had no idea, until they read the MLive article.

Corey Carter, Siemens’ local sight supervisor, began his update by stating that the cost of installing the water meters is exactly on target as budgeted, and meter installation will be completed, with training of water department employees beginning next week.

Many questions were then asked of Carter, however, very few of them were answered (except for questions about the payment schedule, where the city has already paid over 6.6 million to the company.)

Most of the questions were asked by council members Beverly Hudson and Joe Meeks, along with interim mayor Tim Chase.

Important questions and statements, made in the meeting, included…
Hudson asking if Carter had ever made a statement about completon of the full city’s water system costing $60 million. Carter admitted that he had made such a statement, but that it wasn’t intended to be taken as a professional estimate, representing his company.

imageMeeks asked about the change of water meters used. Carter compared the two brands as “Ford and Chevy”, then explained that the change was made, at Siemens expense, in case the city ever went to remote monitoring of meter readings.

By watching the videos attached, you can see that the contractors do not seem to be familiar with the 2012 “teardrop maps” filling the specific history of water main leaks.

Questions were asked about Siemens representative Tony Ardillo’s statement to the council that 92 miles of water mains would be replaced in the project, but no one seems to know exactly which specific streets and areas of the city need to be replaced.

imageMeeks asked about the specific list of required items printed in the contract. He was told that was not a firm list of items that would be needed for the project.

While all councilmembers seem to agree that Ardillo, the Siemens’ rep. who”sold” the project to the Council, as well as company engineers, attend the next city Council meeting; other members said, “We have to trust them,” and, “I’m sure they’ll do what they said.”

Mayor Chase closed the meeting by expressing confidence that he has confidence that Siemens will do what they contracted to do, and asked the Council to have an attitude of confidence in Siemens as well. Mayor Chase also confirmed that he and the Council will be vigilant to assure that Siemens does follow through with the project as promised.

However, at this point all that is “unquestionable” is…
1. 92% of the new meters have been installed,
2. $6.6 million is already been paid to Siemens, and
3. Nobody knows how many, how much, or where new water lines will be replaced in the city of Monticello.

 

5 Responses to “City Council Drills Water Contractor over $60 Million Statement, Maps. & Meters”

  1. Whatsupwiththis says:

    Where was the Assistant to the Mayor, Zack Tucker? Why was the acting Mayor, Tim Chase, defending and interceding on behalf of the contractor? Why was the acting Mayor dodging the media question in the end? This whole project reeked of cronyism from the beginning. Good job for those Council members that stood up for the people, all 3 of them. I think this type of “Leadership” from the Mayor’s office, if you can call it that, has to go. There’s a bad smell to this whole project which ultimately cost the taxpayers a lot of money.

  2. Brad says:

    Who agreed to the contract? If you can call it that. Someone agreed to a contract that is vague at best and does not detail where and what installations will be made. Unbelievable

  3. A.J. Hiddell says:

    Sounds like someone at some point asked Mr. Carter what it would cost to repair the entire city system and he threw out a number of 60 million. Of course, lest we forget, the entire city water system has never been up for repair. Just some fire plugs and 90 plus or minus a few miles of pipes that are the worst. He was asked about statements he made regarding completion of “the full city’s water system”. The “full city water system” is not at issue here, just meters which upon research are more functional and more expensive than what the city was going to get, and 92 miles of lines which is pardon the pun a drop in the bucket to the actual number of miles of lines under the city limits of Monticello. Take a breath folks, don’t panic until pieces of the sky are actually falling. Oh, as far as the interim Mayor defending the contractor, I don’t believe that saying “hey, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt because so far they are doing what we agreed to” isn’t really defending anyone. And who cares where Zach Tucker or Joe Rogers was. It as nothing to do with either one of them at least not yet.

  4. D.B. Cooper says:

    Really now A.J.? Are you forgetting we only have 45% of the lines promised down? Interim Mayor Chase was acting like someone was picking on his little brother.

    The Assistant to the Mayor absent from a meeting when he’s present at most of the others? The Assistant to the Mayor, Zack Tucker, is on public record stating he was on top of the water deal in a media interview. Where was he? Valid question. The contract is written in Siemen’s favor, period.

    Sieman’s has a reputation for not delivering. This is what happens when a Mayor gets a educated by a big company. The same thing occurs in Washington D.C. every day. The same thing applies to Cities and small towns across America. A simple formula it is, money buys power, the more power one has, the more money that can be made, and more power that can be bought. It feeds on itself. Listen to the company, not the people? I think not.

  5. Levi Davis says:

    I live outside the Monticello city limits so this city business is none of mine. However, I do how a few questions.
    1. Where is the document that states exactly where and how much water line is going to be replaced by size, length and kind of pipe etc.?
    2. Where is the document that states what kind of and how many water meters are going to be replaced and where?
    3. Was this document not reviewed and approved by legal?
    4. The City Council should not have to know all the details, but the attorney, mayor, and assistant to the mayor should know every detail? Where are the attorney and Zack Tucker?
    5. How did Sieman’s bid on this ten million dollar project if they did not have a specific document stating what work was to be done?
    6. How is the city going to know when the contractor is through if they don’t know how much work they are supposed to do?
    7. If Tim Chase is going to be acting mayor he should know to have his support team alongside him to answer questions to which he clearly does not know the answers.
    8. It seems to me that if Zack Tucker wants to be mayor he would have stepped forward to demonstrate the leadership he and the mayor were providing on this project.
    Levi Davis

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