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Compromise Reached On Campground Issues

April 12, 2019
By Jane Whitmore , Emmetsburg News

by Jane Whitmore

Compromises on infrastructure issues at Five Island Campground have been reached. Three areas of sanitary sewer pipe will be repaired, and warranty will also be extended. The system will also be viewed with a camera before the warranty expires.

Wes Brown, engineer with Bolton & Menk, gave Emmetsburg City Council members an update at their meeting Monday, April 8.

"Three items were taken back to the contractor (Hulstein Excavating) to resolve issues," he said.

The first issue was to repair areas of sanitary sewer pipe that were broken or leaking. That work will be completed by May 1.

"Their intention is to be here Tuesday and get work done by Wednesday before the snow starts flying," Brown said. "They plan to complete those by the end of the month for sure."

The second issue was to extend the contract warranty another two years.

"They (Hulstein) have indicted a resistance to do that with a bond in place," Brown reported. "They currently have a two year warranty on the contract that expires in November of this year and a two year addition that takes it to 2021. That was done with a maintenance bond in place. Basically, their concern is by going back to the bonding company again they might have an issue with that. But, he would be willing to do it as a side contract."

The third issue was compensation on work that was done that did not meet standards.

Brian Thul, City Attorney, had also met with Hulstein Excavating.

"Basically, you're saying they did an inferior project. You want settlement in addition to doing the work," Thul said to the council. "The pushback on that is going to be: we did the work, we came back to make repairs, we've compromised by giving you a two year warranty (to 2021) and now we're willing to give you an additional two years (to 2023). You say you're not happy and you want something more than that. The consequence is, they say: we're not going to do any more than that, and why should we, prove it in court."

Thul explained that the city would have to begin the process by filing claims and then hire additional experts to show how the project is inferior.

"The point is, it could be two years before you see any compensation at all if we proved our case," he said. "On behalf of the city, they're already compensating. They're trying to make it as good as they can. I don't think you're going to get any additional funds out of them."

Councilman Mike Hermansen referred to lost revenue, but stated he was satisfied with the compromise.

Councilman Brian Campbell said he did not want to put additional money into going to court.

"My position is, I think they are attempting to compromise to make things acceptable. They're not being compensated any of the times they come back and make these repairs because they signed a warranty originally. They're following through," Thul said. "I understand there were sags outside of acceptable degree of amount that you could have a sag. You are willing to live with that and not have your campground torn up again. That's a consideration, too."

"We've asked them to be done by May 1," said Kim Kibbie, City Administrator. She added the city plans some campground beautification, including new lights and new pads.

Councilman Bill Burdick said the city needs to move forward.

Councilman Todd Bell addressed the issue of televising the campground's sanitary sewer system. He questioned if the system should be televised on a yearly basis in case other issues come up.

Brown answered, "Your pumping rates are going to go up and you can see that on your pumping reports. If you're having blockages that's gong to show up."

Emmetsburg City Council members agreed to create a contract with Hulstein Excavating that includes an additional two year extension. Televising the sanitary sewer system would be competed before the warranty by contract expires in 2023.



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