Swanville to withhold payment until contractors complete project

By Kerry Drager, Correspondent

The city of Swanville will withhold more than $50,000 in payment to Larson Excavating Contractors Inc. from Holdingford due to several unfinished items that the construction company was contracted to do last summer and fall.

Some items on the list include repairs to damaged valve boxes for city hydrants and near the water tower, areas where pavement was removed and not repaved, repair the pavement at the intersection of Fifth Street and Berkey Avenue, turf replacement and maintenance and replacement of concrete to residential driveways that were removed for construction.

According to last year’s list, there are currently $15,150 worth of projects to be completed or repaired. The City Council is concerned that if it withholds only this amount for the project, Larson Excavating will not return to finish the job.

“When you hire someone to come in and do the job, you do the job to the customer’s satisfaction,” said Council Member Jim Molitor during the June 3 meeting. “The project dragged much too late into the fall. With their last paving job it was absolutely ridiculous to be paving on a day like that. We had put our trust into the people we hired so that they’d do a good job. It might be minor to them but it isn’t to me and it certainly isn’t right for the citizens of Swanville.”

Mike Rude, representing engineering and architecture company Widseth Smith Nolting, has been working with the city to ensure that the project is done to their satisfaction.

“We need to get together and get an updated list of everything that still needs to be done, but we should be comprehensive with what you are expecting to see,” said Rude. “The only correspondence I’ve gotten from Larson’s on this is, ‘Where is the money?’”

Torrential rains last week also put the city’s water drainage system to the test. Molitor went out during the storm and took photographs throughout the city where the catch basins were not taking the water and places where rain water was collecting on residential lawns and driveways.

Rude is working with the Council and Lonny Hutchins in city maintenance to find solutions to the issues.

Swanville City Council Briefs

Other business that came before the Swanville City Council included:

•Approving a temporary strong liquor license for the Lions Club during the Swanville Mid-Summer Carnival in the amount of $80. The Lions Club will be serving strong beer and wine during the three-day event; and

•Hearing from the Live Better! Live Longer! (LBLL) organization that it is interested in working with the city in establishing an Open Street event. Open Street events will have city streets temporarily closed for activities and playtime for area families and children.

The next regularly scheduled Swanville City Council meeting is Tuesday, July 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the City Complex.