Ninth Street issue could lead to legal action
By Bert Lehman
The vaulted sidewalk on Ninth Street that was repaired last summer is now leaking.
According to documents released by the city of Clintonville, on July 24, a metered hydrant was used as a water source to spray water on top of the curb and sidewalk apron areas of the Ninth Street vaulted sidewalk to determine the locations of the leaks.
Several areas showed evidence of water leaking into the basement of the adjoining building to the sidewalk, Kray Brown, Clintonville Public Works director, told the Clintonville Streets Committee at its Aug. 9 meeting.
“There are a few cracks in the sidewalk, more so to the side entrance of the building of B&H [Fashionwear] that water was infiltrating into,” Brown said. “That in my opinion would be a warranty item.”
Neither MSA Professional Services, the engineering company the city worked with for the project, nor Norcon Corporation, which did the sidewalk work, communicated back to Brown by the committee meeting as to what remedies it would do to rectify the situation.
Brown said there are probably some things the Clintonville Public Works Department could do to help limit some of the leakage. This would include caulking some of the joints that had opened up.
He added that any warranty work would have to be done by Norcon.
“We need to keep on this and do our due diligence here because I really don’t want to go to the next step of forcing Norcon to do something,” Brown said.
Streets Committee Chairman Jim Supanich said he was concerned about how much time this was taking because the city has already been dealing the Ninth Street sidewalk issue for two years.
He also asked why Norcon wasn’t responding to the city. Brown said he didn’t know.
When asked by Supanich if Norcon had agreed to honor the warranty on the project, Brown said not at this time.
“At what point do we get the city attorney involved?” Supanich asked.
Brown said he would wait another month before involving the city attorney.
Clintonville City Administrator Sharon Eveland told the committee that she isn’t confident that Norcon will honor warranty work.
“We had email exchanges with them earlier this year and they were claiming it was never supposed to be waterproof,” Eveland said.
She said that after she and Brown reviewed the project specifications, it stated it was supposed to be waterproof.
“Honestly, I would not wait until the next meeting [to involve the city attorney],” Eveland said.
Committee member Tammy Strey-Hirt asked if the warranty would be voided if the city does any type of work on the area in question.
“That is a concern,” Eveland said. “They could say the warranty is voided because we did work on it on our own.”
“This has dragged on way too long,” said committee member Steve Kettenhoven. “When they are not even responding to anything, calls or letters, or whatever the case may be, I think we just have to go after them from a legal aspect.”
The committee decided to seek the opinion of Clintonville City Attorney Keith Steckbauer and then move forward from there.