City OKs $28K in overages

City OKs $28K in  overagesBy BRIAN COSNER

News Review Staff Writer

The Ridgecrest City Council voted last week to approve $28,221.60 in additional funds to complete construction of the Senior Center parking lot. The lot was repaved and brought up to compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to City Engineer Loren Culp, the extra cost was caused by an oversight on the amount of cement required to bring the driveway to Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.

“It was pretty much a finite square footage of the project. How can we be off by that much?” asked Councilmember Mike Mower.

Culp said that ADA-compliant driveways are longer in order to lessen the grade of incline.

“Have we ever run into this before? Is this something that is new that happened?” asked Mayor Peggy Breeden. “What did we learn and how do we apply it to the next time?”

“It was simply an oversight on our part. We did not realize that,” said Culp.

The ADA was passed in 1990. According to a Department of Transportation publication, driveway approach requirements have been updated with best management practices published in 2001.

“I think it would be absolutely delightful if sometimes these slides would say we’re under bid instead of constantly over,” said Vice Mayor Wallace Martin. “If I bid a job out and the guy’s over, then he eats it and has to make up for it on the next job or improve his estimation abilities.

“I’m not talking just about this job. But I think we need to get better at estimating, and contractors need to get better at overdelivering instead of overpromising.”

“It is our goal to try to make sure that we do meet the amount allocated,” said Culp. “As a rule of thumb, you try to keep your change orders in the range of 5-10 percent. In this case, we’re at 11.8 [percent]. So we just missed the mark of what’s an acceptable range for change orders.”

He added that the city was $20,000 under budget for a recent sewer line job at the intersection of Downs Street and Bowman Road.

“Some of them we win, some of them we lose,” said Culp. “Hopefully, at the end of the year everything will balance out. We just can’t catch everything. This was an oversight on our part, and we’ve learned from it.”

The council unanimously approved the added cost, thus signifying the completion of the latest Senior Center renovations.

Pictured: City Engineer Loren Culp

Story First Published: 2019-03-29