Engineer eats some costs for error

Published 11:08 am Saturday, September 29, 2012

COURTLAND—The engineer who underestimated repairs to the Boykins sewer treatment plant has eaten some of the extra costs.

The Timmons Group in Richmond prepared bid documents, which called for removing 47 tons of sludge. On June 14, after a second sampling, it was estimated there would be 119 tons.

After that second sampling, Timmons offered to help with the removal of sludge to cut costs.

“There were people from Timmons on site every day,” said County Administrator Mike Johnson. “These are engineers were out there moving sludge, (doing) manual nasty labor, and (they) did not charge the county anything for their time.”

Timmons admits the first estimate was not accurate, Johnson said.

The project is now expected to cost just over $1 million; the original estimate was $880,502. Also, $70,000 was budgeted for Timmons’ construction administration; Timmons has reduced that cost to $46,500.

“The truth is if Timmons had hit the number dead on from day one, we would have still had to pay that amount,” said Johnson. “If the estimate had of been perfect, we would of just had to borrow more money to begin with. It’s our responsibility. It’s our sludge in the bottom of our basin. We are under a consent order from DEQ to remove it.”