Council Considers Action Against Paving Contractor

Armstrong County Planning and Development Project Manager Sally Conklin discusses problems with Mulberry Street paving with Kittanning Borough Council last night.

Kittanning Borough Council held a discussion concerning paving work that was to be finished on Mulberry Street by last month.

R&B Contracting from West Mifflin, PA was contracted to install inlets and ADA ramps in addition to paving Mulberry from South Water Street to South Jefferson Street.

Armstrong County Planning and Development Project Manager Sally Conklin said the deadline for completion was October 23, 2017.

“The inlets and ADA ramps along Mulberry Street were installed, but at this time, R&B has not returned to the job site to complete the project. The time extension that the Council had granted expired on October 23. Representatives from Senate (Engineering) and myself have been in contact with R&B on numerous occasions. They have not returned our calls and emails. I have notified your solicitor of this issue. We are still trying to find out when they intend to do this project.”

Kittanning Borough Solicitor Ty Heller said the next step is to notify the insurance company that issued the performance bond that the work was not completed.  In addition, he stated that the ability to collect for failure to complete the project carries a fine of $150 per day.

“We are going to work on putting the bonding company on notice so they can do whatever they feel they need to do to protect their interest and guarantee the work gets done for the price that was quoted. I will work with the folks at the County and at Senate who have been administering the thing thus far and get to the right person to get it delivered.”

Heller said the paving of the project could not continue at this time due to not being able to pave in the cold weather. He estimated the earliest R&B could complete the work will be next spring. At that point, the Borough could assess damages of $150 per day, or over $25,000.

In addition to Mulberry Street, the contract included the reconstruction and paving of the McKean Street Parking Lot as well as Templeton Way and Jefferson Way from Arch to Vine.

In addition to paving issues, Conklin said R&B left areas around the inlets that were not filled in and could become dangerous this winter.

“When they put the inlets in, there is some gravel and some areas they backfilled, but others are truly open holes that are a concern. They did have barrels kind of blocking it off but they since have fallen (into disrepair),” Conklin said.

Councilman Dr. Gerald Shuster felt something has to be done immediately for the safety of motorists and pedestrians.

“I think it’s an accident waiting to happen and a liability factor that needs to be addressed before (winter). Those cannot be left the way they are.”

Councilman David Croyle made the motion to have the Borough street workers backfill the areas around the inlets to make them safe for winter. He also ordered the street department to keep a running tab of the man hours and materials used on the job so the contractor could be charged for the work.

The entire project amount is $114,279.20.