Council questions bill

Friday, July 22, 2011

BERRYVILLE -- An engineering firm's request for more money was tabled a second time Tuesday night when Berryville city aldermen questioned the "billable hour" breakdown that was presented.

At a previous meeting, Mayor Tim McKinney brought the request to the table, saying HDR Archer, the firm overseeing the city's wastewater treatment plant upgrade project, had asked for added money, including $9,000 because the job was taking longer than anticipated.

The contactor had received an extra 37 working days -- meaning engineers had to work longer also.

The council didn't have a problem with the $9,000 figure to cover the added work, it was the other $21,000 in fees. At that time, the council instructed McKinney to get a "billable hour breakdown" from Archer to justify the payment.

That breakdown was provided and included 40 hours for "start up" billed at $5,960 that aldermen Cindy George and Linda Riddlesperger contested, saying "start up" was included in the original contract.

They also contested 18 hours billed at $2,640 for "substantial completion."

"I'm not willing to approve this before completion," said George, "and I have some issues like Linda does with start up."

McKinney noted that the firm "came down $10,000" from its first added fee request, but said he would talk to them some more.

George wondered if the billing rate was impacted by the fact Archer was acquired by HDR since McKinney negotiated the original deal back in 2008 with Archer.

Fair parade

In other business, the council approved plans for the Carroll County Fair Parade that is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 27.

Back-to-School Bash

The council also approved extended park hours to accommodate the Second Annual Back-to-School Bash hosted by the Berryville Parks and Recreation Department.

It is set for Thursday, Aug. 11, from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at the City Pool and Park for students age 8 to 15. Admission will be two cans of non-perishable food or $4 per person.

Street program

McKinney said the city won't begin to see revenue from the temporary sales tax voters approved for city improvements until December.

In the meantime, he said the city has up to $150,000 it can spend on street improvements, mainly overlays, to keep the streets in shape. He said it's time to make a list and asked the council members to look around and add to the list.

The council's next meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 2.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: