Share This Page

West Newton council weighs options for dealing with contractor

| Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 12:02 a.m.

West Newton has been receiving three to four complaints per day about dust caused by a trench along North Water Street.

At their meeting Monday, West Newton council members put a contingency on a payment to the contracting company responsible for leaving the trench unpaved for three weeks.

Engineer Timothy Brett said Bella Enterprises Inc. of Cecil, Washington County, should have used patching material to temporarily cover the 4-foot gravel trench opened in early October, which runs lengthwise from Cross to Poplar streets in the middle of North Water Street for about 500 feet.

“It's completely unacceptable” for it to have remained unrepaired for so long, he said.

The contractor was awarded part of a $2 million sewage project last September.

Council considered a partial payment Monday of $86,055 to the Cecil company as part of the $648,400 contract to replace sewage lines beneath Wilson Lane from Riverside Drive to North First Street and under Hickory Alley from the Youghiogheny River to South Fifth Street.

About six homes on either side of the street where the trench is located have been affected by dust from cars driving over the gravel, Brett said.

Drivers along North Water Street have had difficulty passing through the trench.

Councilman Adam Paterline said the contractor might be trying to save money by waiting to completely pave rather than patch over the trench, but it has been much to the disadvantage of residents.

“We don't want to kick the can down the road another month,” he said.

A formal letter was sent to the contractor last week. Brett also sent an email and borough Secretary Pam Humenik called the president of the company Monday.

“I made it very clear to her that I wanted reassurance,” Humenik said. “We're a small community, but we're still under contract for their work.”

The contractor cited problems with the weather and scheduling for other paving projects as reasons for the delays, Humenik said.

Council approved the payment contingent upon completion of either temporary patching or base-layer paving by Friday.

Temperatures must remain above 35 degrees for base-layer paving and 40 degrees for top-layer paving, Brett said.

Stacey Federoff is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at sfederoff@tribweb.com or 724-836-6660.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.