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West Kittanning Council finds problems with community building, to withhold payment

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Tuesday, May 6, 2014, 12:56 a.m.

West Kittanning Council plans to withhold final payments to two construction firms after finding several problems with its community building on Arthur Street.

Council plans to withhold a $620 payment to Harmar-based Senate Engineering, and a $3,245 payment to Central Heating & Plumbing of New Castle, until they are satisfied with the building.

Councilman Henry Mores said he and Councilman Ed Morris found several discrepancies — and took pictures of them — while walking through the building on Monday afternoon.

“If I'd have built a building like that, I'd have been hung out to dry, since I was in the construction business for almost 40 years,” Mores said. “I'd be ashamed if I had built what I found at this building.”

Mores declined to go into detail on the building's flaws until he meets with Senate Engineering. But he said he would classify several problems as minor, such as cracked fascia or a couple of loose bricks.

Some of the glaring details would take a lot of work, such as a cracked cement pad on the front porch, he said.

Representatives from Senate Engineering and Central Heating & Plumbing could not be reached on Monday after council's meeting.

Borough taxpayers funded the one-story, 2,400-foot building, designed by Senate Engineering, using a $450,000 loan from F&M Bank. It led council to raise taxes by 1.25-mills, the first hike in a decade.

Officials expected the building to be wrapped up by the end of January, but construction was delayed because of frigid temperatures.

Council president Bob Venesky said he is glad council plans to withhold the final payments until it is done right.

Venesky said contractors have to plant bushes and complete the rest of the building's landscaping.

“We've (been) spending pretty close to $400,000 on this building, so it'd better be done right,” Venesky said. “They dropped the ball.”

Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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