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Export officials request more detailed engineering invoices

Patrick Varine
| Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016, 4:12 p.m.

Export council paid more than $84,000 to engineering consultant Gibson-Thomas this month, but is looking to get more detailed billing from the company down the road.

“When we get a bill in the future, and it's got a date and an invoice number listed on it, we need more itemization so we know what we're paying for,” Mayor Michael Calder said.

Borough solicitor Wes Long conducted a review of bills from the Latrobe firm after council raised questions at multiple meetings about having more specific information listed on invoices. The review was to determine the project related to each bill.

Councilman Joe Zaccagnini at a recent meeting made a motion to pay the majority of the bills — some for work as far back as 2013 — but not including about $6,900 related to a survey of property at the future site of the J.M. Hall Park.

“They came out, put the survey pins on the property in the wrong place, and we went back and forth about it for six or nine months,” said Councilman James Mahinske. “Then they came back, tore them out and finally put them in the right place, and charged us $3,200 for it.

“I don't have any problem paying someone for their work, but if you do it wrong, then come back and do it right, we shouldn't have to pay for what you did wrong.”

Gibson-Thomas engineer Ken Orie said his firm did not have a comment specifically on the bills council chose not to pay.

“We're working to accommodate council's request (for more details on individual bills),” Orie said.

Zaccagnini said he hoped the payment made this month means the borough is now current on all its engineering bills.

Long said the payment did not include the final draft of the borough's long-term control plan for storm water and sewer, which was submitted for approval to the state's Department for Environmental Protection in early August.

The majority of the bills cover Gibson-Thomas's work on the plan, the recently completed handicap lift at the borough building, camera work on the borough's sewer system and its combined sewer overflow system.

Patrick Varine is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. He can be reached at 724-850-2862 or

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