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Dispute still hanging up Troutman's demolition

Joe Napsha
| Saturday, May 12, 2012, 3:26 a.m.

The former Troutman's department store on South Pennsylvania Avenue in Greensburg remains standing because of the impasse between the city and the contractor over the cost of the project.

Mayor Karl E. Eisaman said Tuesday at city council's agenda meeting that the city is at a "standstill" with A&L Inc., of Belle Vernon, which has not signed the $394,000 demolition contract that the city awarded in June.

Council awarded A&L the contract for the project even though A&L told the city it was withdrawing its bid because it reported that miscalculations made the price $260,000 lower than it should have been.

City officials made "some progress" during discussions with A&L representatives, but there remains a "substantial gap" between what A&L bid and what it claims is the correct amount, Solicitor Timothy McCormick said.

The city is not satisfied that the documents A&L produced were sufficient to support its claim of an error in bid calculations, Eisaman said. The city's consulting engineer reviewed some documents pertaining to the purported error made in calculating the bid.

The city has not decided whether to rebid the project, said Thomas Sphon, city administrator. The only other bidder, Noralco Corp., of Pittsburgh, submitted a bid that was $594,000 higher than A&L.

Greensburg had anticipated spending about $400,000 in federal block grant funds to pay for the project. The six-story building was to be demolished in 90 days once the contract was awarded.

In other business, council is awaiting notification from the state as to when the Mt. Pleasant Street flood control project will begin.

Gov. Ed Rendell announced in Greensburg in June that $600,000 in state funds has been released for the project, which has been in the planning stages for decades.

Another project that has been in the planning stages for years, the construction of a new Maple Avenue Bridge, is moving closer to reality.

The state Department of Transportation is to open bids soon, Sphon said. The project is scheduled to begin in February.

Waste Management, the city's trash collector, is expected to deliver new recycling containers to city residents next week, Sphon said. It probably will take a week for Waste Management to distribute the containers, which the city purchased with its state recycling grant, Sphon said.

City residents are asked to place the old recycling containers along the curbside for pickup. Those containers are not to be used as trash receptacles, Sphon said.

The city plans to open the gates of Offutt Field at 5 p.m. today for fans who want to watch children compete in a football skills contest prior to the Pittsburgh Steelers practice session at 7 p.m.

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