2011-12-01 / Front Page

County Votes on Collecting for Courthouse Delays

On Monday, the Lee County Commissioners Court discussed collecting liquidated damages from SCS Contracting, a firm that has been working on the Lee County Courthouse foundation repair project since February of this year. Commissioners want to collect from the firm for missing two deadlines on the completion of the project.

The County’s contract with SCS stated that the completion date for the project was August 15, 2011. The Commissioners voted to extend that date until November 14, but both deadlines have been missed. The contractor has now named late January for his completion date.

The contract allows the county to collect up to $750/day from the contractor if the deadline for the completion was not met. However, in Monday’s meeting, Commissioner Doug Hartfield made a motion that in lieu of collecting $750/day from SCS, the contractor should pay 75% of the engineering fees, with the County paying the remaining 25%. The contractor has verbally agreed to this arrangement, but nothing is in writing yet.

The estimated engineering fees payable to the engineering firm WJE, of Austin, are $39,750. Hartfield said his motion was prompted by the fact that there was some confusion in the contract’s definition of work days and calendar days.

The Commissioners voted in favor of Hartfield’s motion, with County Judge Paul Fischer objecting to it. Judge Fischer voted against it because he was concerned that the taxpayers may be out additional funds.

In other action, the Commissioners approved the 7th Round Grant Application to the Texas Historical Commission for the remaining interior repairs to the Courthouse. Each grant round is two years.

The Commissioners will still monitor the foundation repairs for one year after its completion, before any interior repairs can begin, but have to submit the grant application now.

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