By Kara Herlihy
The final cost of repairs and paving of the Sugarbush Access Road will cost the town of Warren approximately $600,000; select board members approved the invoice from F. W. Whitcomb at the November 22 meeting.
Town officials also decided not to enforce penalties of $1,300 per day for failing to meet the October 15 completion date. The project was completed two weeks past that date and penalties would have totaled $18,200.
The final cost also includes $15,000 of additional paving that the town completed using funds from the negotiated settlement with Sugarbush in the prior year. The town also included $25,000 worth of extra gravel to complete the project to the specifications.
The town’s contract with F. W. Whitcomb included a clause with an October 15 completion date; failure to meet that date would result in the company paying the town liquid damages of $1,300 per day past October 15.
Town officials never received a request to extend the completion date or notice that work wouldn’t be complete by then.
Select board chair Andy Cunningham said that F. W. Whitcomb “doesn’t feel they owe us any liquidated damages.”
“My feeling is that the project came out very well. It really didn’t cost us anything to have the completion date go by. These guys are one of three or four contractors that do this kind of work. In the future we don’t want to have a bad connection with this contractor,” he said.
Select board member Matt Groom said, “It would have been nice to have them come to us with reasons for not meeting the completion date, but we have such a small pool of qualified contractors and they also did more work.”
On Town Meeting Day, voters unanimously approved Article 7 to fund the project at a cost of $375,000. The project consists of paving an eight-tenths-of-a-mile section of road starting in the vicinity of Gold Hill Road and ending near Wheeler Brook.
Town officials hired Mark Bannon of Bannon Engineering to complete the engineering of the one-mile paving project.
Last July, a slump in the road prompted town officials to hire Dubois Construction to restore the slumping section at a cost of close to $179,000.