Scappoose denies skatepark contractors request to waive fees
Council votes 5-2 to retain $30,500 payment due to contract breach
Scappoose City Council voted 5-2 Wednesday, Sept. 3, to deny a request made by Grindeline Skateparks Inc. the company contracted to construct the citys new skatepark to waive liquidated damages payments to the city for missing its targeted completion deadlines.
The skatepark was contracted to be completed May 31.
Grindline began paying the penalty for missing its completion deadline June 25 in the amount of $500 per day. Grindline brought the park to substantial completion on Aug. 30. The total amount of assessed liquidated damages is $30,500.
City Councilor Donna Gedlich was one of the five councilors opposed to waiving the liquidated damages. We had chosen Grindline for their expertise and for their qualification, as we understood it, but I think that if we were to waive and grant this request, we would be showing other contractors that just because they think were small town that they can get away with all kinds of things, Gedlich said.
Grindlines chief financial officer, Emily Giaquinta, argued in email correspondence with City Manager Jon Hanken that the company was trying to provide a well-designed park for Scappoose and, according to Hanken, called the liquidated damages nothing more than a witch-hunt against her company.
I would have been willing to sit and talk with them if they had come to us in a little bit more conciliatory tone, said councilor Mark Reed, adding that he didnt like being accused of initiating a witch hunt. Their posture was to stick it back in our lap and make us the bad people.
Council President Larry Meres, one of the two councilorsalong with councilor Jason Meshell who voted against not waiving the liquidated damages, said, I think theyre probably running on a pretty thin margin and youre talking about $30,000. As long as Ive been on this council, you know what, everybodys come to this council and said, I need $50,000 more... We have never stuck it to anybody, weve never denied it, weve always said, OK, I wish we would have saw it before, but weve always approved it.
To say that weve never stuck it to a contractor, per se, since Ive been on council is inaccurate, said Mayor Scott Burge, citing contractors who have been penalized for miscalculations on various city projects.
Burge said his main issue with the companys request is captured in the contract, which states that once the company finds something wrong with its original approach to the project it was to notify the city within three days, which Grindline did not do.
The gates to the park will open today.
Kids are already getting in through the fence, Hanken said on Wednesday. Youd think that a fenced-off thing means to keep out. I guess kids dont understand that anymore.Add a comment