New Lenox OKs engineering contract with Mokena firm
By Erin Gallagher Correspondent March 10, 2013 8:48PM
Updated: April 12, 2013 6:04AM
New Lenox village officials signed a contract with an engineering company that put taxpayers’ bottom line ahead of other considerations.
The board approved hiring a Mokena company to design a revision to the public works building sanitary sewer project for a maximum fee of $9,500. Village Administrator Kurt Carroll said bringing in another firm could have wound up costing the village more time and money.
“I’ll hold my nose and vote yes,” Trustee Ray Tuminello said.
Carroll said that engineering firm Baxter & Woodman from Mokena already had done considerable work on the project. Unexpectedly, it had to move from the east to the west side of Gougar Road.
Several board members complained that an expensive piece of equipment was omitted from the scope of the last project, which they felt Baxter should have been able to anticipate. The cost of the oversight was approximately $20,000.
Mayor Tim Baldermann said it’s not that Baxter isn’t a qualified firm, it’s the way it dealt with the problem.
“We all had that issue and we tried to resolve it at the time, and it wasn’t resolved to any of our satisfaction,” Baldermann said.
Baxter did not return calls seeking comment.
“It leaves a bad taste in our mouths,” the mayor said. “Unfortunately, I think we need to make an efficient vote, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to send a message along with it.”