A time extension has been granted for Acreage Community Park’s southern expansion, which is now set for completion on March 29. The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors approved the change order at its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
Substantial completion is set for March 1, according to ITID President Betty Argue, who gave a report on progress at the board’s meeting. She said that the project has been delayed due to change order requests and county permit requirements.
“I promised to have some issues addressed, and I brought them to you tonight,” Argue said. “What you have before you is the latest schedule that has been given, and the change order for the change of dates.”
Argue said that ITID still must confirm with the contractor that the contract extension will not cost additional money. “We just had that discussion this morning, and we need to satisfy ourselves,” she said.
Supervisor Carol Jacobs said that where to watch for additional charges is when the project manager puts together a punch list for final completion.
Argue said there were several change orders that the project manager and district staff reviewed that morning before the meeting that are still outstanding.
“The bottom line is that our position on pretty much every one of those change orders is that we already have contracts on those unit price items,” Argue said, explaining that the costs submitted for certain items was being increased by the contractor.
“These change orders that they are coming up with are change orders on items that we already have bid price items on,” Argue said. “Every time there is a change order, that means we are paying markup. Our position is that the change orders presented are not valid. We have not received any valid justification for approving it.”
Argue said that the only change orders that have been approved were for additional items that the board wanted, such as the amphitheater, and getting permits from the county, which required certain improvements to the plan.
“There has never been a change order that has been approved by me or staff since I’ve been on the board that was not approved by this board, except for one early on that was approved by [former ITID Manager] Jim Shallman,” Argue said.
Jacobs asked for clarification that the change order before them that evening was only for a time extension and would not cost the district any more money.
“Basically, it just took longer?” Jacobs asked.
“It has taken a lot longer, but that had to do with the permitting and that whole process,” Argue said. “Some of it is not the contractor’s fault.”
Argue, who has volunteered to oversee the project on behalf of the board, said she and ITID staff have done everything possible to keep the project moving, but the process has been frustrating.
“In hindsight, if I had known what I know now, I would have never agreed to stay with that contractor and move forward with the amendments. I would have said, ‘Let’s rebid this,’” Argue said. “If I had known the amendments were going to be more than just a simple phasing change, I would never have agreed to it.”
Despite this frustration, she believes that Acreage residents will have a park they can be proud of in the end.
“We will have more value here,” Argue said.
“I think that it has worked out nicely,” Jacobs said.
Argue asked for a motion to approve the change order, subject to the contractor and ITID working through issues related to the extension of time and insuring that there are no additional charges as a result of the extension. “If we don’t get that assurance, we will not agree to this,” Argue said. “I can bring it back to the December meeting.”
Supervisor Tim Sayre, who was attending the meeting by telephone, asked when liquidated damages for breach of contract would begin, and Argue said on March 30, the day after the contract extension ends.
Supervisor Jennifer Hager made the motion to approve the extension, which carried 5-0.