The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

December 1, 2012

Deadline for litigation against contractor to be extended

Housing grant could rehab 10 homes on city’s south side

OTTUMWA — The deadline for the city to begin litigation against a Grimes company could be extended to give the contractor time to repair faulty work on an Ottumwa street six years ago.

At its Tuesday night meeting, the Ottumwa City Council will vote to approve an agreement “tolling” — or suspending — the statute of limitations regarding the commencement of litigation against Van Hauen & Associates, Inc., of Grimes, and Merchants Bonding Company to recover for unacceptable work performed by the contractor on Phase 1 of the South Ottumwa Sanitary Sewer Separation Project.

In October, the council had approved for City Attorney Joni Keith to begin litigation against Van Hauen and its bonding company, MBC, for the work done six years ago.

In a previous interview with the Courier, Keith said Van Hauen is still in business though the company is considered to be in “reduced capacity,” which is why the city would also file suit against their bonding company.

Approximately 59 panels of the four blocks of North Sheridan Avenue from Finley Avenue to Garfield Street have settled or cracked, which city engineers believe is due to the contractor not properly compacting the ground underneath before laying the street.

Throughout the past year, the city and its engineer on the project, Todd Penisten from Veenstra & Kimm, have been negotiating with Van Hauen to repair the panels.

“Where we found a lack of effort was in compaction along the side of those boxes,” said Public Works Director Larry Seals at an October council meeting, though he said the sewer lines underneath the road have not been affected. “There are two guarantees with concrete: It’ll get hard and it’ll crack. Compaction is probably the biggest issue we have in any construction project.”

The city has given notice of a claim under the contractor’s performance bond with MBC requesting that they hire a separate contractor to remove and replace the pavement, with those costs as well as the costs for the subgrade testing to be covered by the maintenance bond.

The statute of limitations on the claim is Dec. 20, but the proposed agreement extends the statute of limitations until Nov. 30, 2013 to give the contractor time to make the repairs necessary.

It is believed that a separate agreement between the parties can be negotiated that will ensure the necessary repairs without the necessity of litigation.

Van Hauen has said a design defect led to the problem, not any work of their own.

Text Only
Local News
  • 0723 OTT Riverfront color photo -L -M Ideas flow at Riverfront Renaissance workshop OTTUMWA — Ideas flowed as freely as the river itself Tuesday evening as more than 100 Ottumwans shared their vision of what the riverfront can be.The Riverfront Renaissance design charrette, sponsored by the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation, drew p

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kids … not cash OTTUMWA — From a project that started with nothing, supporters created a top-notch education facility for at-risk youth. Someone in on the project from the beginning shared the story. Wapello County Supervisor Jerry Parker addressed a community advis

    July 22, 2014

  • Staying healthy during extreme heat OTTUMWA — After unusually cool temperatures last week, it may have been easy to forget how the heat of summer feels, but an incoming heat wave will quickly remind you. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, heat is the No.

    July 22, 2014

  • Shooting ruled homicide OTTUMWA — The death of a man shot in Wapello County has been ruled a homicide. The Wapello County Sheriff’s Office on Monday received a 911 call of a shooting 4 miles southwest of Ottumwa. Deputies discovered Clinton Gus Leedom, 49, of Bloomfield, to

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT flood file photo Over $1 million to fight floods EDDYVILLE — It's not the way a town wants to get $1 million, but the damage suffered by Eddyville in recent floods has prompted the federal government to cut a check. Actually, it's Area 15 Regional Planning Commission, a community assistance agency

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Driver's license services temporarily suspended KEOSAUQUA — Van Buren County Treasurer’s Office has notified the Iowa Department of Transportation that it has suspended driver’s license services due to staffing issues in the county treasurer’s office. It is anticipated suspension of the services

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723 OTT Canoe Camp color photo -L -M -T Canoe Camp teaches water safety OTTUMWA — Six children at Pioneer Nature Area and Nature Center pond were making waves and getting wet as they flipped their canoes over in attempt to rescue each other. Since summertime and water activities go hand-in-hand, the goal of the activity

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0723 OTT Seth Techel mugshot -T Techel jury may begin deliberations Wednesday DAVENPORT — The jury in the third trial of a Wapello County man accused of murdering his wife may begin deliberations as early as Wednesday in Scott County, Davenport. The jury was excused mid-afternoon Tuesday while Judge Daniel Wilson, who continue

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Three appointed to Board of Adjustment OTTUMWA — Three new faces will appear on Wapello County Board of Adjustment, thanks to help from the county’s newspaper of record, the Ottumwa Courier. Four applicants applied for the positions and three were selected. New members include Marcia Week

    July 22, 2014

  • Slain woman's boyfriend: I didn't kill her DAVENPORT — A married man who had an affair with a slain Wapello County woman testified this morning that he did not kill her. Jason Tinnes, a jailer who worked with the late Lisa Caldwell Techel, said their affair ended shortly before she died. Tinn

    July 22, 2014

Photo reprints


Obituaries

Facebook