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Walworth gets rid of engineer, hires new one

Watters: 'Beloit Street was obviously a turning point'

August 18, 2010 | 07:34 AM
Walworth — Village Board members dumped engineer Bill Dunlop after their relationship was strained over several issues, most of related to the Beloit Street reconstruction.

Dunlop, who worked with Foth, oversaw the Beloit Street project, which went more than $200,000 over budget.

"Beloit Street was obviously a turning point," Village President Todd Watters said after a special session meeting Monday night.

Dunlop declined to comment Tuesday afternoon.

In May, when the village made its annual committee appointments, the board didn't act on whether to reappoint Dunlop.

Prior to that, the village tabled paying bills submitted by Foth, often seeking clarification on invoice items.

In the last few months, the village has worked with Mark Kolczaski, Baxter and Woodman, on certain projects.

Trustee LeRoy Nordmeyer said Kolczaski "auditioned" for the village on a couple of projects and produced good work.

"He worked on a couple of things and showed a lot of good faith," Nordmeyer said.

Kolczaski was tapped to resolve an issue the village had with the Department of Natural Resources and Well 5.

The DNR threatened to shut down a village well because of its nitrate levels. However, the levels were under the maximum allowed by the state.

Nordmeyer said Baxter and Woodman was able to quickly reach an agreement with the DNR.

Dunlop also looked at the issue, but was unable to resolve it, according to Nordmeyer.

Watters said concerns with the village's engineer began when Foth replaced its old engineer, Kevin Richardson, with Dunlop.

"We gave a reasonable amount of time to asses how well we worked with the replacement from Foth," Watters said.

Communication concerns also were an issue, Watters said.

"There were a number of incidents where a reasonable person would have expected warning flags to be brought to the board or Public Works Committee," Watters said. "This could mitigate additional costs or at least make us aware or them."

During the Beloit Street construction project, more topsoil than expected was found underneath the road, it rained throughout the construction, causing delays and in the end, the price tag on the project increased by more than the original bid amount. A Foth Engineer, not Dunlop, also observed that material poured onto the road cold, which can cause problems with the finished product.

However, the on-site engineer's observation wasn't reported to Public Works Director Tim Boss or any of the village trustees.

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