After a contracting company stopped progress on a lengthy sewer project, and the city began receiving unpaid material invoices from suppliers claiming non-payment, Maryville’s City Council terminated its existing contract with the company March 31.
The City Council met at noon Wednesday for a special meeting to end a contract with Blue Nile Contractors, Inc., that provided for construction of the East Side Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project. In early February, the city noticed construction activities stopped on the site. Construction equipment was also removed. Only 65% of the project was completed by Blue Nile Contractors, and city staff later discovered the company did not submit a valid payment bond.
The city’s attorney is working to determine legal options for the unpaid invoices. After the attorney said the City Council could legally terminate the city’s contract with the company, a special meeting was called to do so.
Public Works Director C.E. Goodall attended the meeting March 31 to clarify why the project was important and present the latest updates to the City Council.
The East Side Sanitary Sewer Replacement Project replaces an existing 21-inch undersized sanitary sewer main on the south side of U.S. Highway 136 stretching from Nucor LMP to the Maryville Wastewater Treatment Plant. The city said the existing line is in poor condition and leaves the system vulnerable to an influx of storm water.
After the project is complete, a new 36-inch sanitary sewer main will be functional to provide larger capacity for the system.
“The other thing it’s kind of accomplishing for is getting (the sewer main) out of the middle of the field down there for the farmer,” Goodall said. “The other manholes were buried, so we didn’t have access to them, so we kind of worked it out to be able to have access to these.”
After Councilman Tye Parsons said he had concerns with city liability and implications of terminating the contract, City Manager Greg McDanel said Blue Nile already received a standard notice given the contract terms.
The City Council voted unanimously to end its contract with Blue Nile Contractors and then voted unanimously to enter a new contract with Pyramid Excavation & Construction.
Maryville’s contract for the entire project with Blue Nile cost $597,264.12. The contract with Pyramid Excavation & Construction, to complete the final 35%, cost $254,288.
Councilman Jason McDowell was not in attendance and Councilwoman Rachael Martin attended via Zoom.