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Council tables Dow Park contractor termination

Written by Bobby Vasquez. Posted in News

Dow Park Pavilion 1IN NEWS
During its regular workshop, Deer Park City Council asked city staff to proceed with plans to review the city charter. In the regular meeting that followed, council unanimously approved all but one item on its agenda. Council chose to table an item regarding terminating a contract for the Dow Park Pavilions.

Dow Park Pavilion 3At Tuesday's Deer Park City Council meeting, council voted to table an item that would have terminated a contract on the still-under construction Dow Park Pavilions. The action came after council met in a closed executive session and it heard a statement from contractor Mike Tello. Photo by Bobby Vasquez.In an emergency agenda meeting that preceded the regularly scheduled workshop, Deer Park City Council unanimously approved authorization to make emergency repairs on a 12-inch sanitary sewer line.

Public Works Director Bill Petersen said the line is located 12 feet underground in front of Antonio’s Italian Restaurant on Center Street.

“We have mud coming out of it, which is indicative of a collapse,” he told council. “We have to clean it every so often to keep flow so no one gets backed up.”

Petersen said the city would need to move quickly on starting and completing the project, which would include cutting open Center Street. The cost of the project would not be known until the damage is examined.

During the regular workshop, council asked city staff members to move forward with plans for a review of the city charter. Councilmembers stated that with so much going on in the city, such as building, Type B projects and other city issues that will be completed or addressed in 2018 and 2019, the charter review should be part of the city’s priorities.

The city charter has not been reviewed since 2008 and changes cannot be made without voter approval.

During the regular meeting, council unanimously decided to table an item that would have terminated a contract with South Pools for the Dow Park Pavilion and Improvements project, which is part of the Deer Park Community Development Corporation project list.

Council discussed the matter during an executive session during the workshop. During the comments from the audience portion of the regular meeting, Mike Tello, representing South Pools, asked council to reconsider termination.

The project, which Tello said the project, which started in March is more than 60 percent complete.

“We had a lot of hurdles to overcome. Flaws in the design that resulted in Change Order No. 1. There are more flaws that will be result in Change Order No. 2 coming shortly,” he said.

Tello told council when he submitted his bid to the city for the project, he did not submit a price for electrical work for the project. He wrote a letter to the city that he would perform the electrical work from the prefabricated buildings to the pavilion, including the lights for free. The work was outlined in a line-item list that was produced by the city, he said.

“Later the city wanted me to do the whole electrical, beyond what was listed by the city. That’s a $100,000 item that I cannot absorb. I am a small company. I was willing to absorb more than 50 percent of that cost,” he said.

Tello said the anticipated total project cost is $800,000, of which he offered to perform the remainder of the electrical work for approximately $40,000.

“The city would not sit down and talk to me about this,” he said. “Terminating will creating a legal nightmare for everybody.”

Tello said the city attempted to open a bond on Tello’s company, which resulted in the loss of a bid.

“I will still honor my word for what I signed up for free. I even started the other work. I would love for the city to get this project done and I’m willing to do what it takes. I think the city should talk about it rather than take a legal avenue,” he said.

Council also unanimously approved a museum gift from Shell Deer Park. The gift is the Shell Wall from the industry’s Shell Experience displayed at the city’s recent 125th birthday celebration.

After some minor modifications, the piece will be on display at the Theater Courts Building.

During the regular meeting, council unanimously approved all other items on the agenda, including a proposed agreement with Midtown Engineers for a raised concrete right-turn only island on Railroad Avenue at Center Street. The Y-shaped island would channel eastbound traffic from Railroad into a forced right-turn on to Center. The project comes on the heels of damage to city property at that intersection caused by vehicles illegally turning on to Center Street. The cost for design, bud and construction phase services is $19,152.

Council approved manhole rehabilitation, which is the second phase of improvement work. The cost is $229,912 and encompasses 32 manhole locations in Deer Park.

Also approved was the scheduling a joint public hearing on Jan. 2 regarding an amendment to the code of ordinances to allow a helipad or helistop in a highway zoning district. Last month, planning and zoning recommended the change to be allowed. The joint public hearing will be at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers.

In other business, council approved a waterline rehabilitation project on the Dow Park waterline system, which runs through the park from P Street to City Hall. Upsizing the line will improve fire protection and allow for improved water flow at the swimming pool and splash pad. Additionally, the new City Hall then will be on a looped system that may be turned off from either the north or south. The total cost of this project is $105,811.12. Council will also take action on a budget amendment to adopt this item.

Council also approved renewing the permit request of Pasadena Taxi to operate a taxi service in the city; emergency repairs at the Water Treatment Plant; and amending the water and sewer budget for the replacement of a 10-inch force main at a Harris County Flood Control District crossing.