Selmer Mayor explains street repair contract

By Jeff Whitten


Selmer Mayor David Robinson, in an interview with the Independent Appeal, explained the details of the contract to repair Selmer streets from the damage done by the replacement of the water pipes.

The original contractor was Marbury Construction Co. They subcontracted the work to repave the parts of the streets that were damaged to Arrow Paving Co., a Lexington firm owned by Andy Autry.

This original contract was slated at $300,000-350,000, according to Robinson.

 “It was publicized the way it was supposed to be done by a rural development loan,” he said.

The Mayor said they made a change order, or modification of an existing contract.

This additional expenditure of $150,000 was approved in a special called meeting by the board of aldermen last month.

“Any time you go into these projects there’s always going to be something that you didn’t anticipate, you didn’t know about, you found out about,” he said.

This modification can be made by a change order in order to respond to unanticipated contingencies, Robinson said. Any modification to an existing contract by change order does not require a separate bidding process.

“Any time in contracts like that, there’s always change orders. It’s a standard operating procedure in any contracts in engineering projects,” Robinson said.

The Mayor said he confirmed with the auditors that a change order was appropriate in these circumnstances.

“All we are doing is just adding to the existing original bid that we had to do for these other little areas,” he said.

This was done because the U.S. Department of Agriculture loan would not cover repaving the streets from curb to curb, only the part damaged by the water pipe project.

The Mayor said that the U.S.D.A would pick up only half the street without the change order.

Robinson stated that he then realized they needed to repave the streets curb to curb.

Robinson explained about the mismeasurement of the streets talked about in last month’s called meeting.

“There was grass growing over the side and when they got out there scraping it back, they saw it, so the contractor told us about that. It’s not that big a deal,” Robinson explained.

This only affected two streets, mostly in alleys, he said.

“We’re going to have some nice streets when we get done, which will be great,” Robinson concluded.