By Tim Leeds
Completion of the new section of the Havre water treatment plant has been delayed once again, but fines for failure to complete the section on deadline don't appear likely, city officials said today.
"It's just a little fine-tuning of some of the stuff," plant superintendent Jeff Jensen said.
Jensen said last week that outdoor watering would be banned from 10 a.m. today through Thursday while work to complete the new section was done. That ban has been postponed to next week or later. Meanwhile, the city's normal outdoor watering restrictions will continue.
A combination of issues has to be resolved, like making sure chemical feeders and automation equipment are working properly, before the plant can be fully tested, Jensen said. Once the new section is treating drinkable water, work to upgrade the old section will be done, he said.
The work, being done by Williams Brothers Construction, was supposed to be completed by Oct. 31, 2001, under the original contract. The city and Williams Brothers agreed to an amendment of the contract on Nov. 27, 2001, extending the completion date to July 31 of this year for substantial completion of the new section and Oct. 31 for final completion.
The contract amendment states that the city will not assess damages if the new completion dates are met. Dave Peterson, Havre director of public works, said today that fines probably won't be assessed at this point.
"We're just letting it go through the process," he said.
The decision about when fines would be charged would be up to the mayor and Havre City Council, Peterson said.
Mayor Bob Rice and Emily Mayer Lossing, chair of the City Council's water and sewer committee, were not available for comment.
The project is expected to cost $6.7 million and will increase the plant's treatment capacity by 50
The water and sewer committee is meeting at 7 p.m. today at City Hall to discuss the possibility of increasing water and sewer rates. Peterson said any water rate increase being discussed would not be related to work at the plant.