Already facing construction delays that have pushed completion into this spring, the fountain project at the Veterans Memorial Circle in Brookfield just got more expensive.
On Jan. 9, village trustees approved a pair of expenditures totaling about $54,000 to upgrade the electrical service to the new fountain and for design engineering services for lining about 220 feet of sewer line serving the fountain.
The sewer lining itself, an unanticipated cost discovered after excavation for the new fountain began last August, is estimated to cost the village an additional $140,000.
That new total expense of $194,000 is on top of the roughly $650,000 cost announced last summer. The village is using $250,000 in state capital funds to pay for a portion of the expense. The rest is being paid for using funds from the Eight Corners TIF District, which was created in 2016 and can be used to pay for public infrastructure improvements.
Village Manager Timothy Wiberg said the additional work should not affect the timeline for getting the fountain completed this spring, since work was not expected to resume on the fountain until March.
“There’s not a heck of a lot of work that can be done in the heart of winter anyway,” said Wiberg. “We want it done, tested and ready to go by May.”
Plans to upgrade the power supply to the fountain, which is needed because the new one will be larger than the old one, were omitted, something not discovered until work had started.
Asked who made that mistake, Wiberg said officials were still trying to make that determination and are meeting with Hancock Engineering, the village’s longtime consulting firm, and the general contractor, Integral Construction.
“The primary issue is are we paying a premium or not had the plans been included all along,” said Wiberg, adding that if the village is paying a premium, then officials would need to determine who’s responsible for reimbursing Brookfield for the difference.
On Jan. 9, trustees approved awarding a $37,986 contract to Lyons Pinner Electric to install new 208-volt, 60-amp, three-phase electrical service from a utility pole located in a nearby alley about 300 feet to a new junction box at the circle.
While that amount would normally require competitive bidding, Wiberg argued against delaying that contract by determining it was a public safety emergency and in the best interest of the village not to leave the worksite open for a prolonged period. Wiberg told trustees he did seek three proposals for the electrical work, with Lyons Pinner’s proposal being the lowest.
On the other hand, the village will seek competitive bids for the much larger sewer lining project. The original scope of work included Integral Construction replacing 20 feet of 24-inch brick sewer that runs directly under the circle.
While doing that work, it was learned that a larger portion of that brick sewer, which could be at least 100 years old, according to Village Engineer Derek Treichel, was also not in good condition.
Treichel recommended replacing a total of 220 feet of 24-inch sewer serving the circle, both upstream and downstream of the fountain, to prevent a possibly costlier fix if the sewer fails in the future. Village trustees on Jan. 9 approved paying Hancock Engineering $16,000 for design and construction services related to the sewer lining project.
Work is expected to resume at the work site in March. It is hoped the electrical service upgrade can be completed by early April.