After shelling out over $100,000 in payments at its Dec. 21 meeting, the Dyersville City Council declared it would no longer be practicing leniency toward a contractor it’s had issues with in the past.
Boomerang Corp., who was awarded a contract for the Southeast Water Booster Pumping Facility project in January, did not have the project completed by the Christmas deadline despite previously being granted an extension.
“We were alerted by our engineers that there were some issues with his outside vendors due to COVID-19 and we’re still working through that,” City Administrator Mick Michel told the council.
The council deemed Boomerang to be “unresponsive” back in July, but still agreed to extend the contractual completion date for the project from Aug. 31 to Dec. 25.
While Public Works Director John Wandsnider estimated the project to be 85-90% complete, the council signaled it has no intention of waiving any contractual fees or granting further extensions.
Councilman Mike Oberbroeckling said the situation was becoming frustrating and he felt COVID-19 was being used as an excuse for work not being completed on time, even after they were given a nearly four extra months to get it done.
“No harm, no foul back then — we didn’t penalize them, we just extended the contract,” Oberbroeckling said of the first deadline. “But now once again they are going to miss their contract date, so what are we going to do? Blame it on COVID so there won’t be any charges and no one will be held accountable?”
Michel said if that is the sentiment of the council, he isn’t going to bother bringing any sort of motion that would further extend Boomerang’s contract or waive liquidated damages.
“There was plenty of time to order materials back in April,” Michel said, adding they were aware of what was needed before COVID-19 started. “Shame on them — charge the assessment back to the subcontractor, it’s not our problem.”
Boomerang’s two-part contract, which breaks down to $942,050 for the pumping facility and $161,150 for the water main work, contains a clause that allows Boomerang to be penalized $750 per-day, per-contract.
Assistant City Attorney Ted Huinker previously stated rules will apply now that the extended contract deadline has passed.
The infrastructure project’s goal is to provide better water service by adding a booster station and additional water main pipe that would promote growth and increase fire protection capabilities in the area.