Friday, December 03, 2021

Avenue P Returns to Council Agenda Yet Again

City Council will entertain approving $2.6 million for a project it last addressed as a $1.79 million total project cost (November 2020).   City Engineer Lance Overstreet presented the additional funds needed to address the concerns found.  Overstreet highlighted how they'd worked to reduce costs from an original $2.1 to $2.5 million project.  Using the remaining contingency funds staff requested an additional $106,700.  That was approved.

Staff now say this was an error, even though top city leaders presented or commented on the project last November.  How did that many leaders miss the incorrect total?

In November 2019 staff included these amounts for Avenue P in the City Council background packet:

Street: $ 207,771.40
Stormwater: $ 1,479,295.78
Water: $ 127,834.05
Wastewater: $ 536,216.77
Total: $ 2,351,118.00

The $2.35 million included a 10% contingency fee of $213,738.  Calling the miss an understandable error would have the prior total increase by the additional funding amount of $106,700.  That's $2,457,818, not $2,610,557.  

The original project had drainage installed underneath the street.  By 2013 Council approved $2.44 million for that solution.  Obviously, some of that funding remained to be used for the retention pond strategy.  City leaders may not have wanted Council to see the total picture as significant funds were wasted when the prior project did not move forward as planned.

The 2019 and 2020 Avenue P project presentations by staff were light on total project costs and available funding from prior approvals and current budgets.  That leads to Council having to clean up again after city management.

City Engineer Lance Overstreet gave both presentations and a long list of city staffers approved the information in City Council's packet.  

One year ago Mayor Gunter expressed her concern about total project costs growing.  It appears they grew another $150,000 beyond what Council approved last year.  Staff should answer for that.

Update 12-6-21:  Former City Engineer Lance Overstreet remains the Municipality representative for the Region 9 Flood Plan Board.  He is the board secretary and his name is listed as:

R. Lance Overstreet (Secretary), Municipalities, U.S. Air Force

The City of San Angelo is the web host for the Region 9 Flood Planning effort.  It's not clear if he is receiving any city funds for this work.

Update 12-7-21:   Neither Mayor Brenda Gunter nor Councilperson Harry Thomas had any concern regarding the total cost of the Avenue P project exceeding prior Council budget approvals by $150,000.  No leader rose to explain the "error" to Council or the public.  Under the Redistricting agenda item a Hispanic citizen informed Councilman Thomas that they did not feel represented by him due to their raising issues and never hearing anything back.  

Update 7-5-22:  The city finally finished a project designed to reduce flooding on Avenue P.  The detention pond is complete and ready for Chamber of Commerce blessing.

No comments: