ELYRIA — One of the contractors that helped build the 13-mile Lorain County Rural Wastewater District sewer line has sued the district for $352,266 in cost overruns it contends were caused by delays the agency created.
Digioia-Suburban Excavating’s lawsuit, filed in county Common Pleas Court this week, accuses LORCO of breaching its contract by delaying work on the project.
LORCO, the lawsuit contends, was forced to redesign a portion of the work because it hadn’t obtained easements for the sewer line and had to shift where the line was put. There also were wetlands issues that delayed the project, the lawsuit said.
According to a March letter sent to LORCO by the contractor’s attorney, the district should pay $10,862 for additional fuel costs, $1,468 for additional payroll, $11,494 in interest, $5,178 for subcontractor asphalt, $1,269 for subcontractor concrete, $1,436 for extra work ticket asphalt and $320,558 in delay damages.
LORCO agreed to pay for the extra payroll and concrete, but nothing else, the lawsuit said.
In its response to those claims, LORCO wrote that it was willing to pay full or adjusted amounts on some of the claims and rejected others, including the damages for delays. In total, the district offered the company $13,943.
According to the LORCO document, the company argued that it had worked an additional 328 days on the project, but LORCO contends the company took time off from the project, including for 111 days to work on a project in Stow. LORCO argues that the delays caused by the company were enough to cover the delays that were caused by LORCO.
LORCO Executive Director Rob Berner said he couldn’t comment on the lawsuit, although he said that management of the construction of the sewer line was the responsibility of the Avon Lake Board of Municipal Utilities.
Still, he said that although the sewer was completed last summer, Digioia has yet to complete some “punch list” requirements, including fixing damage to yards, roads and driveways caused by the construction.
The $30 million sewer line, which connects portions of Eaton and Carlisle townships to the Avon Lake Wastewater Treatment Plant, has drawn a number of lawsuits over the years as residents fought to keep it from being built.
Berner said LORCO and the Lorain County General Health District still are trying to convince about 100 reluctant homeowners to tie into the project and may have to take them to court.
In the meantime, he said about 800 of the roughly 1,200 customers who will eventually be served by the sewer have tapped in.
Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or firstname.lastname@example.org.