No Mercy: Contractor penalized $3,600 for missing completion date

In a 3-1 vote, the Baldwin Township Board directed Engineer Jon Bogart to inform St. Joseph-based Astech Corporation that there would be no mercy extended for the contractor after missing a deadline for completion of a crack-sealing project.

Officials from Astech asked the township to forgive a $3,600 penalty imposed on the contractor for not completing the crack-sealing on time. Astech noted that on the bid, the agreement was $50 per day for non-completion. The contract, however, said $150 per day.

The motion was made by Supervisor Kim Good and seconded by Larry Handshoe to hold Astech to the terms of the contract.

“Our main objective was to get the crack-sealing done in May”, Handshoe said. Supervisor Randy Atwood supported the motion while Board Chair Jay Swanson opposed. Supervisor Tom Rush was not present at the time of the vote.

It was the goal of the township to have crack-sealing done early in the season when the temperatures were cooler and the cracks in the road were open. The contract specifically mentioned a date that the work was to be finished. Astech was 52 days late completing the project. The penalty assessed to the contractor was about $3,600..

Township Engineer Jon Bogart was directed to deduct $3,600 from the billed amount of $17,800.

Astech’s bid for 2013 crack-sealing was $10,000 less than the next lowest bid. Bogart does not expect any problems with the quality of the work performed by Astech. The problem was with the timing and communication, he said. The Minnesota Department of Transportation manual says that with modern equipment, crack-sealing can be done any time of the year.

Atwood said “We don’t want a negative impact. They do a lot of work for us.”

“They ignored us,” Good countered. “Mercy happens for those who ask forgiveness before they make a big mistake.”