Business Loop East project nears completionWhile construction on Business Loop East is nearing completion, issues concerning businesses in the construction zone may continue. “This is not behind me until they address the taking of personal property without compensation,” said Dr. Gary Pearson, owner of Prairie Veterinary Clinic.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
While construction on Business Loop East is nearing completion, issues concerning businesses in the construction zone may continue.
“This is not behind me until they address the taking of personal property without compensation,” said Dr. Gary Pearson, owner of Prairie Veterinary Clinic.
Pearson, Richard and Jean Seekins, owners of the Star Lite Motel, and Dale Redinger, owner of S & R Truck Plaza, made a request for compensation to the Jamestown City Council in February. Pearson said the loss of income the construction caused to his business amounted to an unconstitutional taking of a part of his business.
He also said city officials were not communicating with him on the issue.
“I have raised the issue of access in 15 letters over the past two years,” he said. “I haven’t gotten a response yet.”
Jeff Fuchs, city administrator, said the issue has been addressed.
“Basically the city attorney’s opinion was there is no provision in state law that would require or allow the city to reimburse them for the losses,” he said.
Other business owners said they were happy to see the project complete.
“It hasn’t been too bad this summer,” said Richard Seekins. “I’m happy to see it done but not happy to see the bill for $36,000 in specials (special assessments).”
The total cost of the project was $5.3 million and replaced water, sewer and storm sewer lines below the road beds before rebuilding the roads. The project began in spring 2011 but was hampered by wet conditions and high water in the adjacent James River.
“Last year weather conditions and high water made it difficult,” said Gary Fingalson, underground superintendent for Sellin Brothers Construction, contractor on the project. “This year the weather has been a lot better and things are going smoother.”
Work began on April 9, this year and was anticipated to be complete by June 2.
“As of Tuesday (June 5) the work is substantially complete,” said Mark Sellin, co-owner of the company. “That means the traveling public can use the road as it was intended.”
Sellin said some final work on striping and leveling and seeding ditches remains and would be completed over the next two weeks.
Because of the project delays, the possibility of a penalty of $2,200 per day against the contractor exists, according to Steve Windish, project engineer with Ulteig Engineering.
“We are negotiating a possible change to the substantial completion date,” he said. “The City Council will have the final approval on any change.”
Windish said any possible penalty would end as of Tuesday with the substantial completion.
“The work left should not restrict traffic so any liquidated damages would end,” he said.
The return to normal traffic patterns in the Business Loop East area is a relief to businesses.
“We’re happy to see it done,” Pearson said. “It has been quite an experience.”
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at 701-952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org