COLUMBIANA Project draws anger

Residents don't believe the contractor plans to return.
COLUMBIANA -- City Manager Keith Chamberlin and Service Director Jay Groner will inspect an unfinished sewer project that brought shouting this week from irate residents.
About a dozen residents of Pearl and North West streets loudly voiced their displeasure Tuesday at the condition of their streets and homes, the result of an unfinished sewer line replacement project.
The streets have been torn up since the project began in January. Residents told city council Tuesday the contractor's crew left the neighborhood three weeks ago, taking all equipment. They don't believe the contractor plans to return.
Complaints: Silt and other debris clogging the new sewer line, periodic loss of water and electric service, flooded yards and basements and uncovered catch basins are also among the residents' complaints.
Chamberlin said he and Groner would walk through the project today, making note of the uncovered catch basins and other potential hazards city crews could remedy.
Chamberlin noted city crews have been inspecting the project, including using the city's sewer camera equipment. He said the contractor, Blacktop Pavers of Carrollton, left to do work elsewhere until the ground dried up.
Chamberlin said the city is withholding payment of 8 percent of the project cost, as stated in the contract. Two residents in the audience who are contractors suggested Chamberlin contact the Blacktop Pavers' bond company.
He said he had not done so because Blacktop Pavers has not broken the contract. The contractors said the work would be completed by the end of May, he said.
Debris in lines: Chamberlin has said the sewage backup is the result of debris entering the sewer lines during construction.
The nearly $500,000 project to replace sewer lines on North Pearl Street is needed because of infiltration of storm water into the sewage system, Chamberlin said. The old sewer line was cracked in several places, allowing storm water in, he said.

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