Engineer's office forms reveal minor problems

The county's overall audit showed no findings for recovery.
WARREN -- An annual audit by the Ohio Auditor's Office found small problems with completing paper work and making estimates in the Trumbull County Engineer's Office.
In a management letter to the county commissioners, auditors stated that the department had not filled out a form that gives an estimate of cost for a project. It's needed to determine whether the county commissioners need to invite competitive bids.
The engineer's administrator, Rocky Riviella, said the new form was not filled out completely in the case in question -- but will be in the future.
He called the issue minor, explaining that the primary regulations the department works under are to ensure projects that are greater than $30,000 per mile for paving or greater than $100,000 for bigger projects are put out for bid.
He said there are no complaints regarding the department in that area.
The overall county audit showed no findings for recovery against any fund or department.
Errors found
The audit said it found errors on the engineer's forms such as addition and multiplication, lack of detailed information for estimated equipment, and significant variances between estimated and actual labor costs.
"In the future we will fill out the form more completely," Riviella said. He admitted he could have reviewed the paper work more closely but said the incorrect estimates are simply the product of having projects change as the job moves forward.
In the private sector, such changes are called change orders and are routine, he said.
In the specific case, the state criticized a sewer project in Bazetta Township. The project was expected to take a couple days but took a couple weeks because of deteriorated footers that couldn't be detected because they were under water. The project cost went from about $16,000 to about $60,000, he said.

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