At the last meeting of the Forney city council, Director of Public Works Chris Metz aided by Finance Director Deborah Woodham spent a considerable amount of time explaining why road repairs to Redbud Street are now expected to bust the projects budget by almost a million dollars.
The request before the Council was to transfer $358,264.00 from the CIP Fund balance to the Redbud Roadway repair project to accommodate a financial shortfall on a road repair project that hasn’t even begun yet.
Clearly nervous as they explained the calculation errors already made on the Redbud Road project, Director’s Metz and Woodham spent at least twenty minute appeasing several very unhappy council members.
Using several slides and quite a bit of hand gesturing, Public Works Director Chris Metz explained “While we were doing some of our CIP updates we started getting some new numbers and we started to realize we had made a couple of errors in the Trinity Street project, and we saw a shortfall in the Redbud project.”
Director Metz stated “The schematic work we received on May 19th, two days after we were approved for the CO’s (Certificates of Obligation bonds), the actual estimate they came up with after the schematics were done was considerably higher than what we had before.”
Providing an excuse for the rise in cost before the Council inquired, Director Metz said “This is due to the cost of construction, from the time we started the project until the time they were done, the construction cost just went completely through the roof. Concrete work and flat work is just completely inflated right now. Another portion of that is that there is a lot more drainage that is necessary for this project than they expected. Once they got into the project and did the schematics they realized there was a lot more to do to the drainage to get the water up off the roadway.”
Mayor Pro-tem Ray Stephens stated “That’s just insane to be off that much even if construction has increased. That’s just insane for six to eight months, to be off that much. It makes it hard for us to swallow that.”
Director Metz stated “Without doing the engineering they can only give you so much of an estimate. Just by aerial photos, Google alert and stuff like that. That’s what they based their original estimate off of.”
Addressing Director Metz, Forney Mayor Rick Wilson said “We don’t have concrete construction figures. Is that correct? We haven’t signed any contracts?”
To which Director Metz answered “That’s correct. We’re still about six months out from having bid documents ready to go out to the community.”
A lengthy discussion ensued after which the Council unanimously agreed to approve the transfer of funds necessary to complete the engineer/design portion of these roadway projects.
Written by: Denise Bell