Firm blasted for missing study deadline

November 30, 1999|By JENNIFER FITCH

WAYNESBORO, PA. - A Chambersburg, Pa., engineering firm took heat Wednesday for failing to meet a September deadline for its study of the Borough of Waynesboro's problematic storm-water system.

A representative of Dennis E. Black Engineering contended that his hands are tied until Land & Mapping Services of Clearfield, Pa., turns over aerial photographs and corresponding maps started this spring.

"We've only received an eighth so far of what we should be getting," Lee Zeger said, speaking on behalf of Dennis E. Black Engineering.

Once the maps have been received, an additional two months will be required for engineers to pinpoint problems, make recommendations and estimate costs, Zeger told the Waynesboro Borough Council.


"As soon as we get the mapping, we'll have two to three people working on it," he said.

The mapping company was recommended by Dennis E. Black, and both contracts ? totaling $54,500 ? will be reviewed to determine whether penalties can be levied for failed deadlines, Council President Craig Newcomer said.

He criticized the engineering firm for not pressuring the mapping company and also not yet completing the "drainage channel" review as outlined in the contract.

"I'm going to be frank: This was poor," he said.

Rains in June 2006 and June 2007 left standing water in yards, flooded basements and popped the covers off manholes in the area of Maple Street, Cemetery Avenue and a portion of South Potomac Street. Residents have said the flooding problems ? at their worst in quick, heavy rainfall ? developed in the past few years.

In November 2006, the council contracted with Dennis E. Black Engineering to update a previous study.

"It's critical we have some of this information because we're in the budget process," Borough Manager Lloyd Hamberger said.

He said he will use guesswork when setting aside money in the 2008 budget for storm-water system repairs. Temporary fixes have alleviated the most severe problems in recent storms.

Zeger said it will only take a day to evaluate the drainage channels.

"That's something that could have been done 15 months ago, 12 months ago," said Susan Bumbaugh, who lives in a Maple Street home prone to flooding.

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