Goyette Mechanical owed $700K from Flint for costlier water line work

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FLINT (WJRT) (12/4/2018) - Goyette Mechanical crews working to replace pipes across the City of Flint were bundled up Tuesday.

The company said crews can work through some of the winter weather, but the project manager explained May to August is when they get the most work done.

Flint's mayor Karen Weaver announced Tuesday 18,313 homes have had their pipes excavated since March 2016, leaving just 10 - 12,000 more. She expects those to be replaced by July.

Goyette's Project Manager, Joe Parks isn't positive that'll be possible, especially since he said they'd lose a productive month on the mayor's timeline.

Plus, he explained their company is still waiting to be reimbursed hundreds of thousands of dollars from the City.

"Right now we're doing a job that we didn't bid," he said.

After the contract was signed in June, Parks said the City of Flint made a few changes. The Mayor asked that they not use the hydrovac excavator, forcing his crews to physically dig the holes for pipe replacement.

"With the hydrovac truck, we can dig around those utilities much quicker, because we're not gonna damage them. So right now, it's much slower without the hydrovac truck," he explained. So, I have to have more men on to speed it up.

Which means more labor expenses, plus Parks said the Mayor requested they dig larger holes to show more of the pipe, ensuring it's not lead or galvanized material. Goyette agrees with that strategy, but Parks said that's also more expenses.

"We've got more material cost, more sand and stone and we've got more manpower, or more labor time, to pay these guys to dig bigger holes. And, more wear and tear on our equipment," he explained.

As of November 20th, Parks said the City owes Goyette $706,000. He said that bill goes up about $50 to 60,000 every week.

City Councilman Eric Mays says the finance committee has held investigative hearings to figure out what to do.

He explained, "The money is all around us in different shapes and forms. And, we'll be fair, but we first must dot our i's and cross our t's as it relates to what it takes to do what we call a change order, contractually."

But Parks said, "We have people we need to keep employed and we have, you know, we've gotta continue to buy material; and yes, we need that money to flow in to be able to continue doing the job the way that it needs to be done."

Especially, he said, if it's expected to be completed in just 7 months.

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