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Kentucky’s Division of Building Code Enforcement is issuing a stop-work order on the construction of a new Prestonville recreation center and city hall building.
At the request of Mayor Vickie Burgin, the state building inspector came to the building to inspect the project Nov. 20 and issued a field report that pointed to many issues with the structure.
“Plans have never been submitted to our office for review,” the report, written by inspector Bill Amato, stated. Because there is no building inspector in Carroll County, Rick McNees, technical advisor with the division of building code enforcement, said Friday that jurisdiction falls to the state on the project.
Amato’s inspection reported several problems at the construction site. “Structural steel has been erected, but the building is out of square and field modifications have been made,” the report stated. “Some of the girders have been cut and the steel has lost (its) strength and integrity.”
The inspector reported that workmanship on the slab is poor. “It’s not level and doesn’t have a smooth finish,” he reported. “I was told that the wire mesh for the slab is setting on the ground and was never pulled up to the center of the slab.”
Other issues Amato reported are as follows:
• Piers were dug and poured only a foot deep for the columns and there is no rebar in the piers.
• An 8-inch thick floating floor was poured with no perimeter footers or foundation.
• An abandoned fuel tank under the building was filled with dirt and not removed.
Amato also reported that the ceiling insulation has been hung and is sagging and the metal roof is connected.
The inspection report statesthat the plan review action will be issuance of a stop-work letter.
McNees, who is the plan reviewer, said that Amato was called by Burgin to inspect the site. Before he went, he looked it up in the database and found that plans for the building had not been submitted for the division’s approval.
“At this time all work has stopped on the project,” the building inspector stated. No work can be completed on the project until Prestonville submits plans, gets them approved and is issued a building permit.
With the plans submitted, McNees said the city will need to address the items found in the field inspection report.
The stop-work letter likely will be issued sometime the first week of December, he said.
In an interview Monday, Burgin said she contacted the state building inspector to look at the structure in the event the city moves to recover the money it has paid to Can Do Construction.
“What better opinion is there than that,” she said. But Burgin said there are a lot of “I was told” statements in the inspection report that she is not sure will satisfy a court. She noted that many of the items mentioned came from Commissioner-elect Billy Walker, and they may be considered hearsay.
Burgin said the burden to file for permits was left to the contractors on the job. She noted that both the plumbing and electrical contractors did get permits and had the proper inspections.
“Oh, we’ll take care of it,” is what Burgin said Can Do Construction officials told her on filing the permits.
When contacted Monday, Can Do Construction co-owner Stacie Hendricks said it was up to the city to get the permits, because the mayor was acting as the general contractor on the project.
“She knew she had to have those,” Hendricks said, adding that it was not the company’s responsibility.
She referred any other questions about the state building inspector’s report to her attorney, Crystal Heinz. When contacted, Heinz said she could not comment because she has not been properly retained by Can Do Construction.
Burgin said she will take the building inspector’s report to the Prestonville City Commission at its next meeting, 3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10.
The project became mired in controversy at last month’s city commission meeting. Contractors Stacie and Raymond Hendricks, owners of Can Do Construction, attended the meeting and stated that the mayor took their bid in June after the bidding process had closed, something Burgin denies. She contends their bid was on the table in April when commissioners accepted low bids. She said it was in a different pile than the others and did not get recorded into the meeting minutes; she further stated it was not mentioned on the meeting tape because it was not in the pile that Commissioner Wilk Hoskins and City Clerk/Treasurer Debbie Wright went through at that meeting.
Stacie Hendricks alleged that Burgin asked her to back-date documents to April, also something the mayor denies.
During this Nov. 12 meeting, city officials raised concerns about the building’s construction, such as its concrete pad. They said the pad is not level and that there is a crack that extends across the entire pad.
They also raised questions about metal trimmed off the roof when it was installed, electrical boxes covered by concrete, a broken ramp at the front of the building and whether the building is square.
“Are you going to try and fix the thing?” Burgin asked Can Do Construction’s Stacie Hendricks at that meeting.
Both Stacie and Raymond Hendricks said the company will make all of the fixes to suit the commissioners.
The city and the contractor also disagreed on how much money Prestonville owes Can Do Construction. The contractor says it is due an additional $17,626, while the mayor says everything except for $2,530 has been paid.
The city commission voted in April to accept low bids that would bring the total cost of the 40-foot-by-80-foot building in for under $65,000.
To date, the city’s records show $54,187 has been expended, overall, on the project. Can Do Construction said it has been paid $9,107 above what the city records show it has paid the company, which would put the total spent at $63,294.
After that heated meeting, Burgin asked Lindsay Construction of Carrolton to review the work performed on the recreation center and city hall building.
In a quote submitted to her, Lindsay Construction cited problems with the concrete slab and the steel frame building that would cost an additional $30,000 to fix.
The quote stated the slab is 3 inches out of square, and that there is a 1.9-inch inconsistency in the slab surface. In its quote, Lindsay stated it would need to repair the problems and complete the outside structure of the steel building, saying walls are not plumb, that roof panels and insulation have been installed incorrectly and bracing at roof purlins and support columns were incorrectly installed. An overhead-door framing also is not plumb or square, according to Lindsay.
During the Nov. 12 meeting, Raymond Hendricks said there were no issues with the roof and that it was installed correctly. He also said Can Do Construction would use floor-leveler compound to level low spots in the floors, and he promised to dig out areas around the electrical boxes that are covered by concrete as part of the repairs they would make.
A week after that meeting, the commission held a special meeting in closed session to discuss legal matters with City Attorney Alecia Gamm Hubbard. No action was taken.