After a Carbonville resident approached Carbon officials about the condition of county roads, the commissioners decided to make the Price River Water Improvement District liable for compaction problems associated with the agency's water and sewer line excavation proejcts.
The Carbon County officials reached the decision after discussing the issue during a regularly scheduled commission meeting on May 4.
PRWID made improvements to the district's sewer and water lines in various parts of the county last spring and summer.
Some of the water district's most extensive improvements happened in the Wellington and Carbonville areas.
Almost a year later, some the roads that were patched after the completion of the PRWID projects have become uneven due to settling.
Approaching the commission, Dennis Jensen explained that he drives a school bus through the Carbonville area.Although the problems are more noticeable in a bus, he said the roads are also uneven to the average motorist after PRWID's improvements projects.
"We need to put PRWID on notice that the district is going to be held monetarily responsible for these roads," said Commissioner Mike Milovich.
Recognizing that PRWID has exhausted its funding for the project, the county officials noted that the water improvement district may have difficulty repairing the uneven portions of the road.
Commissioner Bill Krompel pointed out that, in an effort to help PRWID proceed with the project at a lower expense, Carbon government had waived all fees that would normally have been associated with excavating a county road.
However, Krompel added that PRWID should have used bonded contractors for the work.
As long as the contractor was bonded, if they failed to meet up with requirements, PRWID should be able to make contractors responsible for the outcome of the work.
"It seems there were problems associated with quality control or construction management," said Krompel.
Krompel explained that, although there are basic requirements for backfill when a road excavation is covered, PRWID seems not to have attained the compaction requirements when lines were recovered after the project.
Commissioners referenced portions of roads throughout the county that have settled in the past year . The officials explained that, in some instances, PRWID had gone back to the project and done no more than put more asphalt down on the sinking areas.
The commissioners agreed that the asphalt was not an adequate fix and the ground needed to be properly compacted first.
Milovich emphasized that the county should leave liability with PRWID, not the contractor.It would then be up to PRWID to pursue any issues with the water improvement district's contractors.
"I will acknowledge that the wet winter exacerbated the problem," said Krompel. The wet weather may have caused some settling, and may explain why some compaction deficiencies haven't surfaced in the road until recently.
The commission agreed to notify PRWID that the county would place responsibility with the water improvement district.
Jensen also explained that there were other problems along the roads in the Carbonville area regarding trees along the roadside. Commissioners said that they could more appropriately look at those issues after PRWID had taken care of the compaction issues, and that the condition of the surface of the roads warranted more immediate attention.