Sunday, October 11, 2015

Attention To Detail

Chestnut Court on the northern outskirts of Amherst town center

Residents of Chestnut Court brought their complaints to a Board of Commissioners meeting last week (10/5/15) about outside renovations done during the summer that left a lot to be desired with some of the final details, like landscaping.

 Rocks in a large bald patch of lawn 10/6/15

Interestingly the Department of Housing & Community Development had given Precise Paving a "Notice To Proceed" on May 7, 2015 for the project, which had a 90 day completion date built in. 

The contractor did not actually start until July 13, 2015 but was still under contract to complete the project by August 5, 2015.

The loam used appeared substandard with too many rocks and pebbles and the grass seed was planted in a haphazard hit-or-miss manner.

 Bigger rocks and globs of seed 10/6/15

AHA Director Denise LeDuc had complained to the contractor a few days before the residents appeared at the meeting.   She was pretty much told to go pound sand.

But after sending photographs of the lousy workmanship to the architect and telling them she would be withholding payment on the $300,000 contract, a worker showed up the very next day to rerake the lawn areas to remove the abundance of rocks and then he hydroseeded the entire area.

 Although they could have been a little more precise with the application 10/9/15

Oldest rule in the book:  If you wish to get someone's attention, threaten their pocketbook.

 AHA Commissioner Peter Jessop and Director Denise LeDuc at sight visit Friday 10/9/15


Anonymous said...

how about putting down some good soil too.

Larry Kelley said...

The AHA is going to have UMass test the soil that was put down, and if it doesn't match up to the specifications in the contract, they will either redo it or lose a portion of the payment.

Anonymous said...

It would have been nice for them to have been on top of this from the start.

Anonymous said...

What a complete and disgusting, total, waste of money!!

Denise LeDuc, AHA said...

The scope of the project was to provide better drainage for the units in three buildings that had water infiltration issues (these apartments have crawl spaces and were originally built [in the 60's] on a stream). The project consisted of tying into an existing drainage system, followed by paving the driveway and sidewalks. Many trees had to be removed and the landscaping around three buildings were dug-up to install the new drainage pipes. A soil test was done on some soil through the contractor - however, there is no way of knowing how much of the soil was tested and passed. A new soil sampling was taken by the AHA from several areas and is being brought to UMASS to verification. The plans called for the soil to be screened. That said, the volume and size of the stones that appeared in the soil are unacceptable, as was the seeding, some of this has been addressed by the contractor.