BERLIN – The installation of permanent restrooms at Henry Park appears to be moving ahead after a lengthy delay.
When asked for an update on the project during Monday’s meeting of the Berlin Town Council, town employees said that based on the project’s contract, the restrooms should be installed by the first week of January. At the request of Councilman Dean Burrell, staff agreed to provide an update to councilmembers at their next meeting.
“It’ll either be done or (town attorney) Dave Gaskill will be addressing it,” said Administrative Services Director Mary Bohlen, pointing out that the next meeting (Jan. 8) occurred after the deadline in the project’s contract.
The restroom at Henry Park, which is being funded by a grant the town received last year, was set to be installed this past spring. The project had to be re-bid, however, because the contractor originally selected, Green Flush Technologies, made an error in its bid. Green Flush was again selected to handle the project when it was re-bid.
Town Administrator Laura Allen said further delays occurred when Green Flush, a West Coast company, had trouble locating a Maryland-licensed contractor to install the foundation for the prefabricated building.
Town staff said Monday that a Snow Hill mason had been hired to handle the work and had visited the site.
“I said ‘are we going to have foundation in the ground by Christmas?’ and he said ‘yes,’” said Dave Engelhart, the town’s planning director.
Bohlen said that based on the contract, Green Flush had to have the project done within 90 days of receiving the building permit for the work. The 90-day mark arrives the first week of January.
Burrell asked what would happen when the project wasn’t completed on time.
“I’ve reviewed that contract,” Gaskill said. “I believe we’re going to end up in arbitration.”
Allen said she was still hopeful the project would be completed on time, as the building simply needs to be delivered once the foundation is in place. Once the building arrives, the town only has to connect the utilities to make the building usable.
While the issues encountered throughout the project were unexpected, Allen said it had been a learning experience.
“We have challenges on all of our projects,” she said. “We always try to learn from them.”
Allen said a permanent restroom at Stephen Decatur Park was still a priority for the town and that staff would be applying for grants to fund it.