City of Monticello and Water Project Contractor in Mediation
In March, 2013, the City of Monticello, Arkansas announced the first stages of a $10 million water project designed to improve the water service to the city’s residents with a variety of improvements, including the replacement of most of the old water meters and rusting service pipes. At the time, Siemens Industry, Inc. was hired on as the contractor to complete the work.
However, the city has grown increasingly displeased with both the pace and the quality of the work, particularly the quality of the new meters installed. The city halted the projects with $3 million left to pay on the contract. The city has stated that it expects Siemen’s to keep money to cover its actual expenses on the project, but that any excess should be returned to the city.
The distance between what the contractor and the city think is fair for Siemen’s to keep has led the two sides into official mediation. The city has requested documentation from Siemen’s to demonstrate their expenses and investments associated with the project, but the contractor has refused.
There is no timeline for the mediation, and no mediator has been selected as yet. The city has expressed optimism, as it was Siemen’s who suggested that they take the matter to mediation, which the city believes is a sign the contractor wishes to resolve the matter in a fast and civil manner. The announcement of mediator from a short list of two candidates should come within the week.