Council meeting

A socially distanced and masked Coudersport Borough Council meets for its May meeting. From left, are Marty Fry, Todd Husson, Mayor Andy Dubots, Wayne Hathaway, George Hults and Brian Ruane.

COUDERSPORT — The borough council here authorized its solicitor to send a letter to Premier Pool, at his discretion, stating that they may turn them into their bond company as well as reinstate liquidated damages.

According to the contract the borough has with Premier Pool, Solicitor Dan Glassmire said the liquidated damages were running at $1,000/day. He said when the pool was close to completion, they considered it substantial. But that was before some of the non compliances happened, he said. He said according to the project’s engineer, there are 81 days at 1,000/day in liquidated damages.

The liquidated damages were not still accruing at the time of the meeting; council member Marty Fry asked if that could be reinstated. He said the borough has a record of times when the company stated they would be working on a certain day and never showed up, or didn’t perform as promised.

“If they don’t have any motivation to fulfill their contractual obligation, that is about the only leverage we have,” Fry said.

Glassmire said the borough could try.

He said typically even when companies haven’t done much work, they still want to be paid. That isn’t the case here.

“They’re not really making much noise about the fact that they’ve got a bunch of money out there that they’re not getting paid,” Glassmire said.

Premier Pool recently took the control panel for the pool for repairs, Bev Morris, borough manager, said. It was previously installed incorrectly and needed to be fixed, as the pool cannot operate without the panel. The control panel, at the time of the meeting, had not been returned or installed. Morris said she was told by the company a crew was on their way to install it, but they never showed up. Council President Wayne Hathaway asked since the liquidated damages in the original contract stipulated the pool would be ready to open on a given day, if the pool can’t be opened due to the control panel not being back, could the liquidated damages be reinstituations. Glassmire said he thought so.

Council Vice President George Hults motioned to allow Glassmire to send a letter stating they might turn them in to their bond company; and Gary Walaski seconded, all members voted in favor.

Fry made a motion to send another letter stating the borough would reinstate liquidated damages, Hults seconded and all voted in favor.

The council bid out the pool project in 2018 and received two bids; one in the amount of $661,072 from Premier Pool Renovations and another for $1,484,290 from GEM Mechanical Services. The council voted to accept Premier’s bid during the September 2018 meeting.

Council member Todd Husson said without Premier coming in with the bid that they did, he wasn’t sure they would even have a pool.

“I’m very disappointed at their response to issues we’ve had, but I was there for the opening of the bids and had they not bid what they bid, we would not have a pool,” Husson said. “But it’s time for them to finish up what they’ve done.”

This isn’t the first time the council has seeked legal action or advice regarding the pool.

In July 2020, the council hired law firm Eckert Seamans “for the purpose of potential litigation and other advice relating to the subject matter” at $280 an hour. The potential litigation was in regards to the pool and the company that was hired to build it.

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