Danville Express

Newsfront - July 27, 2007

Council debates incentives for contractor

Village Theatre project may provide performance bonus if construction improvements are finished by the end of September

by Geoff Gillette

The Danville Town Council delved into a deep discussion at its meeting last week about offering incentives to contractors to finish their work by a target date.

The conversation came up after council members discussed at their meeting on Tuesday, July 17 to approve work on the Village Theatre. The Council examined contracts with N2 Electrical Inc.from Livermore and Heartwood of Danville Inc. Mayor Mike Shimansky pulled both contracts off the consent agenda because he had concerns with offering both companies a $6,000 bonus if they completed their work on the Village Theatre by the end of September.

He said he was concerned about setting a precedent by offering the bonuses, especially when he feels the contractor already has a reasonable amount of time to finish.

"I dont know how long it takes to do a roof, but I had my roof done and it sure didnt take a month and a half, Shimansky said. It feels like a month and a half is more than enough time to get the work done.

Town Manager Joe Calabrigo explained that the theatre

project involves not only roofing, but interior electrical work as well. He said that because there are potential variables in doing inside work, such as the discovery of other problem areas, that they feel it is best to keep to a schedule.

A performance bonus motivates a contractor to stay ahead of schedule, he said.

Calabrigo added that the town does not offer incentives on every project, but in the case of the Village Theatre, any delays would have ramifications on the groups who use the facility.

We have user groups who are being held out of the facility while this is being done. If we miss the date, we cause inconvenience to the user and a loss of credibility to the town, he added.

Council Member Newell Arnerich said he agrees with the usage of the bonuses in the case of the Village Theatre, but he does not want to see the practice come into common use.

I would only like to use this when there is a clear cut case where we cant take a facility off line, he said.

Council members voted 4-1 to approve the contracts. Mayor Shimansky, the lone nay vote, said that he could not approve it because of the bonuses.

I think were setting a bad precedent by giving an incentive, he explained.

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