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City considering lawsuit against engineer

Estimates are in and it is going to cost Richmond more than $21,000 to fix the air-conditioning and drainage issues associated with the new city hall project.
The air-conditioning problem is the biggest chunk, coming in at about $16,000. The city has had issues with condensation in certain areas of city hall and thermostat issues. The estimates come from Rand Construction, who is the primary contractor for the city hall project. Rand officials said last month in a meeting that everything involved with the air-conditioning was installed as designed. The city made no headway with engineer Richard Gumerman at the meeting. Gumerman blamed the problem on a lack of communication by the city and that he was forced to make a design with existing equipment in place.
City Administrator Rick Childers told the city Public Works Committee last night that he was not impressed by Gumerman’s answers.
Childers said that he would like to see the work done locally, but having a cost estimate provides a dollar amount in case the issue does reach litigation.
The city also has issues with drainage outside of city hall. Earlier this summer, a six-inch rain storm flooded the inside of the city’s gym causing the floor to buckle. Currently the city is still trying to get the floor back in line.
Cost to fix the problems with drainage is about $5,500. At the same meeting last month, engineer Matt Schlicht told the council that the plans used to construct city hall were not his. He said copies of his plans were made and then modified by someone at the city, although city Community Development Director Lisa Hastings denied any allegations that someone from the city did it.

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