Darren Doyle, story
The fiscal court voted to postpone payment to Starnes Construction once again in today's meeting, pending hearing from the company in regards to a $2,326.04 bill for drainage work done at the HWY 70 ball fields back in August.
According to Parks and Rec Program Administrator Greg Hudson, the local contracting company was hired to repair drainage issues at two fields in 2015. The drainage problems were so severe that portions of the outfield in two different fields were rendered useless.
Hudson told the court today that the company guaranteed the work and they said if the drainage issue continued, they would return to the fields and continue the work until the county was satisfied. Hudson said not only were the issues not properly fixed the first time, one of the fields actually held more water after the initial repair. He said the company sent someone out a second time, at the county's request, but also sent a large bill, and the park won't know for sure if the issue is resolved until wet weather sets in.
Don Starnes, owner of Starnes Construction told the Edmonson Voice on September 26, that the original work that was done included a curtain drain system to pull water away from low-lying, wet areas. He said that that particular work was completed and is properly working. He said the additional problems that the park experienced was due to a leaking pond on property above the park and is a separate issue from what he was originally hired to do.
Mr. Starnes also stated that when his company returned to do additional work, the scope of work that he had previously discussed with Judge Executive Wil Cannon was changed by Greg Hudson.
Hudson, who opposed payment of the bill, disagreed. "Well, the backhoe operator couldn't dig the ditch in the exact spot that was discussed because it was too wet, so all I did was ask that the new ditch that was being dug be moved out about 10 feet," he said.
No one from Starnes Construction attended today's meeting.
"If Mr. Starnes was worried about getting paid for this, I'd figure he'd be here today," said Magistrate Mark Woosley. "I’m not in favor of paying this bill. Business is business, and this is taxpayer money. He guaranteed it to work and it didn’t, so he came back to fix it. A ditch is a ditch no matter where you dig it."
Mag. Woosley made a motion to postpone the payment until someone from the company can attend fiscal court and justify the cost and why the county owes it. The motion was seconded by Magistrate Joe Durbin.