The 'punch list'

Courtesy/City of Wharton

This information that was referred to as a ”Punch List” by BEFCO Engineering, was provided to the Wharton City Council in response to numerous complaints about the City of Wharton’s 2020 Street Improvement Project.

There is a “punch list” that will be used now that the new year is upon us and the Wharton 2020 Street Improvement Project has been put on hold due to winter weather.

The punch list distributed by BEFCO Engineering, Inc. consists of 65 different areas throughout the city. 

From MLK Boulevard to Country Club, from Sunny to Sunset, Pecan to Walnut, Houston to Rusk, and all in between. It appears all Wharton residents are affected by the work that was produced by Fuquay, Inc. and started on Sept. 20 and finished on Oct. 8. 

Due to mounting concerns to Wharton city staff, which included those from elected officials, a list was produced that includes street names, previous work dates, and specific problems to each. Words like “streak” and “patches” and descriptions such as “adhesion issues” and “slick spots” are coined often in the punch list that was provided to the Wharton City Council.

City leaders were presented notes that were written by hand that included humidity percentages when the work was done, whether it rained or not, and the temperature high and low. Even wind conditions were jotted down. One of those work days came on Oct. 8-9 when the winds were clocked at 14 mph and 15-20 mph. 

Public Works Director John Plaia heard the brunt of the criticism when the issue of payment was presented as a meeting item during a Dec. 14 Wharton City Council meeting. At the time, Plaia did not present a punch list, he also was not able to answer questions about temperature and humidity readings, even though he had been asked to previously present something.

A pay request from BEFCO Engineering from the City of Wharton street project in the amount of $521,297.51 was tabled at the time. During a special meeting the following week, the council revisited the item, and approved the amount. The City of Wharton still has 25 percent of the payment to be paid sometime this year.

In July, Fuquay, Inc., which is based in New Braunfels, turned in the lowest base bid at $726,670.02 for the street project.

The city had budgeted $950,000 for the project.

A punch list, by some definition, is a document prepared during a construction project listing work not conforming to contract specifications that the general contractor must complete prior to final payment.

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