By Moses Leos III
As Buda continues to mediate a dispute resolution with its 2014 Bond proposition project management firm, the city has chosen to oversee a subcontractor directly.
Earlier this month, the Buda City Council unanimously approved an agreement that allows ECM International, Inc. to allow city staff to directly oversee HDR Engineering, Inc., which had entered into an agreement with ECM in 2015 as a sub-contractor for projects under Propositions 3 and 4.
HDR is contracted as the engineering firm for the $12.2 million in street improvements, along with roughly $7 million in drainage fixtures associated with the bond, which voters approved in 2014.
Street improvements include the widening of Main Street from Cabela’s Drive to Cedar Street, improvements on Old Goforth Road and improvements at the FM 967 and Main Street intersection.
HDR will also complete drainage improvements in the West Goforth, Bluff Street areas, along with drainage issues in the Oxbow neighborhood, Lifshutz and near the Emergency Services District No. 8 station on FM 2770.
Buda Mayor Todd Ruge said the city worked with ECM to transfer HDR “directly to us.” He said HDR’s roles and duties for both Proposition 3 and 4 did not expand or change.
Ruge said the agreement allows the city to have a direct line to HDR and not have to go through ECM.
“We really like HDR,” Ruge said. “And we wanted to make sure they stayed on board with us, regardless of what happens with ECM.”
In July, the Hays Free Press reported Buda entered into dispute resolution with ECM over design issues with the city’s new municipal buildings on Main Street.
Ruge said the city entered into dispute resolution as the scope of the project had “changed in a direction that we didn’t really like.”
Issues extended to items added to the initial cost of the facility that were not originally listed. Ruge said city officials were not satisfied with the scope of the emergency management room, and had issues with a back-up generator for the facility.
Buda and ECM are continuing to work through dispute resolutions, Ruge said. No delay on any of the bond proposition projects is anticipated.
“As of today, they (ECM) are still our project manager, but the sub-contractor is now working for us,” Ruge said.