Last month, Macomb Township claimed Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick Inc., the architect for the new public safety building, failed to install oil interceptor’s in the building.

Last month, Macomb Township claimed Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick Inc., the architect for the new public safety building, failed to install oil interceptor’s in the building.

Photo by Deb Jacques

Change order approved for public safety building

Opening set for January

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published August 10, 2020


MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The opening of a new public safety building in Macomb Township was already delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it could’ve been further set back had it not been for the approval of a change order.

The issue at hand, which was brought up at the July 22 Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting, deals with a proposed change order which Macomb Township claims as Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick’s, or AEW, failure to install oil interceptors in the new public safety building, specifically in the fire bays and sheriff garage.

Macomb Township Fire Chief Robert Phillips requested the board approve the change order, which it did unanimously, in order to keep the project moving forward and direct Tom Esordi, the township’s legal counsel and human resources director, to proceed with mediation.

Phillips said if the board didn’t approve the change order, it would delay the project, and cost delays would be incurred.

Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, the estimated completion date for the 37,000-square-foot Joseph E. Koss Public Safety Building was late October.

The site, located on 23 Mile Road, east of Romeo Plank Road, features apparatus bays, a new fire station, and space for the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office to operate from.

Construction on the roughly 9,000-square-foot apparatus bay wrapped up in January.

Phillips said Esordi has had several conversations with the attorney representing AEW’s insurance carrier and AEW continues to accept no responsibility and “places all of the blame on their subcontractor.”

He added that in January, he was informed during the temporary certificate of occupancy inspections that the department could not wash any fire trucks inside the new apparatus bays due to an oil interceptor not being installed.

Several meetings later it was discovered the sheriff garage also did not include the required oil interceptor.

The township says the subcontractor and AEW were both aware of this requirement two years ago during the initial mechanical plan review.

“In May 2020, AEW attempted to present me a change order in the amount of $172,796 for the two oil interceptors they failed to include in their bid documents,” Phillips said. “I refused to accept it.”

According to the fire chief, AEW was adamant they would not pay for their error and presented the township with a letter indicating the subcontractor would reimburse the township $89,948.06 for their portion relating to the error, leaving the township responsible for $82,847.94 — the cost of the oil interceptors and the labor to install.

The total change order the township approved is $172,796. Of that amount, the township would be reimbursed 89,948.06 from the subcontractor. The board also granted that Esordi follow through with contract language for mediation.

At the meeting, Phillips said the subcontractor hasn’t paid anything.

“Construction is to a point that the oil interceptors have to be installed or the project will be delayed further than it already is,” Phillips said. “Per the contract, AEW was paid to design and is required to design a building that meets all codes, standards and regulations which they failed to do because of their incompetence.”  

He added that AEW has breached the contract.

As indicated in the contract with AEW, if both parties cannot come to an agreement, mediation is required, something that AEW said it is prepared to do.

Senior management at AEW had no comment at this time for the story.

The plan is now for the public safety building to open in January 2021.