BENTLEYVILLE — The clock is ticking for the pending construction of Bentleyville’s new salt bin as snow may be just around the corner for the Chagrin Valley. Meanwhile, the project has once again put the village in a bind with the lack of a certified nonresidential or commercial building department, which could postpone the project to next year depending on how council proceeds with the issue.
During the village Finance Committee meeting on Sept. 25, Mayor Leonard Spremulli informed the council that the specifications for the new salt shed were not approved by the state because the proposed structure does not have a foundation up to state code.
“When Jeff [Filarski] scoped out this salt bin, he looked at similar salt bins in other communities,” Mayor Spremulli said of the village engineer and building official. “[Mr. Filarski] was of the opinion that if we based our specs on similar salt bins in other communities, we were in good shape. Unfortunately, these other communities that we were looking at have certified building departments and we do not.”
He said because the other communities have nonresidential certified building departments, they do not have to adhere to state code.
Currently, Mr. Filarski is certified for residential and road construction for Bentleyville, although he is a residential, road and nonresidential certified code official, he said during the following council meeting. His nonresidential certification just has not been processed for the village yet, he confirmed.
Bentleyville had approved the contract with Miller Builders, LLC for the salt shed replacement project in March for $46,780, about $18,200 cheaper than the village’s estimated cost of $65,000. The village had anticipated the project’s completion for early June of this year.
Mayor Spremulli said during the finance meeting that Mr. Filarski told him adding the foundation could add $25,000 to the project cost.
“I toyed with the idea of ignoring the basic building code and just going ahead with this project, and some inspector from southern Ohio will probably never show up,” the mayor said. “But we talked through that, and that’s not the best way to approach it,” he added, noting it would be best to exhaust other legal options.
Councilman Ryan Rubin brought up during the finance meeting the possibility of rebidding the project to include the foundation work, noting that it could be more expensive to add the foundational work to the current contract.
“Quite frankly, if we have to do a totally different type of construction [to include the foundation work], a different construction company may be much cheaper than the $25,000 extra,” Mr. Rubin said. He added that companies tend to hike the price on change orders when there is already a contract in place. “If you get a fresh bid from somebody else for a totally different design, it may not be $25,000 more,” he said.
Councilman Alex Goetsch pointed out, however, that this would require postponing the project another year, and Mayor Spremulli noted that the cost of labor could increase by then.
To the council’s fortune, however, Mr. Filarski said during the council meeting that he suspected the cost of processing the certification for the village would most likely just include a couple hundred dollars worth of application fees and should not be a lengthy process.
“It’s a normal administrative process,” Mr. Filarski said of applying his certification to the village. “Someone who gets the application looks it over, approves it.” He said once the application is approved, the village should be able to start the project as it is currently contracted.
“Well, that may be the plan,” Mayor Spremulli said.
Mr. Goetsch said council would need official information on the costs and process of the application by the next council meeting to move forward with any decision.
“We would either need to have that information to see if you could time that to do this year or have the numbers to approve extra funds” for the shed or for the certification, he said.
The next Bentleyville Council meeting is scheduled for Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. at the Bentleyville Village Hall.