TBTA not finished, architect warns of losing occupancy permit

ALPENA — Although the Thunder Bay Transportation Authority is in its new facility, it could be in danger of getting kicked out in early December, according to DLZ Construction observer Rod Lawrence.

During a Wednesday meeting Lawrence told the authority board the issue concerned an unfinished punch list for work that is to be completed by Oak City Contracting, LLC for the $7.5 million building.

“Legally you could be kicked out of here next week,” he said “You have no certificate to be in here after Dec. 7, which is ironically six months after the building was supposed to be finished.”

This revelation was discussed during a building committee portion of the meeting. Lawrence said there is a punch list of 34 items that need to be completed in the building, including nine that are paperwork filing issues.

“The heat and ventilation are the biggest problems. We can never seem to be able to balance the heat,” Lawrence said.

He said crews come to fix the issues and then a week later the problem persists again. The heating issue was evident to the board, which was holding the meeting in the northern conference room of the facility. A constant flow of hot air was pumping into the room from heater vents and fans were brought in to circulate cooler air from the hallway into the room during the meeting so trustees could stand the overly hot room.

TBTA President Tony Suszek recognized that situation as a major building issue and asked whether Oak City had been fully paid yet.

Lawrence said there is around $400,000 that is being held up due to paperwork and certified payroll issues. He said Oak City officials have requested a payout by TBTA for everything but $50,000.

Trustee Daryl Peterson asked Lawrence how roof leak issues were progressing with the building. Lawrence said most of the issues were taken care of, but said there were other items that were well beyond the time period they should be fixed.

Peterson was against paying off the construction company and said another penny should not be given to the company until the work was finalized.

Suszek said another construction committee meeting with all parties should be conducted to iron out issues.

Interim Director Onalee Pallas worked out a schedule and said the meeting could be held next week.

Suszek said the punch list items at that meeting should be gone through item by item to see when they would be finished.

Jason Ogden can be reached via email at jogden@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Jason on Twitter @jo_alpenanews.