Danville, IL. (ECWd) –
Just when we thought we would no longer hear about the Vermilion County Nursing Home disaster, where 30+ jobs were lost after the sale of the nursing home, the situation continues to smell bad. In fact, it smells like there’s a sewage problem…..we can even smell the stink way down here in Edgar County!
After hearing the good news during the county board meeting that the sanitary sewer connection between the nursing home and the Village of Tilton’s sewer lines were “going good” and “should be completed soon” it came as a surprise that what was actually happening was exactly the opposite of what was being reported.
Although it would be fun to report things backwards, and say that true is false and wrong is right, this is serious business, with serious consequences and lots of taxpayer money being thrown away.
Problems identified in the memo I received pursuant to a FOIA request:
The engineering firm contracted to prepare the plans for the Vermilion County Nursing Home sanitary sewer connection wrote a letter to Mr. Gary Weinard, dated Oct 4, 2013, spelling out serious problems with the previous work and potential problems with connecting to the Village of Tilton. The engineer’s drawing, which was required in order to get the necessary IEPA permit, was disregarded. The location and alignment of the sewer did not follow the design laid out by the engineer.
1. Manhole 1 sealed with spray foam
2. Manhole 2 not at its proposed location and fittings not in proper place
3. Manhole 3 not in proper place and constructed improperly
4. Improper use of fiittings outside of manholes
5. Existing manhole cover not removed as per the plan
6. Deviations from the plan means a new permit must be submitted and there most likely will be problems getting it approved by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
There were also things that had to be accomplished prior to acceptance of the sewer:
7. Mandrel text inspection within 30 days of installation
8. vacuum tested (manholes)
9. low pressure vacuum testing (sewers)
10. Tilton Village representative to inspect and approve, along with a billing rate approval with the village.
What does this mean to you?
-The construction of the sewer connection was completed with the county providing the labor and materials. A backhoe owner/operator was hired for a fee of about $5000. This money, county labor, and materials were most likely wasted in a failed attempt at getting the work accomplished cheaper and without bidding the project to an experienced contractor. The Vermilion County Board has done many projects without following the required bidding procedure. Due to the improper construction of this sewer, it will probably have to be COMPLETELY reconstructed…..completely removed and re-installed correctly. The trenches had been backfilled with dirt, instead of using sand around the pipes – the weight of the dirt pushes on the sewer pipe and creates an egg-shaped, or flattened, pipe that will not pass a proper “mandrel text” inspection. That, combined with the non-compliant manhole connections, it will be next to impossible to complete maintenance and clean/unplug this sewer line in the future. Since the Vermilion County Board Chairman, Gary Weinard, decided to cut corners on this project, he created maintenance burdens for the new owners of the nursing home and the Village of Tilton.
-Maintenance burdens for the new owners of the nursing home and Tilton Village.
Our follow-up story will include details about exactly how much money we think has been flushed down this botched Vermilion County sewer line. We will seek information regarding the cost of the materials and the timesheets of county workers and watch for the upcoming costs to correct the mistakes which have been made.
Watchdogs pose the following questions:
1. When did the board know about these problems? Before or after the report at the county board meeting?
2. Are they going to spend the money neccessary to complete the project properly?
See the memo below, or click here: