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Water Intake Project Gets Final USDA Inspection, Harper Corporation Requests a Decrease in Withheld Funds for Missing First Completion Date

By Nathan Ham

Almost exactly two years to the day of the start of construction on the new water intake facility project on the New River, the United States Department of Agriculture was in Boone for a final inspection.

According to the latest update provided by the town of Boone, officials, Harper Corporation representatives and the USDA toured the project sites at the water treatment plant, booster pump station and water intake site on the New River for the final inspection on February 14. Construction started on the project on February 13, 2017. All work on the project was completed on February 6.

The project, which was originally supposed to be completed on November 7, 2018, needed 91 additional days to complete.

According to information provided by the town, a total of $136,500 was withheld from the Harper Corporation, equaling $1,500 per day for 91 days, for the delay in project completion.

At one of the upcoming town council meetings in March (currently scheduled for March 19 and March 21), the council will review the project and take action on a final change order that will officially close out the project. According to the town, this change order will address requests from the Harper Corporation to lower the liquidated damages costs.

At the February 21 meeting of the Boone Town Council, councilmember Sam Furgiuele made a request that the new water intake and the water treatment plant each be named after town employees that helped with the completion of this project. That will also be addressed at the next town council meeting.

CORRECTION: The order change figure of $83,660.23 was not related to the liquidated damages cost decrease requested by the Harper Corporation. Those are two separate issues that will be decided at the next town council meeting.