NATCOM changes expedite completion


By Juanice Gray,

Change orders and a revised schedule were approved to expedite the remaining construction of the Natchitoches Communications Center (NATCOM) at a special called meeting of the 911 Commission Wednesday, June 6. A letter was sent to the state about one week ago stating the construction would not be complete by the June 2 deadline. The contract period expired and the state did not concur with the contractor’s number of rain days. At the onset of the construction, underground water seeping onto the site and below average temperatures delayed construction.

That was followed by inclement weather that further delayed pouring of concrete. The state did not count the seepage delays as rain days since it was not due to rain. Architect George Minturn said the letter “dotted the I’s and crossed the T’s” to keep the contract moving and prevent any ramifications from the state. The first change order increased a spending limit of $5,000 to $25,000 for installation of the sewer lift station including mechanical and electrical connections.

The City purchased the station but it is the responsibility of the Commission to install it. Commission members determined it would be cost and time effective to have one contractor assume all responsibilities rather than bidding each portion of the project. “It would prevent one contractor from having to follow another one,” Director Willis Carter said. Minturn stated the preliminary numbers were actually below the $25,000 threshold. “I think we are very safe with this limit,” he said.

The state contributes funding and will participate in the lift station completion stating it was a justifiable change. The second change order expands the scope of Minturn’s duties. He will manage and execute the purchasing process of goods and services. The Commission approved the order that will expedite the process of purchasing items such as workstations, landscaping and roof mounted towers. “It’s in the interest of expediency,” Carter said. Minturn will assume the duties within the parameters of his original contract. All members were present and all proposals passed unanimously.