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Published: Friday, 7/18/2003

Sewer upgrade on schedule, firm assures city panel

The firm hired to design and manage Toledo's $400 million sewer reconstruction project is on schedule, the company told a City Council committee yesterday.

Mike Domenica, project manager for Black & Veatch Corp. of Kansas City, Mo., said the project has met all 21 deadlines set in a consent decree filed in U.S. District Court with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The EPA sued Toledo in 1991 over raw sewage being dumped in the Maumee and Ottawa rivers. The case was settled last year with the city's agreement to spend $400 million over 15 years to reconstruct the wastewater treatment system and eliminate sanitary sewer overflows.

“We're on budget and I believe on schedule after the first year,” Mr. Domenica said.

Council's environment, utilities, and public service committee held a hearing on the progress of the EPA project yesterday in connection with an ordinance to release another $2.5 million in funding. The city has allocated $4.8 million since the project was approved a year ago.

Black & Veatch, which has a five-year, $25 million contract, was required to subcontract at least 10 percent of the work to minority-owned companies. Mr. Domenica said Black & Veatch has met that goal, with about 12 percent of the expenditures so far paid to six firms and another 4 percent of the expenditures paid to minority employees.

The largest minority contractor so far is G. Stephens, Inc. of Akron, which does construction scheduling and engineering design. The company, which now has an office on Summit Street, has been paid $191,760, according to the Black & Veatch presentation.

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