Fremont reaches settlement over reservoir construction


FREMONT -- City Council Thursday night unanimously agreed to settle its long-disputed claims over construction of a new upground reservoir.

The settlement -- the result of mediation between the city; Arcadis U.S., Inc.; Trucco Construction Co. Inc., and H.M. Miller Construction Co. -- obligates the city to pay Trucco, the original contractor on the project, $2.7 million.

The city also agreed to pay Miller, the second contractor on the project, $6.75 million, although that payment is contingent on the city getting a long-term loan from the state to pay the bill.

The settlement also calls for Arcadis, the city’s engineering firm on the project, to pay the city $1.5 million toward the settlements, waive its fee claim of $550,000 for services provided, and provide the next $10,000 in services for the project to the city for free.

The problems with construction of what was to be an $18 million reservoir began in 2010 when bedrock known as karst geology was discovered at the site off Sandusky County Road 41. Extremely porous rock, karst could drain the reservoir. A double liner had to be installed, and project costs skyrocketed by more than $10 million.

Mayor Jim Ellis, who campaigned in part on the reservoir issue, said there were no winners in the settlement.

Everybody left the mediation table unhappy, he said, adding that at least now the city should be able to begin filling the new reservoir with water.