Tolling agreements with Marengo wastewater plant extended

Tolling agreements between the city of Marengo and contractors and engineers responsible for controversial improvements to the city’s wastewater treatment plant now are set to expire in June.

The tolling period for both agreements was extended from Jan. 22 to June 30 without opposition from the Marengo City Council on Monday.

A tolling agreement waives the right to claim that litigation be dismissed because of the expiration of a statute of limitations.

In February, the city entered into two of these agreements – one with HR Green and one with Williams Brothers Construction and Ovivo USA LLC – over concerns about the design and construction of the plant.

Marengo has drafted a complaint against Williams Brothers Construction and Ovivo that has yet to be filed in circuit court over defects in the construction of the plant – specifically, the failure of a sonolyzer.

The $500,000 piece of equipment was considered necessary by HR Green in order for the plant to hit a new capacity target of 1.8 million gallons a day.

However, plant employees have said the machine has been turned off a majority of the time since it was installed.

Although HR Green has strongly disagreed with the conclusion, Strand Associates, which has been analyzing the plant’s upgrades, maintains that the sonolyzer was not needed for permitted capacity reasons.

Ovivo, Williams Brothers and the city entered a tolling agreement with the desire to continue settlement negotiations and conduct further investigation into any potential claims or defenses the parties might have against one another.

HR Green was responsible for the final design and construction phase of the plant.

Its tolling agreement with the city also was set to conduct further investigation into any potential claims.

Under the terms of the amended agreements, the city would not bring an action on any claim against any of the parties until July 1 or until it provides a 60-day written notice that it is terminating the amended agreement.

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