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Fauquier County pays $250,000 to settle landfill claim

Thursday, Feb. 26 | By James Ivancic
Without comment, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors approved a $250,000 settlement this month with New Dominion Construction Inc., which had filed a claim of $2,174,671 for construction work it was contracted to do at the county landfill.

County Attorney Kevin Burke said the “settlement was accepted to avoid the cost and uncertainty of litigation."

New Dominion, of Hickory, Pa. filed its action in Fauquier County Circuit Court over change orders and delays it said it was not responsible for constructing a cell to hold material transported to the Coral Farm Landfill for burial.

New Dominion's bid of $2,919,732 was the lowest submitted and received the company received the contract on May 11, 2012. The company was contracted to grade the site, construct a landfill liner and leachate collection systems, tie in to the sanitary sewer system, construct gravel access roads, and drainage, erosion and sediment control features.

According to its claim seeking damages, New Dominion said the design prepared by the county's engineer, Draper Arden Associates, was incomplete, deficient and didn't reflect what was in the bid documents.

There was also a dispute over a notice to proceed, a date that started the clock on a deadline to substantially complete the landfill work within 120 days. The company claimed incomplete design drawings caused delays that affected its ability to complete the work on time and added costs to the project. It also cited delays caused by hurricanes Isaac and Sandy. The company did finish the work.

A response written by County Administrator Paul McCulla on July 3, 2014 said the county found no merit to the alleged impacts to the company's productivity and cited“self-inflicted inefficiencies and delays” on the part of the company. The county asserted a counterclaim against NDC and sought $76,000 in damages.

The settlement agreement states that both parties wished to settle the claims. It extends the contract completion date, setting it at March 11, 2013. By signing the settlement, New Dominion dismisses its complaint and the county releases the company from any claims.

The settlement was signed by New Dominion's vice president on Feb. 12 and by McCulla for the county on Feb. 13 after the county supervisors approved it on Feb. 12.

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