By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin
---- — ANDERSON — It isn't often taxpayers get a refund on government work — however indirectly it arrives.
But that's what happened Tuesday at the Anderson Board of Public Works when officials graciously accepted a $130,000 refund from a company the city hired last year to pave about 10 miles of city roads.
Last year, the city hired a suburban Chicago contractor, Gallagher Asphalt Corp., which developed an innovative, "hot-in-place" method of recycling existing pavement.
It was billed as more environmentally friendly process that used infrared technology to heat and melt asphalt, break it up, add fresh oil and return it to the road in one pass. And, at $338,155, the price was right.
There was just one problem, though. "It didn't do what they said it would do," said City Engineer Mike Spyers.
The company agreed the work didn't meet city specifications and agreed to repay some of the money.
This year, the city returned to traditional paving methods and hired Anderson-based E&B Paving, Inc., which last month submitted a low bid of $665,143 to repave 16.6 miles of city roads. The high bid was just over $800,000. The city's overall paving budget this year is $1.15 million.
The Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday also approved a paving contract with E&B for $699,900 — an amount about $100,000 less than from other contractors — to chip and seal about 20 miles of road this year.
Madison County also received an assist from from E.ON Climate & Renewables, the company that developed the 200-megawatt, 8,500-acre Wildcat wind farm project. E.ON agreed to ship and seal about 40 miles of roads in the area of the wind farm, according to County Commission President John Richwine, R-North District.
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