Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to right sidebar Skip to footer

Town issues letter of complaint on contractor

Frustrated with the lack of progress on Senior Center construction, Town Administrator Bob Browning has sent a letter to the project’s bonding company to report what he calls his dismay that Rainey Contracting has “fallen back into their old habits and their staff is not on site.”
“Our issue is there isn’t any work being done,” Browning said. “And there is no way the contractors can meet that Aug. 15 deadline.”
The letter was sent to the bonding company, Westfield Insurance Co., on July 20.
According to Browning, the problem has been a longstanding one. With a completion date continually on the move, town officials have repeatedly charged Rainey Contracting Inc. and its president, Scott Rainey, with costly delays and missteps. Rainey, in turn, claimed that the town’s own demands and delays were at the heart of the slow progress.
Still, at the weekly Senior Center Project meeting on July 9, Rainey expressed confidence in the project’s latest schedule and his working relationship with the town.
“I know there’s always an excuse, but it was the wettest year in history,” he said, setting the completion of his end of the project for mid to late August.
“We just finished up the Sabin Hill project,” Rainey added. “So we’ve brought those forces and put them on this job, so that really helped us.”
Town officials maintain the extra forces never fully arrived, and construction progress remains slow.
During last week’s Senior Center Progress meeting, Browning was out of town and only Eddie Phillips with Ken Ross Architects and J.W. Greene, Jonesborough’s building inspector, were in attendance, but Phillips opened with what at the time seemed to be good news.
“The contractor Scott Rainey called prior to the meeting, saying he would not be able to make it, but he provided updates,” Phillips said at the July 16 meeting’s onset. “What Scott has mentioned . . . is that he understands that siding and trim work and all that is taking longer than anticipated. He has hired subcontractors (to finish the work). They will be onsite tomorrow.”
As far as the town can see, tomorrow hasn’t come. And that, according to Browning, may have been the final straw.
“I sent the letter yesterday,” Browning said on July 21. “Rainey didn’t have anybody working on that exterior.”
If there is a problem, he said, “they need to communicate with us to let us know…All I know is there aren’t people onsite right now. We are alerting him that this job has to been done by the end of August.”
The letter to the bonding company was not a step Browning was eager to take, but one that he said he felt had to be done.
“It’s called a performance bond,” he explained. The project has both a performance bond and a payment bond. In essence, the performance bond is to guarantee the project is completed. Payment bonds protect the pay of subcontractors and also help ensure the project continues to move forward.
“It’s an insurance, essentially,” Browning explained. “They (the bonding company) have the authority to come in and take over for the project and get it complete.”
At this point, Browning said, the next response should be from the bonding company, which will most likely be in touch with Rainey.
“What happens is the bonding company assesses the situation, what the contractor is doing and how they are going to finish this project on their declared schedule,” he said. “We’ll just have to see at this point in time.”
Rainey could not be reached for comment.
The next Senior Center Progress Meeting will be held Thursday, July 23, at 9 a.m. at Town Hall.