8/20/04 EM'S REMARKS TO MISS. RIVER CMSN
MOPR Notes: EM handed this out at the 9/21/04 Levee Cmsn mtg. It was typed on plain paper.
REMARKS OF ERIC MARTIN TO THE MISSISSIPPI
RIVER COMMISSION ON BOARD THE M.V. MISSISSIPPI
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20, 2004
General Crear, Members of the Mississippi River Commission & distinguished guests.
My name is Eric Martin. I am the City Atty for the City of VP, MO, a municipality of some 8,000 residents in St Louis County, MO, located on the banks of the Meramec River, a flood-prone tributary of the Mississippi River. Before & since the initial funding in 1992 for the VP, MO, Urban Levee Project, I have had close professional contact with the St Louis Dist of the US Army COE. I wish to acknowledge the competency & professionalism of that organization, noting especially Col Kevin Williams, Thomas Hewitt, David Leake, Project Mgr JZ, & the entire const mgmt staff of this project. The COE's attn to civil design & eng'g, blended with env'l sensitivity & mitigation, has created a project that is a metropolitan St Louis asset that will save millions of dollars & alleviate much human suffering in decades to come.
The last phase of this $49.295M project was placed under a const contract in 1/04, & the contractor is over 25% complete. Unfortunately, his earnings have outstripped the current budget allowance for '04 of $2.018M which was well below the stated COE's capability. For this FY ('04), the contractor is projected to earn $5.5M over the budget allowance amount, & for the upcoming FY ('05), the contractor will finish the contract earning an add'l $8.1M for a total of $13.6M, which is the COE's stated capability. Unfortunately, no money is available on hand to pay the earnings thus far &, despite the stated COE's capability of $13.6M, the administration has recommended only $2.06M for the upcoming FY.
Despite not being paid for the past several months, ESI, the general contractor, has elected to continue this project.
Should our contractor change his mind & elect not to proceed at some point in the future due to non-paymt, or should the Army COE elect to terminate the contract, which would be a very bad decision, flood protection will be delayed. If new flooding occurs, much past work may be lost & there will be much greater const costs if a new contract must be negotiated with someone else.
Despite its small size & limited budget, the City has to date fully met its obligation to fund its local share, estimated at $12.328M, at contract completion.
We ask your continued support of funding of our project in order to provide flood protection to this cmty at the earliest possible date.
Eric M. Martin, City Atty, City of VP, MO
109 Chesterfield Business Pkwy
Chesterfield, MO 63005