BRANSON, Mo. — What went wrong with the 76-Road Project in Branson? That was the topic at a Board of Alderman study session Thursday night at Branson City Hall.
The city hired an auditor to do the research and his findings were presented at the meeting tonight.
David Luker, from RSM US LLP. cited the first problem as the city not putting a budget together before they got started with the project. City Administrator, Stan Dobbins agrees that it was not best practice.
“Sometimes, in the construction world, you do get that sticker shock when the first bids come in – and so you try to go back and value engineer things. I think that was the overall intent was to try and do what we could within the limited budget we had. And then when the funding mechanism we thought was in place but had not been secured yet, failed, that created a hardship.”
Luker also says they should have had a project manual in place – which leads to another error. The city redesigned the plans using the construction and project managers, but leaving out CFS, the company who was initially hired to do the job. This mistake cost them their state funding with MoDot.
“The project manager and construction manager believed that it was in the best interest of the city,” Luker said. “But what it did, was it turned this into construction contracts that really didn’t have the appropriate guardrails set in place for them to build the structure that they bid on.”
“I strongly agreed with the idea that the person that makes the design should be involved in that change order process..to insure that what we are doing is going to accomplish the overall design and goal of what we had to start with,” Dobbins said. “We try to save money in certain areas. I think that was detrimental to the city staff. Because they were put under a lot of pressure, they should have never been put under.”
Dobbins says the city is working on improving the plans for the 76 project now — as well as making sure the mistakes pointed out by the audit don’t happen again. He says their number one goal is to get their cooperative agreement done with the 76 Community Involvement District.
The issue will be taken up again at a Board of Alderman meeting on March 27th and again on April 10th.