Yesterday, I told you about Allentown's Cedar Beach pool, which is now a year behind schedule and $681,000 over budget. This pool was designed by Bethlehem architectural firm Spillman-Farmer. Partner Dan Harrigan knows a little bit about swimming pools He won the 1975 Pan American games in the 200m backstroke. He also took a bronze medal for the same event in the 1976 Olympics. But Allentown Mayor Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski is pushing a prestigious and local architectural firm away to coddle with MidAtlantic, a General Contractor from Trenton, New Jersey. He also hired the General Contractor's engineer, Frank Clark, to act as an "independent" intermediary while receiving paychecks both from the General Contractor and from the City.
Whitehall Mayor Ed Hozza attempted to defend MidAtlantic and Clark yesterday. He points out that last year, MidAtlantic worked on at least four pool projects in Pennsylvania. The Cranberry Township Water Park addition (North of Pittsburgh), the Fleetwood Borough Pool, The City of Allentown Cedar Beach Pool and the Whitehall Township Parkview Hokendauqua pool. Hozza unwittingly explains what was wrong. MidAtlantic was behind everywhere because it was tying to do too much at once. In addition to being behind schedule in Whitehall, I know Fleetwood was very upset by the delays.
According to Fleetwood's Borough Council minutes, "The contractor is in breach of contract." The Borough had to pay Topton so that residents with passes could use their pool. Their pool did open in late June.
Allentown was upset, too..
On 4/11/16, Parks Director Lindsay Taylor emailed MidAtlantic to say, "I have seen no activity at either pool and that is not what I expected. I expected the project to be moving forward and do not see it as my role as having to oversee this. If you believe this to be my role, at this point, nobody will like it. Please provide us with a project schedule with milestones that will take this project through to completion. If you need anything yet from the City, please tell me ASAP. If there is activity going on behind the scenes and you will be at the sites Monday, please let us know so that we can feel as though we are finally moving forward."
I see no answer to this email, and no schedule.
On May 25, 2016, Allentown was notified by Superior Pool Products that it had a claim against MidAtlantic for services and materials at the site, and it threatened to file a mechanic's lien. "We need to resolve this ASAP," said Purchasing Agent Beth Ann Strohl in an email to interested parties. "If MidAtlantic is not paying their subs, then we need to call on their bonds."
So far as I know, no lien was ever filed.
This is the outfit working on Cedar Beach pool.