I had planned on sleeping in and go to the college at noon but I had been getting emails from Patti all day yesterday. I was showered, dressed and in the kitchen at 5:30 setting up breakfast this morning for the brood. Toast, topped with the apple or grape jelly, fruit, several kinds of cereal, orange juice, coffee, hot chocolate or milk was the menu for today.
Jeanna came down to have breakfast with us. The G5 was going to carry her to a meeting in Nebraska and then stop at the banks corporate HQ for another meeting. Her two secretaries were coming back and moving into her house today. She was going to be splitting up her nights between there and here. Marcy had reserved two master rooms at the Holiday East chain just in case they did not want to stay at the house. There were two new GMC Terrains at the island airport rental agency for the secretaries to use. Marcy had made up two guest ID’S for the gym good for two weeks and a brochure with everything available at the gym.
Ching Lee filled us in over breakfast on the progress of an area guide she was working on. We could pass it out to customers that were coming to the gym from out of town, the car rental business, or for the extended meetings and extended training programs we were going to have. She had been going to all the businesses we were going have listed in the brochure to have them sign a permission form for us to use their name and/or business logo.
Patti drove to the College; she had listened to the details of the horrid driving conditions from PA last night and was going to give me a break. I worked on the smarter than smart phone as we went.
We were having problems with the contractor at the college again. First thing yesterday morning one of their trucks carrying over-length materials took out two cars parked on the street.
Then in the afternoon the street by the construction entrance started breaking up from all the truck traffic. We had had a month of wet as hell weather, followed by heavy freezes and thaws. In the middle of that cycle came snow. The town’s solution to the snow was heavy applications of rock salt. That much salt simply damaged the road and the freezing and thawing softened up the base under the blacktop. The result was the black top was destroyed.
The town was demanding immediate repairs. It was in the permitting with the town that we were responsible for road damage. It was the middle of January, the blacktop plants were closed and would not reopen until the end of March and until the base firmed up there were no permanent remedies according to an e-mail from Richard Bozman, our construction auditor.
His suggestion was to run a grader with a belly ripper and simply destroy all the remaining blacktop, breaking it into smaller chunks to fill the potholes. It was heaved, pushed, and buckled the entire length and width of the road anyhow. Part two of the temporary fix was then to dump recycled concrete on top of that and grade it every day to eliminate new potholes and any sags that developed until the plants opened and the base firmed up. More concrete could be added as needed. Once construction of the dorms was completed then we could repave the road. His fix sounded perfect to me and that was the one I was going to push.
If the dorm builder had to rent one of those things we would pay three times the price as an add-on item. All the contractors in the area that had a grader were closed for the winter. The only thing they were doing was plowing snow as an on-call from the state and county at double and triple time rates. I was simply going to suggest the college rent one and I would grade the road myself at the end of each day. I had transported and loaded and unloaded hundreds of them in the sandbox. I was willing to bet that Richard could run one as well or even one of the maintenance guys would be proficient enough in a couple of days with OJT to handle it.
I would have our security department close the road while the operation was going on each day. The meeting was at 8 sharp and I was ready for them.
Problem number two for the day was one of the returning girls from the fall semester had fallen off the wagon. She had come back as a full time slut and a voyeur or both. We were getting complaints from everywhere, internally and even some from outside the campus. HR had already had two conferences with her. She had been seen and was on security tapes having sex in just about every hallway, room and display on campus with dozens of different male students. Some videos were said to be showing up on the internet.
HR wanted me to make her life so miserable that she would quit and go home, just so they would not look like the bad guys. Personally I did not care how much sex she had or with whom as long as it was not in public. But I did wonder what had brought about the change. I also wondered if the shrinks Misty was still seeing could offer some insight. I would make that call after the first meeting was over.
The next problem that came in was an e-mail from the Board that starting in April and May all the big donors for the new dorm construction were going to be coming in to see their bronze name plates put in the dorm building exterior walls or the honor wall on the side of the admin building. Security was charged with picking them up at BWI or Philly International then getting them to the college, motels and back. This was going to be a logistical nightmare.
I had a brain storm: have all of them fly into BWI and have one of Jeanna’s King air’s pick them up at the general aviation passenger loading area. The flight from BWI to Kent Island was 15 minutes versus an hour in a car in rush hour and if was in May on a Friday the trip could be two hours. We could have any kind of car from the Mid Atlantic list from an economy box to a Benz if they wanted to cough up the cash at the island airport. There were two high end hotels and several budget ones on the island. I could get corporate room rates from two of them and on the flight and car rentals for whom ever was paying the bill. There were all kinds of steak and seafood restaurants on the island and even more fancy ones in Annapolis if needed. If they were the kind of people that just had to have a chauffeur I was sure I could find a girl or guy in a black suit and tie for the job if necessary. I put it in an e-mail and sent it to Patti and the board.
The next problem was one of my own. We just a little over three weeks from meeting with the Board from Frost Borough and I still did not have the meeting set with the equipment salesman. Today he would be called and I would yank on his chain.
Tonight I had four more assessments to do and I wanted a full update on the construction of the offices at the planning meeting. They were now 11 days into the construction.
By the time I had finished my mental to-do list Patti was backing in to our parking spot. We were 15 minutes early but the office had several people in it already. Richard Bozman and the night duty clerk were at the counter along with Bob Jenkins from the board of directors.
We had a short discussion about the road and the terms of the permits. There was agreement that either way we were left holding the bag on the road repairs. Bob confirmed my suspicions that the language in the permits was the only way the town would approve the project. I questioned why that language was not carried over to the building contract if it was unusual in the permits. Bob simply replied, “Just another slip up by the engineering firm that we eat.”
The town roads department had already been directed into the meeting room along with the dorm building contractor and was enjoying the free coffee and donuts when we sat down. Ken Smith from Building Services also joined us for the meeting.
The town started the meeting by explaining the condition and damage to the road. They also had a copy of the permits that required us to repair any road damage to pre-construction standards.
Richard explained the type of temporary repairs we would do and the nightly grading if necessary and that we would put down a new layer of blacktop for that entire section of street when both dorms were completed. He promised that the temporary repairs would begin today.
The town debated the temporary repairs, gave their approval and then left. The contractor started his conversation with how much the extra for the road repair was going to cost. Richard told him that a separate bid proposal would be needed for additional work on that scale and that the maintenance and grounds department would handle the temporary repairs. The contractor and his group quietly left.
Richard said, “I called about a rental grader yesterday and made a couple of other call. Cat Rentals in Wilmington can deliver a small grader that will do the job by noon and a 5 ton roller to pack the roadway. Samson Stone Company will deliver all the needed recycled concrete starting at one. I have a retired grader operator that can also be here to run the grader at noon when it arrives. Samson will dump two loads of materials in the maintenance area to resupply the grading needs. I believe Ken’s group has a skid steer and a dump trailer that can be used to move the material to the roadway as needed. The rental on those two machines is by the hour so we will only pay for actual use and not availability. I can start the process if you like.” Bob signed off and issued the necessary PO. End of one problem now on to the next one.
Edit by Alfmeister