City Settles Lawsuit With Beaver Excavating Over Dam Removal

The settlement will prevent Cuyahoga Falls from awarding a $1 million contract to RiverReach Construction for the removal of the LeFever and Sheraton Dams. City officials will have to re-bid the project.

Cuyahoga Falls officials settled with Beaver Excavating on Friday, just two days after the Canton-based construction company filed suit against the city. 

Per the settlement, the city has agreed to "redo the procurement process," said Cuyahoga Falls Law Director, Paul Janis in a phone interview with Patch on Friday evening.

Regarding the process, the "City of Cuyahoga Falls did not have the authority to release this as a design-build project, and the (Ohio Revised Code, Section 153.65) they're relying on does not go into effect until June, said Beaver Excavating contract administrator, Matt Sterling, in an interview last week. 

Legally, they shouldn’t be selling a design-build and they should be rebidding it as a design-bid-build project.”

Design-builds are projects in which the design and construction are contracted out by a single company. In this case, the company was RiverReach Construction, which would have overseen the removal of the LeFever and Sheraton Dams and the environmental restoration of the Cuyahoga River if its $1 million contract hadn't been nullified earlier today.

Under design-bid-build, the city would contract with separate entities for the design and the construction of a project.

According to Janis, the city's engineering department will issue a new RFP, or request for proposal, to determine how to legally proceed with awarding a new contract for the dam removal.  

The original plan called for the LeFever and Sheraton Dams to be removed by mid to late July, just in time for August's bicentennial celebration, but Janis said the project now could be delayed by an unknown amount of time given the present situation.

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