Report: City violated state laws on median project - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Report: City violated state laws on median project

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WAUSAU ( WAOW) - A new report says the city of Wausau did not follow some state laws during a highway median project. That project installed metal bird sculptures in the median on the Highway 52 Parkway. The project cost more than $100,000.

An 18-page report from a Madison law firm says the city should have followed multiple state laws on this project. The city's attorney requested the review of the project.

The firm found the city should have gone about the project differently.

"The main thing is when you do public projects, you're required to do certain procedures. And that is bidding out projects that are competitively bid," said Wausau City Council member David Oberbeck.

The report says the city should have bid out the project after Public Works Director Brad Marquardt learned the cost of the project was more than $25,000.

Newsline 9 reached out to Marquardt but he said he wouldn't comment until the mayor finished looking into the matter.

Since the entire project cost more than $100,000, the city was also required to have a minimum wage set for the contracted workers.

Oberbeck says that can still be applied to the project. But he says mistakes were made.

"I think the procedure and the policy set forth by the council have not been followed, and the state regulations," said Oberbeck.

Now, city leaders are trying to figure out who dropped the ball.

"The city council is not the group that oversees all the details of the project, and we can't be. We don't have the time or knowledge of what's going on on a day to day basis in city hall," said Oberbeck.

He said that's up to the administration.

Mayor Jim Tipple was not available for comment. But in a release he said, "I take this matter seriously. I plan to review the report provided by outside counsel to determine the next course of action."

The city has already set aside more than $200,000 for a similar project on the west side of the interstate. Oberbeck says no plans have been made for that yet.


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