- Associated Press - Friday, March 18, 2016

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Traverse City commissioners are set to consider a settlement offer from the design firm that oversaw the $2.9 million renovation of a splash pad that rained sewage-contaminated water on children.

City officials claimed the renovation by Hamilton Anderson Associates was plagued by multiple design flaws. The worst problem was a direct connection between the city sewer system and the splash pad that caused human waste-tainted water to flow from the fountains at Clinch Park when sewage backed up shortly after it opened in June 2013. Other issues included a stone-block breakwall and kayak launch that washed out and flooding in the tunnel beneath a road.

Since 2013, the city and Hamilton Anderson have been working to resolve the dispute through mediation and binding arbitration, per their contract.

“I would be happy to have it closed out so we can move on and stop having the splash pad dog us on every project that comes before us,” Mayor Jim Carruthers said.

Carruthers said he wasn’t pleased with what the city’s attorneys predicted the city would receive after a closed-door meeting in January. But Carruthers learned Wednesday that commissioners will discuss a settlement offer Monday night during a closed session, he told the Traverse City Record-Eagle (http://bit.ly/1UG7zZc ).

“They told me they think I’ll be happy,” Carruthers said. “But they won’t tell me how much.”

Carruthers wants the city to be reimbursed for costs to fix the park, including a $508,000 contract to repair the splash pad, breakwall and tunnel drains, and about $15,000 to realign a collapsed section of a drainage pipe beneath the tunnel.

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Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, http://www.record-eagle.com

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