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W. Dale Clark's demolition will cost the city more than originally planned

Posted at 10:27 PM, Sep 27, 2022

OMAHA, Neb (KMTV) — The W. Dale Clark library is less than a week away from being demolished. 

But a last-minute addition to the demolition order is sending the price way up just before the building is set to come down.

“We did not know what the design was going to be of the building that is going up,” said Jacquelyn Morrison with the Mayor’s office.

Mutual of Omaha has informed the city that they need to perform additional demolition, including removing a retaining wall, driveways and some concrete pylons before the plot of land where the Dale Clark resides is ready for construction of their new skyscraper.

City officials say the demolition contract was signed before they saw a final plan from Mutual of Omaha so they would have had no way of knowing the additional demolition was necessary.

The price tag for the demolition is around $700,000 and the new demo will add $392,897.20 to that cost.

It's an expensive miscalculation and one that the city is contractually obligated to pay.

“To deny this work, if we deny this change order, we still have to complete the work. If we don’t complete the work we are still in violation of the agreement. So then they would probably do the work themselves, rebid it, and then charge the city. Not only would we get charged for that work but probably legal fees and penalties as well for violating that agreement,” said Councilwoman Aimee melton.

The reaction to the city’s miscalculation has not been a positive one.

Several testifiers showed up at Tuesday’s council meeting to share their displeasure with the change.

“All of this money we are spending on the demolition of a building, that the city did own and we gave away we could have actually put into improving it and making it a place for everyone,” said one testifier.

They also voiced their frustration with the lack of transparency around these decisions.

“To me, this is more of an item that alludes to the public trust or the lack thereof in a lot of these processes,” said another testifier.

The council, however, was not as critical.

Most were understanding of the extra costs but councilwoman Juanita Sanders said she shared her constituents' concerns about paying the extra costs.

“I would stand in support of constituents such as Ricky Fulton, Cheryl Weston and Duane Hames I move we not approve this,” said Johnson.

Ultimately though the Council would approve the amended project order on a vote of 6-1

With the now amended work order, the price of demolishing the W. Dale Clark library has climbed to over a million dollars.

The demolition is expected to commence on October 1st.

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