Rainmaker Network Services won the bid to design and build the Whitespace project. Mr. Fred Engelmann did this but has been claiming that he is now owed an extra $8223.00 for redesign of one of the pole locations. Mr. Engelmann was paid for his work for the project, as he submitted monthly invoices each month as stated he must do in the contract that he signed. He cannot then turn around and manufacture new invoices for payment for the same months he has already been paid for.
The resolution that is being presented at the July 11, 2017, meeting is stating that due to the fact that an easement could not be obtained for one of the poles, that a redesign had to be done, therefore causing extra expense. However, at the April 30, 2014, workshop, Mr. Mike Eddy asked Mr. Engelmann about easements. Mr. Engelmann stated, and I quote, "If a certain person doesn't want to grant an easement, we can move it over here." (see attached audio of statement) This town board is basing their decision to pay Mr. Engelmann an extra $8223.00 solely on the fact that an easement could not be obtained from a homeowner. In fact, Mr. Engelmann never billed the town for $8223.00 at all. He can not now claim he wants thousands of extra dollars for doing this job.
The previous supervisor and town board all understood this and refused to pay Mr. Engelmann this extra money. It was because of their refusal that Mr. Engelmann walked away from the project and refused to sign the contract to operate it unless he was paid this money. When this did not work, Mr. Engelmann withheld subscriber fees that he owed the town for a month and a half, he has never paid that back to the town. There are also a few documented facts that should be taken into account here as well.
- The contract that Mr. Engelmann signed stated that he was to design and construct this Whitespace project. Nowhere in this contract does it state that there are any redesign clauses.
- Stated in the contract, Mr. Engelmann was to submit monthly invoices to be reviewed each month by the Town Board and submitted for payment. Invoices were submitted each month and were paid each month. (See documentation attached)
- Mr. Engelmann then created an invoice in December of 2015 billing the town for $4112.50 for work done on redesign for the period of June – November of 2015. Mr. Engelmann had already submitted work for each of those months and was paid for them, nowhere on those invoices does it state that there was any redesign work done. This only appears on the manufactured invoice in December of 2015. There was another invoice manufactured in December of 2015 for the same amount, $4112.50, that was given as in-kind services for the NYS Grant for the Town.
- When the previous Town Board refused to pay these extra expenses, Mr. Englemann that turned around and claimed that the town, in fact, owed him $8223.00. He can not bill twice for months that he was already paid for and then also ask to be paid for in-kind services that he gave toward the NYS Grant.
- Mr. Engelmann was not fired by the previous Town Supervisor or the Previous Town Board, he refused to sign the operations contract until he was paid this money, basically, he tried to hold the system hostage for money. When this did not work, he walked away from it.
The Town of Thurman does not owe this money to Mr. Engelmann, yet the current Town Board, whom most were very vocal against Whitespace, now have no problem paying this large sum of money to Mr. Engelmann.
How do you feel about paying this large sum of money from your tax dollars, that not only is not owed but is not covered by the NYS Grant for the Whitespace? I for one do not like it.
Mr. Eddy did nothing but complain that taxpayers money was being spent on Whitespace since day one, but this payment is perfectly fine. Seems like typical politician double talk doesn't it?
It is the personal opinion of this taxpayer that this money is not owed by the Town of Thurman.
Mr. Engelmann stating that a pole can just be moved.
Full clip with Mr. Eddy asking about easements.