Lake surveyor race vitriol increases

2012-08-21T14:45:00Z 2012-08-21T18:39:09Z Lake surveyor race vitriol increasesBill Dolan bill.dolan@nwi.com, (219) 662-5328 nwitimes.com
August 21, 2012 2:45 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Lake County Surveyor George Van Til is fending off another attack by his Republican opponent who said he has found another case of unfinished work for which the county already has paid.

Eric Krieg said Tuesday he believes the county paid the full price — $65,884 — last year for only half the work expected on a section of the Brown Levee Ditch, a man-made drain southeast of Lowell.

Krieg said he found sections where no sediment had been removed from the ditch bottom and large sections of embankment that weren't reseeded with grass. He also said trees there weren't treated with a chemical to prevent them from regrowing and undermining ditch banks.

Krieg said it is another example of the surveyor's office failing to oversee the quality of work by county vendors.

Van Til said Krieg's criticism is off base, including an elementary error of misnaming the waterway in question as Brown Ditch, a waterway farther to the north.

Van Til said work on the Brown Levee Ditch is still under way because of unanticipated improvements needed on a section of the ditch that forms the northern boundary of the Lake County Parks Department's Grand Kankakee Marsh area.

Robert Nickovich said a storm several months ago knocked down about 2,000 trees into the ditch's floodway, and the trees must be removed.

Nickovich said the parks department is concerned about the environmental impact ditch work would have on park wetlands, but his department isn't holding up the drainage project.

"The only reason (Van Til) is doing more work on this ditch is because we caught him," Krieg said.

Krieg said he did make a mistake when he previously criticized Van Til for a lack of erosion matting on ditch banks. The contract did not call for the matting.

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