Fibrant Woes Deepen. City Hall Directed Atlantic Engineering Group to Install Fibrant’s Cable in Violation of National Electric Safety Code

Posted on July 20, 2016



RFP Staff

♦ Tuesday the Rowan Free Press learned the Atlantic Engineering Group has alleged in a counterclaim to the city’s lawsuit that the City of Salisbury directed the company to install Fibrant’s lines without the needed make ready work to ensure it was in compliance with the National Electric Safety Code, a mistake that could cost the city in excess of one million dollars to fix.

Filed in Rowan County Court, Atlantic Engineering Group’s counterclaim states the city was responsible for securing all rights and permissions from AT&T and Duke Energy necessary their company to construct Fibrant and the city failed to do so.  Specifically, the contract requires that the city ensures the utility companies complete their “make ready work review” in a timely manner, which includes adherence to the National Electric Safety Code and OSHA regulations. The counterclaims alleges that instead of ensuring “make ready work review” was completed in a timely manner , the city directed Atlantic Engineering Group to skip it and proceed hanging the fiber optic cable without it. Being concerned with this, Atlantic Engineering Group alleges they presented a change order in May of 2010 to the City of Salisbury to fix this situation and make sure lines met all applicable regulations.  Atlantic Engineering Group alleges the city refused to accept the change order. The following year, Fibrant Director Michael Crowell took early retirement.

Atlantic Engineering Group further alleges the city still owes them $282,587.98 for work completed and asks the court for that sum along with additional damages in excess of $100,000.

The parties also allege that the City of Salisbury failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the performance bond issued for the construction of the system. This is alarming as the bond funds are needed to pay for the fix.

RFP readers may remember that last fall Salisbury RFP contributor Todd Paris forced the City of Salisbury through a series of public information requests to disclose that much of Fibrant was installed out of compliance with the National Electric Safety Code. At that time the City of Salisbury was celebrating its new ten gig connection and what it would do to bring technology companies to the city. No technology companies have relocated to this date.

Complaint by the City of Salisbury:

https://app.box.com/s/a27gjekux9bhw4vag9yqovoyym75fdod

Answer to the Complaint by the Defendant Atlantic Engineering Group:

https://app.box.com/s/sf64yczjqg1nlnlqgdqjnzxodmkpmc0p

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