County, Steamboat try to resolve alleged debt

In other action

At its Tuesday meeting, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 3-0, agreements with the Daily Press and The Print Shop - which is owned by the newspaper - to use them as the county's newspaper of record and stationary supplier, respectively. The county will not pay a contracted sum, but will receive contracted rates and use the two companies as needed.

Because each company was the only bidder for each contract, Commissioner Audrey Danner waived the county's normal bid process, which requires three bids.

• Approved, 2-0, a grant agreement with the Colorado Department of Transportation Aeronautical Board for $7,500 to help fund an asphalt overlay on the Craig/Moffat County Airport parking lot. The money will help match a $150,000 grant from the Federal Aviation Administration.

— A tentative plan is in the works to settle a $142,420 dispute between Moffat County and the city of Steamboat Springs.

The Moffat County Commission contends Steamboat owes that money to the county because of issues with the construction of the Steamboat Springs Transit facility at 616 E. Victory Way in Craig.

The two governments have negotiated the issue since March 2008, when the commission formally asked for $155,000. Steamboat has since paid about $12,600 to cover Moffat County labor costs but has not agreed to pay the remaining sum.

The issue seemed to come to a head in August, when Moffat County commissioners suggested the only way to collect the money was to file a lawsuit.

No formal action was taken until Tuesday's commission meeting.

After an hour-long executive session and a 2-0 vote, Commissioners Tom Mathers and Audrey Danner instructed County Attorney Kathleen Taylor to work on hiring a "mediator" to settle the dispute.

Anne Small, Steamboat purchasing/contracts and risk manager, said such a process is one possibility for a resolution, but formal discussions between Moffat County and Steamboat officials need to take place before a mediator is hired.

Commissioner Tom Gray did not vote on the matter because he left the meeting early for a planned trip along the Colorado River with other government representatives.

Work on the site began in 2007.

Steamboat purchased the lot from the county for $220,000. Per contract terms, Steamboat would salvage any iron support beams from existing buildings and the county would waive all landfill fees for site cleanup and any contaminated soil removed during construction.

Since the property was formerly the site of the County Shop, it was thought oil and other materials had leaked into the ground.

However, a contractor hired by Steamboat failed to save the iron.

The Moffat County Commission also contends Steamboat crews began requesting large amounts of dirt be hauled off for being hazardous, though the soil didn't meet the legal definition.

Crews did not properly test the soil before sending it to the landfill, Gray said in August, which resulted in more ground being taken to the dump than there should have been.

Steamboat officials have made settlement offers to the county, which county officials rejected because they were less than the $142,000 requested.

Of the money requested, about $30,400 accounts for the lost iron, with the remainder made up of soil removal costs.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Requires free registration

Posting comments requires a free account and verification.