Moffat seeking $142K from city |

Moffat seeking $142K from city

County says Steamboat breached contract terms for transit center

Brandon Gee

Moffat County and the city of Steamboat Springs are in a dispute related to the Regional Transit Center under construction on the east side of Craig. Moffat County suggested last week that it may pursue litigation.

— What once was considered a healthy collaboration between the city of Steamboat Springs and Moffat County has become soured by a six-figure dispute between the two governments.

Moffat County officials insist the city of Steamboat Springs owes them $142,420 because it breached contract terms related to the Regional Transit Center under construction on the east side of Craig. Moffat officials suggested last week they may pursue litigation. Steamboat Springs officials say the requested sum is unreasonable.

“We are in the process of deciding what to offer Moffat County,” Deputy City Manager Wendy DuBord said Wednesday. “We are not in litigation. If Moffat County wants to go to that level, that’s their decision, but we’d like to resolve it without litigation.”

The dispute focuses on two construction-related issues at the site, which Steamboat Springs bought from Moffat County for $220,000 in 2005.

As part of the purchase contract, Steamboat Springs agreed to deconstruct the building and salvage materials for future use by Moffat County. DuBord said a demolition contractor hired by the city “ran into some problems and the building collapsed,” rendering the salvage of some materials impossible.

The second issue is the amount of soil that was re-moved from the site. Moffat County had agreed to waive all landfill fees for site cleanup and the removal of contaminated soil at the site, formerly the site of a Moffat County Road and Bridge Department shop.

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Moffat County officials say Steamboat construction crews sent 10 times more soil to the landfill than they expected. The governments disagree about whether all the soil removed actually was contaminated, and Moffat County officials don’t feel they should be held to the agreement to waive all landfill fees.

“When we found out the ground wasn’t contaminated to the level of being hazardous, that (Steamboat crews) didn’t do proper testing, we don’t feel we should be responsible for that, not with the contract,” Moffat County Commissioner Tom Gray told the Craig Daily Press last week.

DuBord disagrees.

“Quite frankly, they have one environmental consultant and we have another,” she said. “We want to be environmentally responsible. I think we’re taking a conservative approach as to how we resolve the environmental issues on the site, and I think that would be in the best interests of Moffat County’s residents, as well.”

DuBord said the city made an offer to Moffat County that included the full value of new materials to replace those lost.

“Which, in my opinion, was a very good offer because it was not good steel,” said DuBord, who said the city has reports that confirm the deteriorated state of the lost materials.

The city was less willing to relent when it came to the landfill fees. The total offer was less than the $142,420 requested by Moffat County officials, who rejected the offer, DuBord said.

City of Steamboat Springs Purchasing/Contracts and Risk Manager Anne Small said the city since has received a “definitive settlement” from an insurance company for the demolition contractor’s failure to deconstruct the former Moffat County shop. Small said the city now is in a better position to make Moffat County another offer, which she expects in a matter of days.

Although neither Small nor DuBord would offer a specific amount, it appears the city’s next offer also will be less than $142,420.

“We think there’s a middle ground,” Small said.

The Regional Transit Center in Craig would include an indoor waiting area and bus bays for Steamboat Springs Transit’s regional bus service between Steamboat Springs and Craig. The facility is scheduled for completion in November.

By the numbers

Cost of Craig Regional Transit Center

– Land purchase from Moffat County: $220,000

– Architecture and engineering: $118,500

– Demolition: $272,177

– Construction: $1,867,102

– Total: $2,477,779


– Federal Transit Administration: $1,096,259

– Colorado Department of Local Affairs: $716,000

– Colorado Department of Transportation: $400,000

– City of Steamboat Springs: $265,520

– Total: $2,477,779

Source: Anne Small, purchasing/contracts and risk manager for the city of Steamboat Springs