No sign of contractor; city pays $70,000 and work not finishedDickinson will be pursuing legal action against an Idaho contractor for unfinished work to the Armory and in the meantime, all tenants have been asked to vacate until the structure can be made sound.
Dickinson will be pursuing legal action against an Idaho contractor for unfinished work to the Armory and in the meantime, all tenants have been asked to vacate until the structure can be made sound.
During a City Commission meeting Monday evening at City Hall, officials discussed their options in pursuing legal action against Two Rivers Construction, LLC, owned by Brian Kjerstad, the general contractor hired to install a new roof on the Armory.
City Attorney Matt Kolling said Kjerstad was hired at the discretion of former Public Works Director Skip Rapp and while not required, no written contract was signed.
But, the work is not finished, what has been completed needs to be fixed and the city has had a difficult time getting in touch with Kjerstad.
“We’re working under the assumption that he’s abandoned the project because he’s not responded to several requests to complete it,” said City Administrator Shawn Kessel.
Kessel said it has been more than three or four weeks since the city was able to reach Kjerstad.
Kjerstad was operating without a contractor’s license for about a year, including when he worked for the city, according to a previous Press article.
The city has paid Two Rivers about $70,000.
“I approved the initial payment based on the fact that he had to order these trusses — he had to get certain supplies there in order to get the work done,” Kessel said.
A second payment made for $30,000 in May was approved by Rapp, a payment Kessel says he was unaware of until a couple weeks ago.
Two material suppliers are also awaiting payment, payments Kolling says were to come from Two Rivers.
Valley Truss Co. is awaiting payment of about $28,000. Bosch Lumber is waiting for about $8,500 for materials supplied for work Two Rivers did on city lift stations, according to a memo from Kolling.
Kjerstad signed and provided the city with a master lien waiver stating he paid the suppliers, Kolling said.
“We’ve since discovered that’s not accurate,” Kolling said.
The two suppliers “have made demands that the city satisfy their outstanding bills and threatened to place liens upon the Armory and the city’s lift stations,” Kolling’s memo said.
Until the project is put out for bid, it is unclear how much additional funding will be needed to repair and complete the Armory.
The main concerns with the building are load issues, and the structure will require fixes Kessel cites as “substantial.”
The building was inspected by a structural engineer from Ulteig Engineering in Bismarck on Oct. 5 and load issues were identified.
The top portion of the roof truss’s high end, which connects to the Armory’s gymnasium, was not connected to any portion of the building and is free to move in a lateral direction, according to Ulteig’s findings dated Nov. 2.
Kessel said the city has asked tenants of the building, including Stark County Emergency Management, the National Guard and Dickinson Parks and Recreation, to vacate the building until it can be finished and repaired.
“If we had done our work properly we’d of had a written contract — at the very least a written purchase order,” said Mayor Dennis Johnson, adding it would have been logical to require a bond on the project.
A call to a number listed for Kjerstad’s Idaho home went unreturned. A cell phone number Kjerstad provided in March has been disconnected.