Armory safe to occupyAfter an Idaho contractor abandoned a Dickinson Armory roof project and progress was deemed structurally unsatisfactory, city officials received a second assessment of the structure Wednesday and are no longer suggesting tenants temporarily relocate.
After an Idaho contractor abandoned a Dickinson Armory roof project and progress was deemed structurally unsatisfactory, city officials received a second assessment of the structure Wednesday and are no longer suggesting tenants temporarily relocate.
Two Rivers Construction, LLC, owned by Brian Kjerstad of Meridian, Idaho, was hired to repair the Armory’s roof, but the project has sat partially completed and for more than three weeks, the city was unable to contact Kjerstad.
An initial assessment by Bismarck-based Ulteig Engineering indicated several items of concern and city officials requested all tenants temporarily locate.
“The city of Dickinson requested a revised report from Ulteig Engineering after new information was provided to them, including the original plans for the Armory construction,” according to a city press release.
The city received Ulteig’s revised report Wednesday morning, which “contained updated recommendations that will be less costly and be less time consuming to implement.”
City Administrator Shawn Kessel said tenants are no longer being asked to temporarily relocate.
“The city is quickly moving forward to make the necessary improvements,” according to the release.
After the second assessment, tenants will no longer be asked to sign a hold harmless waiver, Kessel said.
While the project wasn’t initially bid out as it was less than $100,000, it will be bid out this go-around, Kessel said, adding the city hopes to put the project out for bid next week.
Until the project is bid, it is unclear how much it will cost to repair and complete the structure.
“We don’t believe dollar amounts require a bid but we’re going to do it,” Kessel said. “Nevertheless, we think it’s the right way to go. It will delay the project some.”
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.
No bond was required on the project when it was awarded to Two Rivers.
Kessel said the bid will include verification of proper licensure and bonds.
After weeks of attempting to contact Kjerstad, Kessel said he received an e-mail from Kjerstad “out-of-the-blue,” dated Nov. 17.
“Due to the economy back in Boise, along with trying to overcome what past business partners left me with, I have had to make the hard choice to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy,” Kjerstad wrote. “We have also defunked (sic), dissolved all of our businesses. I gave it everything that I had and then some.”
Kjerstad said he made all plans and design available to the city before materials were ordered or construction began.
“There have been factual lies and accusations on what was done, not done and who caused the problem,” Kjerstad wrote. “I wish that things went differently. I do not like not finishing what I started and I really don’t like swallowing the fact that I have to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.”
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.
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 few weeks ago.
Two material suppliers are also awaiting payment, payments Kolling says were to come from Two Rivers.
Valley Truss Co. is waiting for 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 provided the city with a signed master lien waiver stating he paid the suppliers, Kolling said.
“We’ve since discovered that’s not accurate,” Kolling said.
Legal action will be filed within the next month, Kolling said.
“We’re in the process of putting that information together and identifying the costs and the remedies that are still necessary to occur at the Armory and once we have that sort of information that’s when we’ll be filing,” Kolling said.
A cell phone number provided by Kjerstad in March has been disconnected.
An e-mail to Kjerstad went unanswered by Press time.