Repairs, legal action planned for Armory roofAfter an Idaho contractor left a roof project at the Dickinson Armory unfinished, allegedly accepting payment and leaving town, repairs remain unfinished and city officials are hoping to get the project out for bid as soon as possible.
After an Idaho contractor left a roof project at the Dickinson Armory unfinished, allegedly accepting payment and leaving town, repairs remain unfinished and city officials are hoping to get the project out for bid as soon as possible.
City Attorney Matt Kolling said former Public Works Director Skip Rapp hired Meridian, Idaho-based Two Rivers Construction, LLC to repair the Armory’s roof, but work was only partially completed.
The city paid Two Rivers, owned by Brian Kjerstad, about $70,000 and was unable to contact Kjerstad for several weeks all while the roof remained incomplete.
While not required, no written contract was signed and 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, according to the article.
City Administrator Shawn Kessel said he approved the initial payment because Kjerstad needed to order trusses and materials.
Rapp approved a second payment in May for $30,000, a payment Kessel said he was unaware of until a few months ago, according to the article.
A material supplier is awaiting a $28,000 payment, a payment Kolling said was to come from Two Rivers but allegedly didn’t happen.
“Valley Truss (Co.) has retained local counsel and they may demand formally on the city to recover that money that they claim to have not been paid and may bring a claim in court on that as well,” Kolling said during January City Commission meeting.
Kjerstad signed and provided the city with a master lien waiver stating he paid the suppliers, Kolling said in November.
In November, Kolling said legal action would be filed within a month, however that has not taken place. Kolling says the city is waiting to see how much the repairs will cost.
“All the information that we have at this point is that Two Rivers is basically out of business so it may be difficult to recoup money against that company,” Kolling said. “As to how much we can ultimately recover on that at this point, we just don’t know.”
Ulteig Engineering in Bismarck provided the city with a bid as to how much it would cost for the company to act as structural engineers in finding out what exactly needs to be repaired then placing the project out for bid.
“The cost surprised me … it might be right in line,” Kessel said.
But, plans to get the ball rolling on repairs have changed.
“We’re not going to have them bid the project anymore and that takes a chunk of change right off of the top and so it lowers the amount of their bid to just do the work to find out what needs to be done to improve the facility to less than $20,000,” Kessel said. “That $20,000 is important because that’s the bidding threshold where you’re required to go out for bid.”
Kessel says he has spoken with a couple other firms asking them to provide bids on the project and it will then be awarded to the “most responsible bidder.”
Recent snow melts and warmer temperatures may not be causing issues with the Armory’s exposed areas.
Capt. Dan Murphy of the North Dakota National Guard, whose Dickinson office is located within the Armory, said to his knowledge, there have been no reports of a leaky roof.