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County accepting bids for demolition, asbestos work

Staff Writer

The Archuleta County Board of County Commissioners voted to move forward with remodeling of its building located at 398 Lewis St. — a building that formerly housed the Archuleta County Education Center.

That vote came in the form of releasing an invitation for bid and request for qualifications for the abatement of lead and asbestos on the property, and an interior demolition. The releasing of the bid was approved during the board’s Feb. 4 regular meeting.

The county purchased the building last December for $200,000 with the intent for it to house the county’s administrative functions (including the commissioners, administrator, attorney and finance department). That, then, would allow the courts to expand into additional space in the courthouse to meet growing demand.

During the process of purchasing the building, it was discovered that asbestos and lead were present, and the Ed Center board (the seller) put $40,000 in escrow for abatement.

But, because lead and asbestos are hazardous materials, their removal is highly regulated by the state, noted Larry Walton, contracts and procurement officer for the county, at the meeting.

That means, Walton explained, that the invitation for bid includes a request for qualifications and experience from each bidder. That information will help the county determine if a specific bidder is unqualified or inexperienced in dealing with the regulations and substances.

From the “short list” of bidders deemed to be qualified and experienced, the county will likely choose to award the contract to the low bidder, Walton said.

That winning bidder would then have to supply the required insurance and other documents or the contract award would be canceled and given to the next lowest bidder, agenda documentation for the Feb. 4 meeting states.

Walton said the bids are due in two and a half weeks, but that 10 entities have been identified (five of which were previously qualified by other counties) as potential contractors, meaning the invitation will be sent to those companies, as well as advertised.

It is anticipated a contract would be awarded in early March, with the demolition and abatement project potentially complete by the end of March, allowing the space to be remodeled for county use.

At the same meeting, the BoCC:

• Accepted a donation from resident Jim Huffman for the purchase of ammunition to be used in training for the Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office.

At the meeting, Huffman said he appreciated the county setting out a procedure to allow donors to target specific county functions with donations and “put their money where their mouth is.”

All three commissioners thanked Huffman for the donation and noted the importance of having well-trained sheriff’s deputies.

• Locked in a price for the 2014 magnesium chloride purchase.

The county has not yet ordered its 2014 supply of the substance, which is used for dust abatement on gravel roads with an average daily traffic (ADT) of 200 or more.

Tuesday’s decision was simply to award a contract for purchase of mag chloride to Desert Mountain Corporation at a cost of $0.687 per gallon.

The county bid out the purchase of the substance in 2012, with Desert Mountain winning the contract (for 2013), which could be extended for a second year.

Despite a slight increase in the purchase price from 2013 (less than 5 percent), Ken Feyen, public works director, said it would likely cost the county more in the end to bid it out versus accepting Desert Mountain’s price.

In March, the county will again begin soliciting property owners who would like to pay the cost of materials to have the county apply mag chloride to roads with less than 200 ADTs.

Approximately 100 miles of roads fall at or above the 200 ADT threshold, and the commissioners approved the county purchase of mag chloride not exceed $285,000 “at this time.”

• The commissioners renewed a purchase of services between the Department of Human Services and Archuleta County Sheriff’s Office for the ACSO to provide a human services fraud investigator.

That investigator, which has been in place for years, investigates if there is suspicion that an individual misrepresented their need and serves as a locater services for parents who fail to abide by agreements to care for their child (such as with child support payments), among other things.

randi@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on February 10, 2014.