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County commission approves expenditures for DHS digs

by Bill Knowles

TRINIDAD — With just six weeks left before the Department of Human Services will be able to move into their new offices at the remodeled jail on the third floor of the courthouse, requests for payment and change orders making note of the extras needed to finish off the project are being looked at and acted on by the Las Animas County Commissioners.

The first change order, approved with a 3-0 vote, was for soil replacement on the DHS renovation project. The amount, $6,089, is to be used for the replacement of an ADA ramp to allow disabled access to and from the DHS building. According to county administrator Leeann Fabec, as soil and dirt were dug up after the removal of the old ramp, a soil test was conducted, costing the county an additional $800. It was found that the soil had a very high moisture content.

“The contractors were concerned about damage to the new ramp because of soil content. They found that the soil had too much moisture in it and this concerned the contractors. They were worried about settling of the soil and cracking of the new ramp.”

The county considered trying to let the dirt air out and dry—but it was thought that with the amount of rain the county has received and the possibility of more, the soil will stay damp and the project would be on hold until after the fall monsoon. The county’s other option could be to add about two feet of road base to the hole, and then put the dirt back in. This would allow the dirt to drain properly and dry out.

Another change order, approved with a 3-0 vote, was for the installation of additional motion sensitive light switches in three office areas for $2,048.

The next change order was for a pay request from Maxwell Builders for the DHS project in the amount of $104,668, with the project at 87 percent completed. The BoCC approved the request with a 3-0 vote.

In another pay request, this time by Purgatoire Valley Construction for the restroom project for the event center at the fair grounds, the BoCC voted 3-0 to approve the request in the amount of $65,529.

In other business, the commission voted 3-0 to deny an extension of a special use permit (SUP) request from Bridger Wireless for the building of a wireless tower. The old SUP was two years old. Land use regulations require an SUP to have a one-year life span. If it should expire, then the applicant would have to refile for a new permit paying all the associated costs.

Dixon, Waller and company will be doing the audit of the county financial records for the 2015 fiscal year. In their bid the price of the audit was reduced by $2,000. The county will have to pay $31,500 for the audit.

Alta Fuels received the okay on their bid for both unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel sales to the county road and bridge department. The county will purchase 8,000 gallons of unleaded for $1.057 per gallon for a total of $13,640. They will purchase 7,200 gallons of diesel at $1.657 per gallon for a total of $11,930.

The county went into executive session at 10:25 a.m.