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County commission approves increases to contractors

LAS ANIMAS/ TRINIDAD— On Tuesday, September 15, the Las Animas County Commissioners approved several items that upped the cost of road repair in the county during their regular meeting. The first change order considered for approval was for an increase in the hot asphalt tonnage for asphalt road work. The contract, with Walsenburg Sand and Gravel, was for about $1.1 million. The change order will increase the tonnage from 10,000 tons to 12,195 tons at the same price of $82.75 per ton. There will be an increase in tack coat as well, which is put between layer one and layer two of asphalt. The amount of tack coat will increase from 2,086 gallons to 2,439 gallons at the original bid price of $3 per gallon. The change order increases the bid amount from $833,923 to $1,016,462. Reasons stated for the increase include the increase of percentage in matching funds needed to secure the grant funding for the project from 30 percent match and 70 percent funding to 50-50. The deadline for completion of the project will remain October 2015. A second change order was approved, on a 3-0 vote, for an increase in the tonnage of aggregate base course (ABC) gravel, due to the unit cost being higher than the bid cost for

various mixtures of the ABC. The original bid cost was for about $1.5 million. The increase of $622 thousand will bring the bid up to $2.2 million. The completion date for the road projects has been extended from February 2016 to May 2016. Grant matches went from a 30-70 match in funding to 50-50. The county commission also approved, with a 3-0 vote, a petition for the abatement of the 2013 and 2014 taxes for 58 percent of the property owned by the Mt. Carmel Health Wellness and Community Center. The property taxed was valued at $346 thousand generating a tax bill of $17,075 in 2014 and $347 thousand with a tax bill of $17,402 in 2013. The exemption was determined by the state and was based on use by a religious organization. During the administrators’ report, Leann Fabec told the commissioners the restrooms in the event center at the county fair grounds each needed one more stall. The work currently has cost about $100,000. The additional stalls will come in at about $14,000, putting the total bill for the restroom renovation at about $114,000, or $200 a square foot. The funds are coming from the county’s share of lottery funds over the past three years. The county also has been meeting with the various veterans groups in Las Animas, who are working toward repairing Fort Wootton. The county will need to approve a memorandum of understanding which will give the veterans access to a historical assistance grant of $10,000 to be used to determine what will have to be done for the refurbishing of the fort. The commission went into executive session at 10:25 am.