At the Dec. 13 board meeting, Paonia town trustees unanimously approved a three-year contract for Mikel "Mike" Altenhofen to maintain the town's public parks.
The contract is for $41,928 per year, beginning Jan. 1 and ending Dec. 31, 2019. Altenhofen, who has submitted the winning bid the past six years, is responsible for maintaining four town parks totaling more than 15 acres. They include Paonia Town Park, which includes the Dan Lawrence football field, Apple Valley Park, Poulos Park and Lee's Common. Altenhofen is required to furnish mowers, weed eaters, hand tools and much of his materials, and is responsible for providing his own worker's compensation insurance. He also handles park reservations.
In addition to mowing, watering, weeding and a long list of duties, his contract also calls for the reclamation of the baseball field and miner's statue areas at Town Park, and replacing the timbers around the flower beds along the North Fork Avenue side of the park that bloom with peonies and other perennials in the spring. Following a request by Mayor Pro Tem David Bradford, a completion day of May 1, 2017 was set for the three projects.
The contract was approved subject to some amendments. Town attorney David Marek suggested language be added that was written into Altenhofen's prior contracts, stating that he is an independent contractor and will indemnify from town liability or claims arising from his work, and that he will not employ undocumented workers. In the past Altenhofen has received higher percentages of pay during busy months from April-October, or was awarded six-month contracts and worked only the busy months. Under this contract, he will receive equal monthly payments of $3,494. Altenhofen said he has no problem with that, since he purchases his equipment and supplies in December and January.