Paonia awards project to Hotchkiss company

By Tamie Meck


Trustees for the Town of Paonia voted unanimously to approve contracts for the Out of Town Waterline Replacements Project to Pitt Construction Company, LLC, in Hotchkiss. Pitt, one of 10 companies to bid on the project, submitted the winning bid of $701,507.38.

The project, which is broken down into four project bid schedules and a mobilization schedule, involves replacing water transmission mains from the two-million gallon upper Lamborn Mesa water treatment plant to the lower 1-million gallon Clock Water Treatment Plant on Lamborn Mesa Road. It extends along Omega Road to the half-million gallon water storage tank on Cresthaven Road.

Of the 10 companies that placed bids, six companies bid on all five schedules. Pitt wasn't the lowest bidder on each of the five schedules, but was overall the low bidder. Interim town administrator Dan Dean explained that while other companies had lower bids on two of the four schedules, if the town were to go with the low bid on each individual project, it would also be required to cover the mobilization costs for all companies. When factoring this in, Pitt is the overall low bidder.

The winning bid was also more than $334,000 below engineer estimates, according to a bid schedule provided by the town.

The town is in the process of finalizing easements for the project and anticipates beginning work in mid-November. "I think they are very well qualified," said public works director Travis Loberg in recommending Pitt Construction.

Also at the Oct. 11 meeting, trustee David Bradford reported that he recently attended the annual Colorado Department of Transportation meeting with the Delta County Board of Commissioners. Bradford noted that since the Town of Paonia no longer has a state highway running through town, its involvement with CDOT has declined significantly. Bradford reported that he asked CDOT representatives what happened to a street light that was at the entry to town at the intersection of Highway 133 at the Grand Avenue (formerly the Colorado State Highway 187 exit). The light was turned off a few years ago, said Bradford, and the light pole was removed last spring.

A lack of a street light makes it difficult to see the Y-shaped intersection, one of two main entrances to town, at night. Trustee Suzanne Watson said she's received comments regarding the difficulty in seeing the intersection after sunset. "I do think it's been noted by several citizens and it is a very difficult intersection to find at night."

"I do think that it's a safety issue," said Bradford. He recommended that the town submit a request for a new light to CDOT. It would help serve as a warning to drivers that the intersection is coming up, and help direct people into the downtown core, said Bradford.

Trustees directed Dean to draft a letter to CDOT and copy commissioner Mark Roeber, who represents the North Fork area. Bradford said Roeber brought up the issue of the unlit intersectoin at last year's annual meeting with CDOT and received no response. The draft letter is expected to be on the agenda for public comment as soon as the Oct. 25 meeting.

Trustee Bill Brunner also asked about the possibility of a traffic light at the intersection of Highway 133 and Samuel Wade Road. Bradford told Brunner and the board that he asked about the possibility and was informed that the intersection doesn't meet the criteria for needing a traffic signal. He was urged to contact CDOT with concerns about the intersection.