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Cortez council approves costly construction

Change order, police HVAC project pass
The council chambers at Cortez City Hall.

The Cortez City Council approved two construction-related expenses during its meeting on Tuesday.

A change order to the 2017 street improvement project and an engineering design contract for a replacement of the Cortez Police Department’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system both received council approval.

The change order is not to exceed $75,962, and the contract was awarded to ME&E Engineering for $32,080.

Public Works Director Phil Johnson said the construction change order was necessary because water line repairs near Balsam Street had exacerbated existing problems with the pavement on nearby Tucker Lane, so much so that the city would need to resurface 1,500 square yards of the road in the near future to keep it from failing.

The change order will increase the total cost of the city’s street improvement project from $1.75 million to about $1.21 million, and will add 20 days to the city’s contract with D&L Construction.

“This is a nominal impact to the street improvement fund, and I think it’s something we really need to get done,” Johnson said.

The council voted unanimously to approve the expense.

The city is already under contract with ME&E Engineering to upgrade the Cortez Recreation Center HVAC system, so general services director Rick Smith asked that the company be awarded a “piggy-back engineering contract” to design the same upgrade for the police station. He said the preliminary design work needs to begin this year, so that the actual construction work can be done during a season when the building needs less heating and cooling. The council voted unanimously to approve the contract.

During the same meeting, council members voted unanimously to cancel their Dec. 26 meeting for the holidays.

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