A pretty penny to fix the pound

County mulls its options, and none will be cheap

Mesa County commissioners will decide on Dec. 5 which option to pursue to make repairs to the Animal Services building on Coffman Road.



Large cracks line the floor of the Mesa County Animal Services Building at 971 Coffman Road on Orchard Mesa, some of which are more than an inch wide. The problems with the building’s foundation became apparent as soon as Animal Services moved in to the facility. Four options for fixing the problems, including three that would call for constructing new buildings at costs ranging from $4.2 million to $5.2 million, were presented by the Blythe Group last week.



The Mesa County Animal Services building on Orchard Mesa could get rebuilt over the summer under plans being considered by the county commission.

Four options, including three that would call for constructing new buildings at costs ranging from $4.2 million to $5.2 million, were presented by the Blythe Group last week.

Repairing the existing building would cost just under $2.8 million, or about the amount of money the county has set aside to deal with the building, which was constructed in 2010 at a cost of $3 million and immediately showed signs of failing due to the constantly shifting and swelling of the ground underneath the building.

The bulk of the money available to deal with the issue came from the settlement of a 2012 lawsuit involving construction of the 8,765-square-foot building at 971 Coffman Road. The county withdrew the lawsuit in 2014 in exchange for all seven contractors agreeing to a $1.2 million settlement, with the bulk of the money coming from the general contractor, CMC Group of Denver.

The least-expensive option would involve gutting the building, digging a crawl space and installing a better drainage system for the 3,000 gallons of water used each day to clean the kennels.

As it is now, the floor is cracked from shifting soils, rendering doors inoperable, among other issues.

There has been an instance in which an animal-services employee was attacked by a vicious dog because a door couldn’t be closed, Greg Linza, county facilities director, told the commission.

The least-expensive option calls for the construction of a temporary facility near the existing building. Animals can be housed in the temporary building until the repair work is done.

The commission will decide on Dec. 5 which option to pursue. That date would allow the most time for design and construction, which the county would supervise.

The other options include building a nearly identical building to the southwest of the existing building or on another lot on the opposite side of Coffman Road, both of which would cost more than $4 million.

A fourth option, constructing a new building at the county fairgrounds with large indoor dog runs to hold down noise, would cost more than $5.1 million.

If the commission decides to rework the floor in the existing building, it’s imperative that it work, commission Chairwoman Rose Pugliese said.

“If it doesn’t work, the three of us will have to face the taxpayers,” Pugliese said, “so I want to be ridiculously certain.”


COMMENTS

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If Ray Scott had been able to pass his pet legislation prohibiting property owners from suing construction companies over faulty construction, the county would have had to eat the cost of the whole broken building. By being able to sue the builders, they got a partial reimbursement that will help them build a new building. Coloradans need to keep our right to hold builders responsible for shoddy construction.

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