Fruita firm sued over unfinished pipeline

Company faces $2.6 million in claims over Utah project

IXP Inc., a Fruita-based construction company, failed to complete a more than $10 million pipeline-installation project in Utah and has not paid more than $2.6 million to a number of subcontractors, according to a series of civil complaints recently filed in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

The company, which is at 401 Kokopelli Blvd., Suite 1, also owes the federal government more than $2.7 million in payroll and heavy truck taxes, according to federal tax liens on file with the Mesa County Clerk and Recorder.

Three Rivers Gathering, a joint venture of the Ute Indian Tribe and Questar Gas Management, contracted IXP to complete part of a natural gas pipeline planned to run through the Ute Indian Tribe’s land in northeastern Utah, according to court filings.

IXP, however, failed to complete its work by a June 23 deadline per the entities’ contract, Three Rivers Gathering said in its civil complaint, filed in a Utah federal court.

Carl France, IXP’s owner and president, could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but his company, in a legal filing, said any problems with the pipeline project or unpaid invoices were the result of Three Rivers Gathering failing to pick up the tab for subcontractors per a verbal agreement.

“Three Rivers (Gathering) also made false and disparaging statement’s about IXP’s finances claiming that IXP had not paid subcontractors on time because IXP’s president, Carl France, had squandered payments received under the agreement on personal items such as aircraft, a Rolls Royce, and (a) large home, and that IXP was bankrupt or insolvent,” IXP’s brief said.

Attorneys for Three Rivers Gathering, responding in a Nov. 24 filing, denied IXP’s counter-allegations.

Even as the pipeline project case winds it way toward its scheduled April 2010 trial, a series of IXP’s subcontractors have filed lawsuits concerning more than $2.6 million in unpaid bills.

According to the court filings, IXP Inc. did not pay:

•  Utah-based Mazuma Capital Corp. nearly $2.3 million for equipment leased for the pipeline project;

•  Wisconsin-based Gabe’s Construction Co. Inc. $189,980 for pipelines installed between February and May under the Green River and Willow Creek near Vernal, Utah;

•  Delaware-based H&E Equipment Services Inc. $50,309 for a series of rentals, including 26-ton boom truck, and $9,865 related to a 20-ton boom truck; and,

•  Louisiana-based Dynasty Transportation $62,150 related to freight hauling services in the first quarter of 2008.

Tax liens filed with the county reveal IXP’s woes extend beyond its employer, employees and subcontractors. The liens, assessed between April and July, say IXP owes the federal government $2.7 million in payroll taxes and $1,910 in vehicle-use taxes.


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