Business owners: Pay us our money
Two local businesses claim they have not been paid for their work in completing a perimeter fence around Grand Junction Regional Airport.
Upland Gravel, 152 32 Road, said it did not receive $255,653 owed to it by Nationwide Construction Group, a Michigan-based company that was the general contractor for the airport’s $3.5 million fence.
M&M Concrete, 2476 Industrial Blvd., contracted with Upland, and M&M’s owner, Paul Martinez, said his company has not been paid $75,000 for work it has completed. M&M workers created concrete paving and footings for the security gates that have been installed at Aviators Way and Navigators Way at general aviation’s eastern section of the Grand Junction airport.
Martinez said Nationwide’s management on the project was unorganized, and after the project started to fall behind, a superintendent on the site was replaced with other Nationwide officials.
“I don’t want to point fingers. We just want our money paid,” Martinez said. “They do owe us quite a bit of money.”
Upland Gravel filed a claim with the Grand Junction Regional Airport Authority after the company was not paid.
Eddie Storer, the airport’s construction manager, told board members during a regular meeting Tuesday night that the airport’s attorney is taking action to force Nationwide to pay Upland Gravel.
“This is the first time in 37 years of contractors that we’ve had to deal with these kinds of issues,” Storer said. “If Nationwide doesn’t do something, they’re going to be in court.”
An email and a phone call requesting comment from Nationwide official Kathy Bazzy were not returned Wednesday.
Grand Junction Regional Airport held back $350,000 in performance bonds from Nationwide because the entire project was completed about three months behind schedule.
Airport Authority board members said during the Tuesday meeting they will work to ensure the local subcontractors get paid. They didn’t agree with Nationwide’s effort to make the local subcontractors pay for the deductions instated when the project fell behind.
“We can’t let them off the hook,” board member and Grand Junction Mayor Tom Kenyon said of Nationwide. “We have to make them pay dearly.”
Storer said airport officials never wanted to accept Nationwide as the general contractor on the project, but “there was only so much you can do to disqualify bidders.” Airport Manager Rex Tippetts said federal requirements forced the airport to accept Nationwide’s bid to build the fence because it was the lowest bid the airport received.
“We could see it coming from Day 1,” he said of problems with the company.