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Fee for paving disputed

Boulder City’s Public Works Department is in arbitration with one of the lead contractors of the Nevada Way reconstruction project after the company claimed the city paid it $200,000 less than it was owed.

Wells Cargo, the company that repaved Nevada Way during the project, said it was supposed to receive $3 million for its work, according to Public Works Director Scott Hansen. The city only paid it $2.8 million.

Hansen said Wells Cargo failed to complete the project on time, which, as part of the agreement, allowed the city to deduct money from the total. The four-month project was supposed to be completed by August 2012, but Wells Cargo didn’t finish it until February 2013.

“They were supposed to pay (the city) $1,500 per day they were late,” Hansen said. “We followed the letter of the contract.”

Hansen said the late completion of the repaving did not sit well with business owners along Nevada Way. His office received several complaints about the extensive delay and jammed construction zones that hurt the businesses.

According to city records, Wells Cargo claimed that Southwest Gas hampered it from completing the project on time, but the city disagreed, citing that the amount of land Southwest Gas worked on during the project was not enough to slow down Wells Cargo’s job.

The city also claimed that Wells Cargo failed to complete the new street lights on time. Meetings between Wells Cargo and city employees were held with the intention of avoiding arbitration, but Wells Cargo refused to resolve the problem without going to arbitration, according to city documents.

Now, both sides will do battle as they go through depositions and formal testimonies, which could take months, according to Hansen.

“Unfortunately these can be long, drawn-out battles,” he said. “We just want the item to be resolved as quickly and economically as possible of course. I want to spend the taxpayer dollars building products and projects for the people.”

Mike Arriola, division manager for Wells Cargo, said the company could not comment on the matter because of pending litigation.

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