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$3,250 recommended as “liquidated damages” for Colfax Municipal Building

By LeAnn R. Ralph

COLFAX — It all started last fall when the new windows for the Colfax Municipal Building were delivered 73 days late.

The new windows were part of the Colfax Municipal Building energy efficiency project.

In an effort to close out the project and make the final payment to Dell Construction out of Eau Claire, representatives for Cedar Corporation recommended at the Colfax Village Board’s September 24 meeting that the village accept a $3,250 reduction in the final invoice as “liquidated damages” for problems with the project.

The windows were 40 percent of the work, said Travis Schroeder, an engineer with Cedar Corporation who worked on the municipal building project.

Dell has been asking for payment, he noted.

On the day of the village board meeting, Schroeder said he had received a seven-page memo from Dell that, in part, asked the village to either forgive all of the liquidated damages or else split the difference and accept a $1,780 reduction to close out the contract, he said.

The total project cost is $335,000. The village received a $180,000 energy efficiency community block grant through the 2009 American Reinvestment and Recovery Act. The Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group donated $100,000 toward the electrical work for the project.

With the $3,250 deducted, along with several other deductions, the final payment for the village would be $31,652.82, Schroeder said.

The total project cost for the village will be $15,000 less than the original contract because of the various deductions, noted Corey Scheidler of Cedar Corporation.

Chris Olson, village trustee, pointed out that the village board could not approve payment until the final amount is known.

A change order will have be drafted and signed by all parties before the final payment is approved and the village issues a check, Scheidler said.

The amount for the liquidated damages must be determined before the final payment can be calculated, Schroeder said.

The Colfax Village Board approved a motion to set aside the item until the next meeting on October 8.

Other business

In other business, the Colfax Village Board:

• Approved a request from the Colfax High School student council for a homecoming bonfire at the Colfax Fairgrounds September 25.

• Approved an application for a bartender operator’s license for Tristan Wolff from September 24 until June 30, 2013.

• Set aside until the October 22 meeting a proposal to install new lights at the Colfax Public Library.  Jackie Ponto, administrator clerk-treasurer, reported that new ballasts in the library lights would only cost $500 less than installing new lights. The project would involve replacing seven light fixtures in the front area of the library, one in the back of the library, and removing and relocating three other light fixtures. Quotes range from $3,900 to $11,200. Village board members noted that the village hall budget has no money for replacing lights at the library. The Colfax Library Board meets October 16.

• Approved a final payment of $5,604.65 as the village’s share of the new fire hall.

• Approved a motion to pay village bills twice monthly. Ponto reported that by only paying the bills once a month, the village is incurring some late charges.

• Learned that the law firm of Weld, Riley, Prenn and Ricci has charged the village $3,655.50 for working on the developer’s agreement with Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center.