Weather Forecast


West Fargo settles with contractor for $175,000

Following a 20-minute executive session meeting Monday night, West Fargo City Commissioners voted unanimously to agree to a settlement claim with Riley Brothers Construction, Morris, Minn., in the amount of $175,000 regarding claims involving a 32nd Avenue box culvert project. According to the agreement, Moore Engineering, Inc., the city's engineering firm, will pay $50,000 of the amount to the city to avoid further possible litigation with the contracting firm.

Riley Brothers, Inc. was initially hired in 2009 to replace the box culverts at the bridge on 32nd Avenue West. During that process the riverbank slid, causing Riley's to do additional work, which included moving in a substantial amount of dirt at an added expense.

The city's position was that it was Riley's Construction methods that caused the slide, and Riley Brothers maintained that wasn't the case, resulting in litigation against the city to recover the additional costs.

The settlement process involved a mediation process, with Riley's asking for a settlement of $250,000 in August of 2009, an amount city officials denied at that time.

The end result was arrived at Monday night when $175,000 was mutually agreed on by all sides involved.

The amount will be added to the project cost of $1.6 million and will be funded either through special assessments to the surrounding property owners, or through another funding source, with this action yet to be finalized.

West Fargo Mayor Rich Mattern said everybody was in agreement with the settlement. "I'm pleased we were finally able to come to a compromise." He said Riley Brothers asked for considerably more, "but I think this is a compromise we can all live with."

In other action, the commission:-

-agreed to schedule another meeting with residents living on 13½ Avenue East regarding their access concerns with a new thrift store adjacent to their residential neighborhood. Only one resident attended the meeting held last week. The commission agreed to schedule this second meeting after residents complained they were unable to make it because of the 11 a.m. time frame selected. It was agreed the meeting would be held in the evening at a time to be determined in order to better accommodate the residents;

-okayed second and final reading of Ordinance No. 862 regarding alcoholic beverages;

-approved first reading for rezoning of Cass County Highway Subdivision from heavy commercial/light industrial to planned unit development to allow for stockpiling of sand during an emergency situation flood event;

-okayed conditional use permits for oversized accessory buildings at 2919 5th St. NW and 756 45th Avenue West;

-favored a planned unit development for Westport Beach 4th Addition to allow six cottage style single family structures;

-approved a minor planned unit development modification for a fenced play area for a childcare facility in the former Pendleton location in the Pioneer Center at 1420 9th St. E., where Early Years Learning Center will be opening a childcare center;

-denied a request from the Garrison Diversion Conservancy district to fund special assessment, until a record of decision is received;

-verbally approved a design concept that would involve rezoning Lot 17, Block 3 of Lepird's Subdivision and Lot 9, Block 1 of Lepird's 2nd Addition, from single family to planned unit development and a land use plan amendment from low density residential to high density residential for a proposed high end condominium structure.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place Tuesday, July 6, at 5:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers at West Fargo City Hall. All meetings are open to the public.