Council awards contract

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L.A. Apartments and buildings at Trinity Site will be torn down

By Roger Snodgrass

After departing last week from their long-term plan of using Boyer Co. exclusively for developing Trinity Site, Los Alamos County Council returned to its script for demolishing it. By packaging the demolition of Trinity Site with that of the Los Alamos Apartments, they also save a bundle over previous estimates.

In keeping with the plan, council voted 5-1 to award a bid made by Coronado Wrecking and Salvage Co. to tear down four of the five Los Alamos apartments and all but one of the remaining buildings on Trinity site.

The contract is for $2, 345,982 plus taxes, bringing the total budget, including previous work, up to 3,137,807 for Trinity Site and $1,456,906 for the apartments.

A budget approved for the Trinity Site demolition project that has been carried forward into FY2010 is for $9,585,617, nearly twice the amount of the two projects together.

Anne Laurent, the county’s capital projects and facilities director described the contract and the staggered schedule that has been created to correspond with milestones in the Airport Basin Project.

Laurent was questioned by Councilor Vincent Chiravalle, who said he was pleased by the price.

“That’s a good thing,” he said.

One line of his questions had to do with a provision in the contract giving the contractor the option to perform concrete crushing at the Trinity Site, if the necessary permits could be obtained, which would result in fewer loads to haul and additional fill material, two factors that would save money.

But he wondered what if the permits could not be obtained?

Laurent said, “It’s their risk, not the county’s.”

Councilor Robert Gibson cast the lone opposing vote.

He said he had no problem with the base bid, which had to do with demolishing everything but the county’s Annex building and the two buildings that belong to the public schools.

“But it does not make sense to demolish perfectly functional buildings,” he said.

George Chandler and Kevin Holsapple, two members of the Trinity Site Advisory Committee urged the council to keep the project intact. Or else, Chandler said, “It’s going to start to unravel.”

Councilor Sharon Stover expressed concerns she had heard about Hanta virus that could be stirred up by the demolition.

“We have budgets to deal with any complaints.” Laurent said. “If it became an issue we would bring in our contract service to deal with it.”

Councilor Ralph Phelps was absent for the meeting.