Steamboat briefs: Ribbon cutting for new trail Monday, public is invited

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The city of Steamboat Springs and Duckels Construction have completed construction on a new concrete trail at the intersection of U.S. Highway 40 and Walton Creek Road, near Casey’s Pond. Construction started in late April of this year and finished on time and under budget, according to a news release from the city.

A formal ribbon-cutting ceremony will be at 4 p.m. Monday on the trail.

In 2010, the city was awarded a grant by the Federal Highway Administration through the Colorado Department of Transportation for designing and constructing a new concrete trail around the perimeter of Casey’s Pond, known as the Casey’s Pond trail project. Design work was conducted by local engineer Bob Furman, of Civil Design Consultants.

The project consists of a new 400 linear foot segment of concrete trail adjacent to Walton Creek Road, and the replacement of a seriously degraded asphalt trail along U.S. 40 with a 650-linear-foot concrete trail. This project enables pedestrians and bicyclists to safely commute between trails in the mountain area and make connections to the Owl Hoot Trail, Pine Grove Road and U.S. 40 corridors.

The ribbon cutting is open to the public.

Outdoor summer solstice festival is Saturday, Sunday

Steamboat Solstice Soiree, an outdoor festival featuring fine art, handcrafted goods and live music, will be from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday at Little Toots Park. The event will continue from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Ski Town Lions Club awards student scholarship

The Steamboat Ski Town Lions Club recently recognized 10 Routt County youths with college scholarships. Students applied for the scholarships in April and were selected from a large pool of applicants. Each received $500.

The following youths were awarded: Quinn Cain, Amaris Duryea, Alejandra Gomez, Ariel Gorham, Kestral Johnston, Christine Krentz, Izzy Mumm, Bailey Pugh, Charles Toye and Ryan Walker. Students were evaluated on their academic success as well as volunteerism, according to a news release.

“All of the applicants this year showed great success as students and members of our community,” said Steamboat Ski Town Lions Club president Bill Crosby in the release. “But these 10 really stood out, both in their academics and their spirit of giving time and energy. The motto of Lions Club International is ‘We Serve,’ and these young adults really exemplify that.”

The Steamboat Ski Town Lions Club is Steamboat’s oldest civic organization, chartered in 1923, according to the release. It is made up of men and women who identify needs within the Steamboat Springs community and work together to fulfill those needs. The group meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 11:30 a.m. at The Egg & I. For more information on Steamboat Ski Town Lions Club, visit www.skilions.org or on Facebook at www.face

book.com/skitownlions.

Summer on the Green yoga kicks off Saturday

Yoga in the Botanic Park returns for another Summer on the Green. Beginning Saturday, the first day of summer, yoga will be offered from 9 to 10 a.m., and Tuesdays 9 to 10 a.m., and run through Aug. 23. These are all-level classes, so whether you’re new to yoga or have an established practice, all are welcome.

New this year is meditation on Thursday mornings from 9 to 9:45 a.m. These will be gently guided meditations beginning with some stretching and breathing exercises. Meditation has been proven to lower stress and the illnesses that are related to stress, such as high blood pressure and inflammation, which can lower the immune system’s effectiveness.

Steamboat Yoga instructors, Patty Zimmer and Mandy Leonhardt, will be teaching throughout the summer.

Complimentary snacks will be provided and it is recommended that you bring a yoga mat or towel, and some water. A sweater or wrap for meditation would be a good idea, as well. Sunscreen is recommended. A suggested donation of $10 helps support the Botanic Park. Classes may be canceled due to Park events and/or rain. If you have any questions, call Patty at 970-846-5608 or email zimmer@springsips.com.  

Coucil on Aging to offer AARP Driver Safety class

An AARP Driver Safety class, sponsored by Routt County Council on Aging, will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. July 10 at the Community Center in Steamboat Springs. The course is designed to help drivers 50 and older compensate for age-related changes. Many millions of people have taken this course throughout the years, and it has been statistically shown to reduce the number of accidents and severity of injuries in those accidents for those who took the class as compared with the same age group who did not.

The cost is $15 for AARP members and $20 for non-members. State law requires insurance companies to give a discount to those who have taken the class, which is good for three years.

Jane and Bud Romberg have been teaching this program for the past 19 years. For more information or to register, call 970-879-0064.

Yampa Valley Youth Choir now accepting registration

The Yampa Valley Youth Choir summer session is accepting registration now.

The choir meets from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursdays through Aug. 7 at the United Methodist Church of Steamboat Springs and is open to any singer between the ages of 7 and 12. 

No audition or experience is necessary. The cost is $90 per child.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/yampavalleyyouthchorus.

Yampatika Summer Camp registration now is open

Registration for Yampatika Summer Camp is officially open. Summer programs provide children with hands-on opportunities to explore their natural surroundings, and each program is theme-based to inspire environmental stewardship through education. Programs are age specific and are led by experienced naturalists and limited to 12 children. Summer camp is held at Yampatika’s Environmental Learning Center at Legacy Ranch. This summer, longer camp hours will be offered and there will be a new referral program. For information and registration documents, visit www.yampatika.org or call 970-871-9151.

Comments

Fred Duckels 6 months ago

We were the low bidder on this project and everyone in the community had the opportunity to submit a bid as it should always be, The trail you are referring to only accepted bids from "prequalified" bidders in order deny us all our right to participate. Pure chicanery with an attempt to appear proper, This attempt is echoed by the faithful spewing talking points in order to propagate this fantasy camp. This is only one in a long line of projects that started with a dream and worked backward to get tax money and subvert the age old bidding process, which is the holy grail of public works. This is one argument that you are not going to win.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

Mark,

So, are you saying that RCR wished to bid on this project, but was denied because the city said they weren't qualified bidders?

Presumably, someone able to build one trail designed by an outside design company could build other trails. So, I would agree that it would have been wrong if RCR had been denied the opportunity to bid on this project.

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Fred Duckels 6 months ago

Mark, You need to pass my "prequalification" requirements before you are even allowed into the conversation. I can guarantee that you will to not get to first base. After sixty years in the game this is a Jr. Hi. trick that is only laughable.

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Chris Hadlock 6 months ago

You're not in my business therefore your opinion doesn't matter. Sounds more like an entitlement attitude than a competitive attitude that "I can do the job cheaper" to me.

But then my opinion doesn't matter either because my business does not sling concrete right Fred.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 6 months ago

Goodness gracious Chris. You are always entitled to your opinion. No problem with that but I suspect Fred's experience in his business or your experience in your business would merit respect and consideration

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Chris Hadlock 6 months ago

I read the bid, I read the process and looked into the companies that bid the work. To my poor uneducated brain, it appears to have been a legitimate process but Fred continues to claim that the process was rigged.

OK, public words and all. I am sure that Duckels Construction was given several reasons that they were denied. Care to come clean and give us all that information so that we can see the errors in our thinking? So far all I have read about the trail machine is sour grapes that he did not win or was not allowed to compete.

Give us the red meat Fred. Tell us how and why the process was so skewed. I cannot find the source of your dispute when I review the public record.

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Fred Duckels 6 months ago

Chris, In due time. Normally five star generals don't argue with buck privates. I don't know if I even have any interest in this job but I saw the previews and this is a carbon copy of the Haymaker rig bid fiasco of days past and I threw my hat in the ring just to monitor. It is an exact replica and that project will forever live in infamy. For years after that project was exposed every local bid had on the first page that local contractors were to be included. I forced the Pilot to print an accurate account of the debacle which they had been hiding.up to then. This is not about me but we don't need to practice banana republic politics here, It's embarrassing. It would be much more profitable for me to kiss up and go with the crowd. I have kicked myself for not having stood up during the Iron Horse mess and this has the same potential.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

Chad Johnson of Johnson Excavating also posted that the city declared that his company was not qualified to bid.

So the issue is more than Fred and his opinions.

It sure smells of city manipulation making sure the one local outfit that NEEDED to win the bid to justify their purchase of a very expensive machine was the only local outfit deemed qualified to bid.

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Fred Duckels 6 months ago

We are planning on spending millions on this venture down the road and it needs to be opened up and the "beyond rocket science" aura removed so that every person so inclined can look to participate. I have some skills that no one in the area has experience with, but every time a project comes up the bar is lowered and all are welcome to bid regardless of qualifications. I would like a sweetheart deal but that is not going to happen.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

Mark,

If the city considers itself to have 8 teats that are to keep 8 different contractors satisfied then the city is breaking the law.

City bidding process is supposed to treat all bidders the same and if one contractor is consistently the cheapest then it should get all the work.

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mark hartless 6 months ago

It used to be "root little pig or die". Now the left has even turned that around into mama pig laying down rules for everyone's benefit, so some "piglet" has to wait his turn in order that no "piglet" gets left out. After all, every little "piglet" is a winner...

Goebbels would have some serious competition were he still around today.

What is most alarming is these folks would champion this hogwash right up to their own demise... with a straight face. In fact that's exactly what they're doin'.

I wonder how many of them would be happy if Ski Corp told them to sit out a powder day so some other little "piglets" could have a chance at first tracks??

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

Mark,

You keep arguing that city didn't break the law as if something is unethical only if it is illegal.

The city chose to set contractor qualifications so that RCR was the only approved local bidder and experience local contractors such as Johnson Excavating and Duckels Construction were disqualified.

Anyone with a clue would know how to create legal qualifications that would have the effect of disqualify anyone of their choosing. It would be just as easy for the city to have had requirements that would have disqualified RCR.

Point is that a well run government seeking to save taxpayer money by getting multiple competitive bids does not game the qualifications in order to award the contract to the politically preferred bidder.

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mark hartless 6 months ago

What should trouble everyone, and what Scott is properly hitting at, is the "selectivity", or apparent selectivity (and by definition discriminatory nature) of these actions.

It does not matter whether it is a job to bid, a building permit, an application for tax-exempt status, someone speeding, etc. Rules are supposed to be in place that allow everyone an equal chance... NOT equal success, but an eqal CHANCE at whatever. These officials are supposed to be blind to WHO you are. The job to build a trail should be open to anyone like Fred who has proved compentent and qualified many, many times before. It should be for HIM to decide if he can compete or not, make profit or not, need a special machine or not. etc.

Who's to say he could not plan to do the entire trail using manual labor and employing 100 shovelers and complete the job with even less environmental impact??? That's for HIM to decide.

Selective enforcement of laws and selective awarding of business loopholes and special deals has become epidemic in this nation. We have become the favor-doing, enemy squashing, manipulate the rules, good 'ole boy states of America, based largely on politics.

This is EXTREMELY dangerous, inflamatory and destructive territory. Even though a trail in Colorado does not compare, on principle it's Hitler and Stalin and Mao territory, folks.

It should scare everyone to death but it doesn't seem to phase so many who are apparently blind to what history clearly shows us are the eventual ramifications.

If we do not soon get away from the preposterous notion that anything helpful to "my side" or "my desires" is acceptable and "the rules should be changed or be damned", then we are doomed.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

Well, it is a ways from totalitarian states because they just award contracts based upon the political loyalty and kickbacks without having to bother to pretend of going through a plausibly fair process.

But gaming the bid qualifications is exactly how a government becomes corrupt without obviously breaking the law.

It is the other side of the coin as bid rigging where construction companies put in bids they know to be high with no expectation to win the contract. But the winning contractor gets a comfortable profit margin and returns the favor on future bids. Meanwhile, the government keeps getting multiple bids, but is paying high prices for all work.

Ironically, one of the best way for government to counteract bid rigging is to maximize the number of qualified local bidders so then it becomes too hard for the contractors to rig the bidding.

So, in the case of this trail in which there was only one qualified local bidder, we can only wonder how much more the city is paying due to the lack of competition.

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Eric Meyer 6 months ago

As a trail user, I would hate to see a poorly designed and constructed trail be built on public lands. Some sort of quality control is need. If "everyone" was allowed to bid/build on one of these natural surface trail projects, I would compare that to the city settling for poorly built import products that will fail and end up being replaced or require an unsustainable high level of maintenance. We have a number of trails and trail segments like this in the area that were not built by Routt County Riders.

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Eric Meyer 6 months ago

In early February 2014, Routt County Riders provided the members of the Professional Trail Builders Association the link to where to find the city's upcoming bid documents to help ensure a quality product for a fair price. One of those PTBA members was in town working on a private trail project. He has admitted he doesn't know where his "home" is anymore as he is always on the road building somewhere new. These guys are used to living on the road and often stay at the trail build site when allowed. Already in town with no more mobilization costs than RCR he was essentially a local contractor for the Morning Gloria bid.

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Eric Meyer 6 months ago

The city established reasonable qualifications and took the lowest bid price on the Morning Gloria Trail project. It is unfortunate that Fred and others did not take the time to understand the projects being built enough to get their companies qualified in time to bid on the Morning Gloria backcountry trail project. They had 2+ years, other companies just like theirs figured it out on much shorter notice. It was not really that hard guys. Much easier than it would be getting RCR qualified to bid on projects like the Casey Pond Trail project.

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Eric Meyer 6 months ago

Fred's statement is an outright lie that "everyone" was allowed to bid on the Casey Pond project. If he had said everyone that meets the qualifications (there is a long list of them) was able to bid on that project he would have been honest in his statement. Routt County Riders had no chance in being allowed to bid on the Casey Pond Trail project. Read the requirements/qualifications here: http://steamboatsprings.net/bids.aspx?bidID=52

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Eric Meyer 6 months ago

Maybe RCR should look into getting qualified for those projects too. I am not sure this town can afford to add any new core trail and the prices Fred is charging. Recently the core trail project to the Southeast was killed by council in a large part do to updated cost estimates. Just a guess but $250+ per foot on the Casey's Pond project might have had something to do with that new estimate.

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Eric Meyer 6 months ago

It will become apparent soon who is working hard to INCREASE the costs of these trail projects. HINT: It is NOT Routt County Riders. The Board members, financial supporters and trail using community in general only want more and better maintained trails. It is sad to see a very select few work so hard against the trail using community. I hope the trail using community patronizes excavation companies that are not working hard to reduce the number of trails built over the next 10 years.

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Jim Kelley 6 months ago

Easy Eric, Accusing Fred of wanting to reduce the number of trails built is a bit extreme and your tone towards him doesn't serve your cause well. "On time" and "under budget" as this article states are strong indicators of his ability and qualification to take on government funded projects. I've volunteered on trail building projects at Emerald for 20 years and understand where your coming from as far as controlling the way trails are built. However, as soon as you change from a low/no budget, volunteer trail building model to a million plus, publicly funded trail building model the well established public bid process absolutely needs to be followed. You may not like it because you have spent great effort and have "skin in the game" but the process must be followed. If Fred or Chad were to challenge the bidding process here in a court of law costing tax payers money, you must be able to show that the process is unimpeachable. If challenged, I will not blame the excavators for exposing bid rigging here but those who put the process together without due diligence to law.

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Fred Duckels 6 months ago

If a man keeps his mouth shut folks might think him stupid, but on the other hand if he opens it, he might remove all doubt.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

Quite a varied list of qualified local contractors for Casey's Pond.

It seems bizarre that Eric Meyer says RCR couldn't get qualified for that project. It makes no sense that RCR couldn't become qualified to do that project and yet is the one local company that is qualified to bid on Morning Gloria.

It is pretty audacious for Eric Meyer to claim that Chad Johnson and no other local contractor except RCR is competent in building a natural surface trail.

It appears that Eric Meyer fears competitive bids from experienced contractors. Why is that? If their machine and trail building skills are good then they should be inviting competitive bids from Duckels, Johnson and so on.

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Fred Duckels 6 months ago

Eric's blogs expose his total lack of knowledge concerning about anything that is being discussed.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

From Mark Ruckman:

"Again Scott, how did the city game the system through the requirements?"

I don't know the precise low level details of how the city did it. It is common sense that experienced capable local contractors such as Johnson Excavation or Duckels Construction are capable of building a trail. They certainly have worked any number of jobs that have special conditions dealing with existing natural features.

Maybe Fred Duckels or Chad Johnson can share how the city wrote the rules to exclude their companies from bidding.

I not arguing that RCR cannot build this trail. I am saying that the city wrote the rules that eliminated the competition so that RCR was almost certain to win the bid.

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Fred Duckels 6 months ago

From reading Eric's blogs it doesn't appear that he has even the industry basics to qualify for any project. I'm not about to start teaching here.

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Scott Wedel 6 months ago

Fred or Chad,

I see that Fred and Chad both posted in another thread that they were told by the city that they were not qualified to build trails.

Can Fred or Chad please be a bit more specific on how the city wrote the rules so that it could say you weren't qualified? Ie did the city have a requirement of building trails of a style and length that have previously only been built locally by volunteers? (And so relatively unskilled work that could be done by volunteers and not needing the skills of experienced professional contractors is suddenly transformed to being a requirement that disqualifies experienced professional contractors).

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Jeff Kibler 6 months ago

I concur, or if you like Smokey and the Miracles, I Second That Emotion!

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Scott, I think the material that you are looking for is on line.

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john bailey 5 months, 4 weeks ago

did any one pay attention to the line "on time and under budget " when's the last time you heard that ? on any project of any scope........

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 4 weeks ago

I'm guessing that:

The qualification of the prospective General Contractor will be determined by emonstration of the following items: 1 Experience and qualifications of the contractor with singletrack and directional flow trail construction and design

And so, by writing the requirements to be specifically building a particular type of trail then no local construction company was deemed qualified by the city. And RCR, which had as volunteers built trails, was miraculously qualified.

If the requirement had been "experience and qualifications of the contractor to meet specialized requirements of the IMBA Trailbuilding guide" then other local contractors could have been qualified. But instead, by requiring that the contractor to be qualified had actually built a particular type of trail (that didn't need any professional expertise in the past when built by volunteers) then all other local contractors were disqualified and basically only RCR was left as a bidder.

And there is Bid Manipulation 101 as executed by the City of SB.

While RCR may be happy they won the bid, the manipulated process should concern them because it could just as easily be manipulated against them in the future. Such as a trail requires a parking lot and RCR hasn't built a parking lot so RCR is not qualified.

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 4 weeks ago

You are getting warm Scott. The actual bid process is a clumsy effort to meet certain criteria that will look OK to a technician, but in the eyes of a seasoned veteran, it becomes amateur hour. They talk about all the bidders but in reality it is a cartel where the buddies compete. The low bidder is almost always predetermined. The next problem is who is the architect/engineer with the stamp?. Where is the arms length or is it RCR that has the package deal to run amok. Down the road we will see a press release with the trusty machine and crew stating that they have saved us a million dollars. Next the price goes up bonuses are being handed out in a non profit and we are off to the races. The city lawyers have been down this road and also were involved in the Iron Horse empire, who is minding the store?

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Scott, Prequalification requirements are a license to eliminate anyone not desired in the bidding. During the Fish Creek Reservoir expansion I was disqualified by an engineer that did not like me, imagine that. Locally the tendency is to let all of the locals bid and not discriminate even though some may not be qualified. This is why I never see a sweetheart deal.

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Jeff Kibler 5 months, 4 weeks ago

I read these comments, many from folks much more knowledgeable about the public works bidding process than me.

It would be great if somebody could distill this discussion down to a few points, and cite their sources as to who got screwed and why.

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Jeff,

A distilled version is that the city used bidding qualification language to exclude local contracting firms such as Johnson Excavation and Duckels Construction while approving RCR.

That isn't illegal because the city can justify the language they used, but they could also justify language that would have allowed Johnson and Duckels to bid.

With the competition eliminated, it allowed RCR to bid the max the city budgeted without fear of someone else bidding lower. Thus, RCR could bid higher than they might have otherwise without worrying about not being the winning bidder.

RCR NEEDED to win because they just purchased an expensive machine that would have no other use if they didn't win the bid.

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Jeff Kibler 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Scott, what you say is well and good. Yet, our comments are just conjecture. I want to hear directly from the contractors involved, or not involved, per se.

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Pat West 5 months, 4 weeks ago

I wonder if Fred or Johnson could elaborate on their experence supervising youth labor? Do you guys have a crew of volunteer underage laborers on your road work details?

The bid expressly requires experence in this area, as RMYC's partnership in this trail building was a requirement ( I belive) of the GoCo grant that helped fund this trail. Any decent workforce can build a trail, but one of the specific requirements of this bid was supervision of youth labor. If these companies didn't have experence utilizing youth labor, it would seem to me that working with these volunteers on some of their future projects could give Duckels, and Johnson the experence they need to be competitive in future trail bids, and give RMYC some valuable experence with professional road/trail builders.

All this talk of a rigged bid process, and elevated standards that excluded contractors in favor of RCR could simply boil down to the city's desire (or the grant's requirement) to allow volunteer youth labor to assist in building the future of our community trails, and not a nefarious plot to funnel tax money the RCR to pay for their 'lil Dozer.

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Pat,

The bid requirements stated that the volunteers have their own supervision, worker's comp and so on. And any professional contracting company has experience with subcontracting.

Government contracts are supposed to be open to all that are qualified and not an arrangement of what is politically desirable.

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Pat West 5 months, 4 weeks ago

OZ, From the RFQ: "a. Morning Gloria: Construct a 5-mile single track, multi-purpose trail coupled with expanding the tread width on an 850 foot trail segment to create a loop trail within the Howelsen Hill Park. The design for this trail has been completed and funding is in the 2014 budget with the intent to complete construction in 2014. This project is funded in part by a grant from the Colorado State Trails Program and requires the selected contractor to partner with two local youth programs, Rocky Mountain Youth Corp and the City of Steamboat Springs Community Youth Corp. Members and volunteers of these two organizations will be under the direction of the selected contractor, providing hand labor to clear and bench cut and perform trail shaping and tread finishing."

and

" IV. EVALUATION OF QUALIFICATION STATEMENT PACKAGE SUBMITTAL

The qualification of the prospective General Contractor will be determined by demonstration of the following items:

  1. Experience and qualifications of the contractor with singletrack and directional flow trail construction and design
  2. Contractor’s demonstrated ability to manage youth labor.
  3. Results of reference checks and past performance for other clients
  4. Financial capacity
  5. Bonding and insurance capacity "

source: http://steamboatsprings.net/DocumentCenter/View/4228

Is this not the Request for Qualifications pertaining to this project. Morning Gloria Trail?

Says clearly the youth organizations will be under the direction of the selected contractor, and that a DEMONSTRATED ability to manage youth labor is required. So then without any demonstrated experience, otherwise highly qualified contractors would be excluded. That's why I asked about the depth of experience these contractors had with youth labor.

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Pat , give me a break. this sounds like the IRS commissioner trying to pout lipstick on that pig.

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 4 weeks ago

They could have required the contractor to speak fluent Chinese, That might have helped this process to be more believable.

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john bailey 5 months, 4 weeks ago

manage our youth ? don't you just give em a PDA instead of a shovel , no that's forced labor we'll have none of that....~;0)

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 4 weeks ago

The addendum 1 also states the youth corps has crew leaders, is trained with using tools and has their own worker comp.

And is it really credible that construction companies with experience in large projects with multiple subcontractors cannot manage youth core supervisors? Just more of an example of how the city legally arranged the requirements to exclude local contractors while leaving RCR as the sole eligible local bidder.

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Pat West 5 months, 4 weeks ago

Or maybe the conditions of the GOCO grant specified the conditions, and all this conjecture is just hot air.

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Aryeh Copa 5 months, 3 weeks ago

There is a major point being missed here by some. Back country, single-track trails are nothing like bike paths, core trails or sidewalks. Single-track trails do not come with a blueprint and require a significant amount of “field fitting” to best fit into the landscape while doing minimal disturbance to the land and wildlife. Anyone can learn the basics of sustainable trail design, but a great trail requires as much creativity and artistic vision as it does science. And that vision has to be present in the field, during the build, if world class trails are to be the result.
There is a reason that there are specialty trail building companies and a reason that most of the pre-qualified bidders for these three small projects, are trail specialists. The reason is that the community wants “world class” single-track, not a road through the forest. Most of the higher dollar projects in the Trails Alliance proposal are precisely the type of projects that local contracting/excavating companies are qualified for and RCR is not. But hiring these companies to build single-track is like hiring a house painter to create a fine art portrait simply because they understand how to mix paint. Of course when the house painter messes up a portrait, you can always hire someone new. If a contractor messes up a back country trail, then there is massive environmental destruction that is expensive and difficult (or impossible) to fix.
RCR has vast experience designing, building and maintaining back country trails as well as fixing mistakes and re-routing poorly built trails done by other contractors. RCR purchased a trail machine in order to create world-class trails with the least expense possible to the city and therefore stretching the 2A funds. RCR’s is a non-profit organization who’s motivation is to build and maintain the best possible trails for the community and themselves to enjoy, the motivation is not greed, that is why RCR won the bid, they succeeded in saving the city money by being the lowest bidder.
Claiming the bid process was rigged for RCR is laughable and shows either a total lack of knowledge of the bid packet, or an attempt to misinform the public. Wealth is about more then money. You all might try to get outside, away from the computer and hike a mountain and enjoy a trail and maybe discover that you don't need to be rich to live rich in a place like this.

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 3 weeks ago

On another blog I predicted that soon we would see "Johnny come lately visionaries" come riding in on white horses to save the community and vanquish the ogre. ????

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Aryeh I think that you guys have been reading your own press releases. This machine that is being touted is not designed to produce art work, It appears to be a clumsy prototype that would be instantly obsolete if there was a larger market for this usage. It is not going to produce the masterpiece from heaven that you smoke blowers are touting.

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Morning Gloria---Pat ,did you know that Gloria was a Republican? This trail may be grown over with weeds if that gets out.

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Fred Duckels 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Aryeh, I was a fox and managed to get a nest full of eggs and babies on the ground I would be miffed if another fox sounded the alarm and everyone rushed into clean out the booty.

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Scott Wedel 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Areyah,

I view this not as RCR not being qualified which it appears to be, but the rules being written so that RCR was the only qualified local bidder.

Do you really think no local construction company has had to deal with on site fiddling due to a picky property owner? That no local construction company has been given new standards to comply with?

Seems to me that trail building is being claimed by the city bidding rules as both being low enough skill that it could be done by volunteers and so highly skilled that local contractors lack the required skills. Maybe Fred would not understand the IMBA trail building guidelines, but is there really no one his firm that understands trails? No one at Johnson Excavating, Native, Nordic or any of the other local excavation companies that are capable? They are so incapable that they could not even qualify to bid if they hired a consultant to walk through and mark the exact trail path?

Maybe RCR's new machine is truly wonderful, worth every cent and a great cost saver. If so then it should allow RCR to consistently bid less than other local construction firms. But that should be for the bid process to determine, not the city by disqualifying every other local contractor.

I generally disagree with Fred Duckels, but it seems to me that the facts agree with him and Chad Johnson that the city intentionally excluded local construction companies from bidding. City could have given local construction companies credit for their experience and qualified them to bid while putting in as a bid evaluation item how they would comply with the IMBA trail building requirements.

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