Routt County Riders Vice President Eric Meyer, right, and Bureau of Land Management engineer Gordon Gardunio  walk through what will become the new Wild Rose Trail on Emerald Mountain. New trails on Emerald are among the first trail projects to receive the backing of the city's lodging tax.

Photo by Scott Franz

Routt County Riders Vice President Eric Meyer, right, and Bureau of Land Management engineer Gordon Gardunio walk through what will become the new Wild Rose Trail on Emerald Mountain. New trails on Emerald are among the first trail projects to receive the backing of the city's lodging tax.

Blazing trails: A look at the 1st round of projects

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— The Steamboat Springs City Council has signed off on the first round of trail projects and improvements that will be funded by the lodging tax. Here’s a quick look at what’s coming so far.

Blazing trails

Steamboat Springs is on the verge of a trail rush. Armed with millions of dollars in lodging tax dollars for the next decade, a seven-member volunteer committee hasn’t wasted any time coming up with recommendations for how to spend the money. Read on to learn more about how the city is starting to spend its lodging tax dollars on local trails, and what could happen next.

Morning Gloria

This 4.2-mile trail on the south side of Emerald Mountain is one of the first trails visitors and residents will see funded by the lodging tax. It will offer sweeping views of Steamboat and Mount Werner as well as the Flat Tops to the south. The new trail will be accessible to hand cyclists. The Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance says this trail will provide a more accessible route to the top of Emerald.

■ Lodging tax funding: $59,900 in 2013

Ridge Trailhead

At a bumpy, rugged parking lot on the west side of Emerald Mountain, the city is looking to create a better parking lot in a very popular area.

“This gets completely full,” Government Programs Manager Winnie DelliQuadri said earlier this month during a walkthrough of the site with the Bureau of Land Management. “We’d like to get as many parking spaces as we can.”

The parking lot, off of Routt County Road 45, serves the Ridge and Rotary trails.

The 2A committee has recommended to fund the design and construction of a new parking area and restroom in phases over two years.

■ Funding schedule: $38,000 in 2013, $35,867 in 2014, $84,364 proposed in 2015

Lower Spring Creek at Amethyst

Safety is the key word to this project. The proposal will add an enhanced pedestrian crossing on Amethyst Drive and will better connect the Spring Creek Trail to downtown. Committee member Harry Martin said the Spring Creek Trail is heavily utilized by tourists who seek an easy, more level ride out of downtown, and this project gets them there more easily.

■ Funding: $131,000 in 2014

Wild Rose

This 1.5-mile trail will feature an average grade of 3 percent and will provide a direct connection the Beall and Ridge Upper trail head from the front side of Emerald. According to the Steamboat Springs Trails Alliance, it will take pressure off the popular Stairway to Heaven Trail and give riders a “pure single track option to access the back side of Emerald.”

■ Funding: $35,000 in 2014

Emerald Directional

This one-way trail will run down Emerald between Blackmer Drive and the Orton property line. The goal of the trail is to reduce conflicts between trail users and give cyclists a better route to take to the bottom of Emerald.

■ Funding: $47,500 in 2014

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10

Comments

Fred Duckels 3 months ago

Hardhats? Are non profits also exempt from OSHA. How did this group prequalify without a safety plan? Local contractors always use safety equipment maybe that is one was that RCR gets the competitive edge. This looks like a fantasy camp.

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Mark Ruckman 3 months ago

Fred, please explain how OSHA rules apply when it is not a work site and is public land.

Have you taken your so called proof to the DA of wrong doing to review while you continue yet another episode of showing the public what a stinky diaper you can make?

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Chad Johnson 3 months ago

I'm confused, I thought the whole point behind the this miracle machine was to keep disturbance to a minimum. These pictures definitely didn't show that. If that's the width they were looking for the city could have used a machine three times that size, moved twice the amount of material and saved themselves a boat load of money.

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mark hartless 3 months ago

Should OSHA rules apply to non-citizens then, Mark???

We know they don't apply to the Feds, we saw that this winter with the snow-pit...

It should send shivers up EVERY american's spine how selectivity, favoritism and optional enforcement is now a part of EVERY rule; instead many cheer for the differentiation because they percieve themselves to be on the benefiting side of the current example.

With no exceptions, history shows the crocodile WILL eat them too.

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Mark Ruckman 3 months ago

Maybe this will help Fred & Mark H to quit barking at non-existent shadows

It took 2 minutes to find the following from the OSHA web site

In 29 CFR Part 1926.100 (Head protection) states: (a) Employees working in areas where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns, shall be protected by protective helmets.

Please , crawl back into your dog house and quit barking

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john bailey 3 months ago

ah , and yet if a tree falls in a forest ?

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Chad Johnson 3 months ago

I have on more than one occasion seen people hurt from "falling or flying objects" while working in the forestry industry. This will get one a big fine. If one has studied, been part of OSHA enforcement classes, or understands the intent of their statutes, that person would clearly understand the dangers here.

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mark hartless 3 months ago

Let's say you were on the other side of this debate, politically. Let's say Fred was cited for not having hard hats while building a similar trail. Then I have ZERO doubt you'd be arguing that there was indeed a "danger of head injury..." while operating heavy machinery in a forested environment. You'd probably be yapping about falling beetle-kill (ask the USFA if that's a concern), bla bla bla, etc, etc... You'd be deriding Fred for not caring about his employees and putting $$$ ahead of safety...

And you didn't aswer the other question; should OSHA rules apply to non-citizens???

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Mark Ruckman 3 months ago

They were not building - I would defend Fred if he was pictured in this shot without a hardhat. OSHA rules don't apply as shown in this photo.

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Chris Hadlock 3 months ago

Three pictures in the paper hardly make evidence that OSHA rules are being violated here. Pic #1 shows an operator using the new machine - He is wearing a hardhat. Pic #2 shows two guys in the forest. No equipment in sight. No hard hat required. Pic #3 shows a guy with a rake - no other equipment in sight.

Based on the limited evidence that we have been shown, there are no hard hat violations that I can see. I fail to understand how citizenship applies to the current topic.

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Fred Duckels 3 months ago

To journeyman hard hats are another day at the office, to novices it is cruel and inhuman treatment. I wonder haw many of the veterans are listening to tunes and/or wearing shorts?

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Chris Hadlock 3 months ago

Oh come on now Fred. You are letting your bad attitude cloud your reasoning ability. Again, three pictures, no shorts. I would think that as an experienced contractor you would clearly recognize the ear protection being worn by the operator is not music in his ears.

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john bailey 3 months ago

now Fred , why I wear shorts as often as I can , we have to wear too many clothes in the winter , that's long enough ... ahhh and I spend too much time picking that damn hard hat off the ground to get anything done.....~;0)

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Fred Duckels 3 months ago

There's reasons for complying with the law. You can get by forever if no accidents happen but if one does it would have been better to never have been born. Let's take a hard hat for example. If a worker gets a head injury and hard hats are not enforced the lawyers will feast on the company and it's insurer. It will be difficult to get insurance and the price may be prohibitive. If a company has a record of non conformance the principals could be in big trouble. Only a foolish company tolerates renegades and their rugged individualist needs. That's why novices like RCR need to be shamed into masquerading as competent.

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Harvey Lyon 3 months ago

Fred's totally correct and he speaks from experience.

For two years following a year of schooling I functioned as a Certified Safety Professional as a Naval Officer. Part of my job was to educate and enforce OSHA and Navy safety regulations at a major military R&D lab full of very very intelligent scientists and engineers.

You only need to wear a hard hat if there's a risk of taking a knock on the head. Of course if you take a knock on the head then obviously there's a risk and the employer ends up paying medical, workman's comp, penalties and fines....etc. Not to mention the worker who has a sore head or worse. Same with eye protection, hearing protection, toe protection....all forms of PPE (personal protective equipment).

Most employers just make it a policy that everyone will wear PPE, glasses and hard hats. And hard hats have come a long way. One can even get a ANSI Cowboy hat that is somewhat comfortable....LOL

A funny story. A major construction company had a OSHA inspector show up on the job site for a surprise inspection. He was not wearing Redwings of a hard hat and was denied entry until the Company could provide him some. Meanwhile the word was spread that there was an OSHA inspector. Perhaps that was OSHA's intention all alnong....who knows....LOL

Yeah, I'd be wearing PPE when cutting a trail. Heavy heavy heavy hangs over thy head....LOL

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Mark Ruckman 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Would you wear a hard hat while standing in the woods looking at where a trail might go?

Doubtful

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Mike Kent 3 months ago

Fred, forgive if I'm wrong, but I can't help but shake my head to hear you complain about two guys standing in the woods without hardhats or earplugs, yet you ski 50+ days a year without a helmet. Sounds like sour grapes to me.

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Pat West 3 months ago

Mike, sorry to poo on your post, but this thread is about what RCR is doing wrong, not Fred's choices. He is not under examination, they are.

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Fred Duckels 3 months ago

If a company let's everyone act as their own attorney as to when they need hard hats, no one will ever wear one. Get them ON!

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Fred Duckels 3 months ago

Mike, I also don't wear a hat and only very light ski wear as I seem to generate a lot of heat.

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Mike Kent 3 months ago

Pat, why is this thread about what RCR is doing wrong? The article is about what RCR is doing right. It just is dominated by people who have a grudge against RCR for whatever reason. I say right on RCR! Keep up the good work! I don't mean to pick on Fred or anyone else. Or maybe I mean to pick on all of the whiners. Give it a rest already.

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Pat West 3 months ago

Why,? sarcasm. Fred has been booing every story related to the 2am trail funding bid process and will not disclose why he was told he wasn't qualified to bid. (maybe he doesn't know?)

If he would let us all in to the reason he was given for not being able to bid, and could then refute the disqualifying reason, maybe he could get some sympathy, and convince us the bid system was rigged. But instead he talks of pigs with lipstick, men on white horses, and cryptic nonsense. I respect Fred, and what he builds, but without evidence of wrongdoing, I'm inclined to think he is just a poor looser in this process.

I've hiked this area, and look forward to this new trail!

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I've said many times this is not about me. Scott Wedel has also seized on the idea and it will get straightened out or we will earn our banana republic reputation. To a technician which includes most, it is (wink wink) perfectly legal but step back and take a look and it is a total farce..

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Mark Ruckman 2 months, 4 weeks ago

BS

Fred, you have been whining since day 1 about the equipment choices of RCR and not being qualified to bid. It is all about you and the fact you didn't get another chance to suck on the public funding nipple.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I said the bidding process was designed to exclude local excavating firms so that RCR would win the bid.

I didn't say that RCR wasn't qualified or would do a bad job.

Though, I think it is predictable that any organization that gets used to such favorable treatment in the bidding process will eventually become corrupt and inefficient. For a volunteer organization there will be pressure to create paid positions since the organization is being pad for work. And then there will be divisions among paid positions vs senior volunteers that do much of the important work.

I think there are a number of walk behind mini diggers and such that could have made that trail.

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Pat West 2 months, 4 weeks ago

"I think there are a number of walk behind mini diggers and such that could have made that trail."

But none had the expert operators that know and understand what makes a good trail. Without in the saddle, mountain biking experience, I doubt that "any number of mini diggers" could produce the trail that RCR has shown they can. You can't read about the specification of a trail, and know how it will ride without building one, riding it, and feeling the trail.

Now do you think Fred will walk away from the $150,000 that's allocated for the parking area at the base of the Ridge Trail? That's not a project that RCR's 'lil dozer can handle, nor do RCR 's operators have the experience to build a parking lot. But what should we think if Fred wins that bid? Rigged bidding, pandering to the loudest whiner, or selecting the bidder with the equipment, and experience to produce the desired result?

Any idiot with an 'dozer "could" build the parking lot, but trusting someone with proven experience building a parking lot would be a better choice.

Same for singletrack trails.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

So building a trail is easy enough that it can be done by volunteers while so difficult that it cannot possibly be done by any professional highly experienced excavating companies even if they were to hire a trail building expert subcontractor.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Government agencies such as CDOT have ironclad bidding procedures and they are legal and fair. When it comes to civil work like utilities and roads Steamboat runs an OK operation although their inexperience has shown it to be more cavalier than I feel comfortable with. The real fly in the ointment cones when pillow tax money is collected and the resort community decides that it is theirs to do as they wish. Projects include the Haymaker, Bob Adams terminal, and the Howelsen Hill chairlift not to mention Trails 2014. In all situations the low bidder was predetermined politically. I pay considerable taxes but I am not allowed to designate how they are spent. Hence I am involved, as this this is de ja vu all over and over again. I am willing to go against all financial logic and my name will be up there with Snively Whiplash but this good old boy stuff is enough. Throughout the years I have gone against my pocketbook and effected many changes when I thought it important.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

A contractor can bid for CDOT on a project and almost no qualifications are necessary but the project will be completed on time and meet all specs or he will wish that he hadn't been born. This has proven to be a hard lesson for some but that is the only way to achieve a market based system that is fair.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This school of hard knocks serves as THE fair system and it also allows the little guys to move ahead if they can pass muster.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Mark With your vast resources I would think that you might have something to contribute.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I note that this contract for city trail building required a performance bond so if the winning bidder failed to properly build the trail then they'd be forced to pay for any repair work.

In the world of bidding, disqualifying firms from bidding is pretty much a red flag that the bidding process is suspect. It is normally easy enough to pick the winning bid from the submitted bids. The city could have given RCR credit for trail building experience and accepted their bid even if slightly higher than from a local contracting company.

But the city disqualifying every local experienced excavation company from BIDDING means that the city was very scared that someone other than RCR could submit a compelling competitive bid and the city wanted to be sure that could not happen.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The key issue is not the bid that they accepted, but the people they refused to allow to submit bids. A World Cup analogy of picking which players to bet on for winning the World Cup

They refused to consider Messi because someone said he was too short.

They refused to consider Neymar because he is too young.

They refused to consider Thomas Muller because he is too slow.

They predetermined that their team would consist of players that had experienced winning the World Cup and so said that Spain was clearly the only team capable of winning the World Cup. And obviously picked entirely the wrong team.

The city excluded otherwise very capable players without even allowing them to show what they could do. The local construction companies never got to list their narrow walk behind equipment or their experienced operators or anything else. No, they were eliminated before being allowed to bid.

And unlike the World Cup or other sporting events, the consequence of not being able to do the work correctly falls upon the winning bidder. If you want to put Fred Duckels out of business then pick him as the winning bidder for something you secretly believe he will do wrong. He has to keep on redoing the job and fixing errors until the work is certified as being correctly completed.

And note how MarK Ruckman never address the contradiction that previously trail building required so little expertise that it could be done by volunteers, but now trail building requires so much expertise that capable excavation companies cannot possibly comprehend it.

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Pat West 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The volunteers you refer to have 15+ years, and 25-30 miles of trail, built on Emerald mountain. Lupine, Blair Witch, MGM, Abby's, Quarry Mountain, Rotary, Ridge, and the Beall trail can all trace their existence to volunteer efforts of the RCR. If you don't ride a mountain bike, and understand how they handle, how do you expect to build a great trail?

Unlike a roadway where a engineer provides specific plans for every grade, and every turn, building trails in the woods takes a mix of design, and style that requires a knowledge of riding that can't be taught from a book, or put onto a blueprint. Someone can learn the guidelines for the trail surface, but not the "feel" of the ride a trail will produce when finished. Trail designers like Copa, and the Sehler's have as many miles on the bike as behind the shovel, and that in the saddle, ride feel can't be learned from a book.

You can minimize their experence by calling them "volunteers" but the proof of their hard work is right up in the woods. Orton didn't want to pay for trail on his property, but allowed them to be built, so their hard work went unpaid, and volunteers were needed to produce the outstanding trails the city now owns. The small sum paid for the Orton property did not take into account the 100's of $1000's of trails that were already in place at the time of purchase.

Any time you want to go up and review their resume, let me know.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Pat, The effort provided by the riders and possibly skill is admirable and is not in contention. What is in contention is the fact that anyone is entitled to a sweetheart deal regardless of circumstances. I can lay martyr trips out there all day long but that does not allow me to expect special consideration. If your minions have such talent beyond human imagination why are you afraid to let anyone else show their talent. Our talent has been tested by the marketplace for decades with all comers allowed. This deal will eventually be straightened out and it will be interesting to see the visionaries on white horses trotting out to take the bows.

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Chris Hadlock 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Why was your company not allowed to submit a bid Fred? Tell us so we can all quit thinking it is just sour grapes. So far you have given us nothing except complaints about the process.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Johnson Excavating, Duckels Construction and all other local excavation companies were declared by the city as not being qualified to bid. City only allowed outfits that had built a particular type of trail to bid.

It would have been far more normal of a bidding process if the City had allowed local excavating companies to bid and then evaluated the bids. Normal bid process would have allowed bidders to describe their competence at meeting special requirements as part of the bid and not excluded competition

So if Fred Duckels had submitted a bid that he was going to build the trail as he saw fit and wasn't going to read the IMBA trail building guide then his bid could have been downgraded even if it had a low price. But if Chad Johnson's bid stated he had arranged for a supreme master IMBA trail builder to instruct his staff and oversee the trail building process, and he had a fleet of mini walk behind tractors and excavators then that might have been a compelling bid. We will never know what other local companies might have bid because the city declared RCR as the only local qualified outfit allowed to submit a bid.

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Chris Hadlock 2 months, 3 weeks ago

WHY?, what reasons were used? If we are going to believe RCR, it was all perfect, but if we listen to Johnson and Duckels, it was a flawed evil process All we can see are the public information that shows it to be an open bid process. If the local construction companies want us to believe their assertions, they need to come clean with the information that only they hold. The city is not allowed to publish that.

When you look around the valley, it is clear that both of these companies do quality work. There are examples everywhere. Again, WHY? They complain about the process but give zero information about why? Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

My only reply was that we were not qualified and that is exactly as I expected. When parameters are given that means that they can disqualify anyone that they desire . That is a no brainer and this is not my first rodeo. I followed this spectacle from the start and threw my hat in the ring knowing the game ahead of time. On the Haymaker they advertised the prequals in the Denver Post knowing that no local bidders would be looking for it there. Now if I was a con man and knew that we were looking to spend big bucks on trails in the future I would probably look to ingratiate myself with the folks so that I would be in on the ground floor when the big payoff comes. I'm not saying that is all true but you can get the drift.

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Mark Ruckman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Odd, you knew the outcome before the process started and yet you didn't invest time and energy to adjust your approach so you had a viable solution so you could bid.

Have you built trails before for the city or county?

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

If you listen to RCR they say they are capable and they won. Which is true. I don't think RCR has presented a credible argument as to why Johnson Construction is so inept at following specialized requirements that it cannot be allowed to bid on constructing a narrow trail. The project requires followed IMBA guide book for trail building. City could have allowed any firm showing a CAPABILITY of conforming to be a qualified bidder. City instead required a HISTORY of building trails to that standard to exclude the competition and make sure RCR won the contract.

The issue is not that RCR won the contract. The issue is that the city didn't allow any other local excavating company to even submit a bid.

Someone requesting bids can decide how to qualify bidders. Someone wanting to pay the lowest price for proper project completion will allow people to bid that credibly can do the job. Then the bids will be reviewed for qualifications and price. So then a firm which a history can be given more credit than a firm that shows it has the capability. But that sort of open bidding creates the possibility of a firm without a history being able to organize an impressive capability. And thus there is a possibility of an unexpected firm having the best bid package. Which is why it is important when trying to send the work to a preferred firm to be sure to control the bid process starting by disqualifying most competition from bidding.

When there is a desire to have a particular contractor to do the work then the requirements to be a qualified bidder will become strict and include subtle requirements that "coincidentally just happen" to exclude potential competitors. Such bid qualifications have a long sordid history of excluding minority owned firms. Laws for government contracts now put a high bar on bid requirements that disqualify minority owned firms.

If Fred was ethnically a minority then he'd have no problems going to court to overturn the trails bid process. He'd be asked to show that the bid requirements could have allowed more bidders that could have done the work and thus the city improperly prevented a minority owned firm from bidding. But since there was no racial impact of the city's excluding contractors there is no one to take it to court.

Anyone with any bidding experience will recognize that the city of SB played the system to, as much as legally possible, make sure RCR was the winning bidder. That is obvious by the way the city excluded potential competitors from BIDDING.

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Jeff Kibler 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Per his own recorded activity on this blog:

Mark Ruckman voted on Mark Ruckman: Fred, please explain...

Mark Ruckman voted on Mark Ruckman: I thought it was an funny story ..

Just check out his activity for veracity, assuming this link works:
http://www.steamboattoday.com/users/blueruck/

The nuns always lectured me that if I up-voted myself I'd grow hair on my palms.

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Dan Kuechenmeister 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Got no real issues here. Just find Mark R. commentary interesting. 3 dirty stinky diapers, a Brazilian Wax and a public funding nipple. Now that's great stuff. LOL

1

Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm just stringing this blog along. All the time I am planning a book "5000 ways to salvage a sweetheart deal" and I'm sure that it will be a best seller among those looking to short circuit the system.

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Mark Ruckman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Fred, have you ever built trails before for the city or county?

if so, which trails by name?

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Mark, No but I built the Oregon, Cumberland, and Santa Fe trails so I guess that disqualifies me.

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Mark Ruckman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

So you have no experience building single track trails?

I also heard you were disqualified from being able to bid on the Denver International Airport because you had no experience building airports. Such a cruel world you live in Fred.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

"have you ever built trails before for the city or county?"

Double Bingo! And thus only RCR will be allowed to bid on trail building projects.

The sort of requirement used for years to discriminate against new, particularly minority firms.

That is precisely the sort of criteria that is not supposed to be used to disqualify firms from BIDDING, but is supposed to be part of the bid evaluation process.

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Mark Ruckman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Scott the city found 8 firms not 1 who were qualified to bid - quit implying only 1 firm was invited to bid on the project.

If the city knows firm x has zero experience building roads, do you want that firm to higher a consultant, provide the low bid and rebuild the road in front of your house? Doubtful

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I have innumerable times said that city disqualified all local excavation companies.

And anyone with any experience in bidding knows that government will require some number of "competing bids" so firms will bid on projects they have no intent or desire to win. And then the winning bidder will return the favor and provide bids for projects that they have no intent to do.

And there is a huge difference between disqualifying potential bidders and picking the winning bid.

If Ms Bianca Martinez started a construction company then the government bid process would not allow her firm to be disqualified merely because she had yet to build a road. She would be allowed to bid. If her company was just her and a skidsteer then she would obvious not be a winning bid. But if she has purchased a bunch of equipment and had hired away key employees from Duckels Construction then she might have a compelling bid.

Which is why government is supposed to let people bid and then evaluate the bids instead of disqualifying them from submitting a bid.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Never argue with an idiot, they will drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

1

Pat West 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Yet here you are. " stringing this blog along"

Remind me which one of us is the idiot.

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Mark Ruckman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Fred, So you have no experience building single track trails?

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

And RCR had no experience when they volunteered to build their first trail. Yet somehow that trail got built.

The project requires a performance bond that is held until the trail is built to IMBA trail building standards. If any local excavation were to bid then they would have to be sure they were meeting that standard. Precisely how they would show they were meeting that standard would have been part of their bid. Which, of course, they were not allowed to submit because they disqualified from bidding. Thus, insuring that RCR would have no local competition and so RCR would not face a financial crisis of purchasing an expensive machine with no paying work.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Got info showing that the city considered a single person company as a qualified bidder.

And that city only received 2 bids from the 8 qualified bidders. One was RCR and the other was the single person company.

The bids are not merely the proposed amount, but included pages and pages listing the important people in the organization, their experience doing trails, references from previous jobs and their business stuff such as insurance. It would appear that the bid from the single person company was incomplete so there was only one valid bid.

Thus, it reeks even more of a corrupt bidding process because the city disqualified all other local firms from bidding and turned the process into a single valid bid from the local politically connected RCR. Fred Duckels or Chad Johnson could have been allowed to submit bids. If Fred's or Chad's companies had no knowledge on how to build a narrow natural surface trail then that would have been revealed in their bids.

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Mark Ruckman 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Please take all of your concerns and evidence to the district attorney. You keep stating rigged bidding, illegal actions by the city but have you taken this to the one party that can do something if you are correct?

Doubtful

This is akin to the other items you come online and whine about. You whine like a whipped dog, you act as if you're highly disgusted but do you invest your time away from the keyboard? For example running for a city council position, the 2A board etc?

Nope

I'm done with this subject and await the next subject that has the local Brazilian wax team upset.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The prequal process required financials be submitted in order to determine stability. I submitted mine with a stern warning "only open if absolutely necessary". Today I requested them back and found them to have been opened. The explanation was that the committee (all city employees) needed that info to make a decision. I was probably the only one that had a positive net worth and curiosity killed the cat. I suggest that next time the city publish all financials in the Pilot. The wheels are coming off, let the stonewalling continue.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Mark Ruckman continues his bait and switch tactics. I have been relentlessly careful to not say that anything illegal happened. I have argued that city legally manipulated the process to exclude local excavating companies and thus remove RCR's competition.

The fact that there were only 8 qualified bidders of which only two submitted bids and apparently the only complete valid bid was RCR and not the one person company shows how effectiveness of the city's efforts to make sure RCR was the winning bidder. I have not claimed that was illegal. I have consistently claimed it was immoral and a bad way to handle the spending of taxpayer dollars.

Why does Mark Ruckman so fear what would happen if Duckels or Johnson were allowed to bid? Surely, if he had any confidence in RCR's trailbuilding skills then he'd welcome the competition.

But Mark Ruckman wants to keep arguing that a long as it has not been shown to be illegal then it is perfectly acceptable.. Is that morally bankrupt philosophy the official position of RCR or just him?

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john bailey 2 months, 3 weeks ago

thanks for all the research , Scott , as I'm way too lazy to do that , but this deal sure is starting to stink to high heaven , dirty diaper anyone ? ~;0)

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

John,

Maybe RCR is like Brazil that looks impressive, but cannot handle some solid competition.

To me, the bid from RCR looks impressive with letters of recommendation from weed management agency to property owners with trails to Federal officials whom deal with trails.

As I said early on regarding this bid process, disqualifying people from bidding is a double edged sword. RCR could find itself disqualified from a trail project that has a concrete section.

Which is why it is far more typical to allow interested firms to bid and only disqualify firms with issues of fraud or being punished for incomplete work.

The really shocking fact is that the city had the audacity to qualify a one person firm to bid. That he is a one person firm is what he states in his bid.

It should be truly astonishing that local excavation companies with long histories of successfully completing projects are disqualified from bidding while a one person company from the Front Range is allowed to bid.

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Chad Johnson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Scott, maybe along with a miracle many excavator he had a robot that would help. This would also alleviate Fred's concern about safety. Wow, now that I say it out loud, why didn't I think of that.

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john bailey 2 months, 3 weeks ago

speaking of Brazil , look who's getting waxed ? sorry couldn't help myself ...jeje ~;0) GO ORANGE.....

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

From day one I knew the whole program having been down this road before. I saw the prequal notice and threw my hat in the ring to verify what I already knew. I knew that my financials would be a tempting morsel so I specifically warned not to open unless absolutely necessary. Lo and behold that is where curiosity got the best of nosy novices and that's where the prequal began. I can't seem to get a reason for my disqualification but I suspect finances never entered the equation. The whole committee got a peak at what they know absolutely nothing about and I hope they feel good. In my opinion heads should roll throughout the committee and beyond as many many were complicit in this debacle.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Fred,

Well, I can guess why you were disqualified. I'd guess that to be qualified required being a member of IMBA (international mountain biking association) and having built single track trails.

Obviously, financials and not much else entered the picture because the one person firm was allowed to bid.

I am not sure that saying a letter is confidential puts any obligation on the city to not open it. A trick is to put unreadable pages smeared with ink in a letter marked "confidential" or "open only in emergency" so that they contact you to get readable pages. And then you ask why the letter was opened.

I worked for a worldwide data network where operations staff was given a letter they were told contained all of the critical passwords which they were to open only in a dire emergency. So then they opened it and asked why was it blank. They were told it was blank because they would open it. So they asked what was supposed to happen in a real emergency. Answer was that management knows the real passwords are locked in the network security manager's desk in his locked office. So, in a real emergency, you take the fire axe and break down his door and then his desk drawer. And then operations was not given any more sealed letters that they were told contained critical passwords.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I knew and the committee knew that I would be disqualified. But alas the novices that did not have an inkling about financial statements decided that they needed to know just in case. Maybe my greater concern is how was this group of recreationists allowed to have access to this data in the first place? The city frequently demands financials on projects when most do not have a clue what it is all about. Bonding agencies insure that the project will be done and they deal with contractors every day. They are the experts. What the city is doing trying to masquerade as experts leads me to the question, are they just being nosy? Or maybe they have supernatural powers rivaling RCR. This whole project was a grand demonstration of "ready-fire-aim" and the fact that so many were involved will insure that it is just another day at the office.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It's getting very quiet, no one seems interested in returning Emails anymore and it appears that we have gone into "hunker down" mode.

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Chad Johnson 2 months, 3 weeks ago

This just in; Chad Johnson went and bought a mountain bike so I can build trails. Folks, all this kills me. Again, I can't speak for Fred, but this was never about who got the project and how much money they are going to make. This has always been about the integrity of the bidding process. How can Fred and I be qualified to build schools for your kids, Fred can construct highways and bridges for your families to travel on, we both have been involved in hospitals, hotels and any other kind of project you can imagine, but *we were told we were not qualified to build a bike trail*. You're speaking of the two oldest excavating companies in north west Colorado, and we aren't qualified to bid the project. All I wanted was to look at the project and see if we wanted to put a number in. Again, I was told Johnson Excavation was not qualified to build a bike trail. Then we were told we didn't have equipment small enough to do the project; we didn't have the little miracle machine with expertly trained operators. REALLY. Come on, someones got to come up with something better than this. Finally, they post the pictures of there product in the paper and it made me giggle. I'm pretty sure we could have managed that product with any number of machines in our fleet. Any competent contractor can take a set of prints and build a project. Quit trying to tell me this is some magical process, its a trail. For the record, Johnson Excavation has plenty of work, it's not about the work. It's about the integrity of the bidding process. This baby was mucked up from the get go. Have a great day you all. God bless.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I have seen some of Johnson's work and it would put to shame the quality of trails that I see in pictured in the Pilot.

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Pat West 2 months, 3 weeks ago

...and I was stopped today on Elk river road, one lane traffic due to work on the road, just past the US-40 intersection northbound. Four workers on the ground, two flaggers managing the closure, two workers milling around the roadside. Flaggers had hard hats, one of the other two did not. Any guess who's job site it was? The round blue and white signs on the trucks made it clear to me. Guesses anyone?

If you want to keep beating this dead horse, I've got plenty of ink in my IPad.

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Mike Kent 2 months, 3 weeks ago

OK. I don't know about the bid process and I don't comment on it.

I do know about the trails, and their "quality".

Fred, your last comment is pure ignorance. You obviously don't have a clue. And it's nothing against Johnson, they are a good company that does fine work. You are just digging yourself a deeper hole with every post.

Thank goodness Duckels isn't building trails.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Well, main point of this discussion has been on the bid process that excluded Chad Johnson and Fred Duckels from even bidding.

I have often said that I don't have a problem that contract was awarded to RCR, but that it is wrong that other local companies were not allowed to bid.

Maybe Fred is too much of a bull in a china shop and would not have won the bid. But it was wrong the he was not allowed to bid. Normally, a firm that has bid for government contracts is allowed to continue bidding unless being punished for fraud.

There would have been no harm in allowing Duckels or Johnson to bid. If Duckels presents an unconvincing bid then they don't win the contract. If Duckels lacks needed experience or equipment then that will be revealed in their bid. If the city's claimed reasons for disqualifying local contractors were true then that would have been revealed in those bids.

Disqualifying local contractors is like the race director reviewing entrants in a mountain bike race and disqualifying those considered too fat. That would be bizarre because the point of the competition is to let people compete to determine the winner. Normally, only someone with a history of biting competitors or similar unacceptable conduct would be disqualified.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Pat, If that happened I will investigate and deal with that in the morning. We do not condone. Anyone know who was on the prequal committee that rifled my financials, I Emailed Craig Robinson and he said that Lois Lerner had the info.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Pat Our workers had hard hats on, might check with the city and others involved.

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Scott Wedel 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Saw one of Fred's workers wearing a hardhat while driving a pickup truck today.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The Riders are part of an association and this group like golf course contractors form cartels and promote their products thru politics by lobbying and creating an aura of superiority over the rest of the field. They create a brand and assist owners in bringing the product to bid, all the while insuring that their interests are taken care of, and competition is eliminated. Being a cartel insures that no one wanders off the reservation. Bids are submitted to give the appearance of legitimacy but they are of the wink, wink variety.. The only fly in the ointment is local contractors of inferior stock that might wreak havoc with the program. They must be dealt with and by selling the owner that rigorous prequalification parameters be in effect in order to eliminate all but themselves this consummates and insures a sweetheart deal. Another similar example is realtors and MLS..The city needs to break this bond and restore legitimacy in order to stand tall. Some may be disappointed but in the end they will heal and be better for it.

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Pat West 2 months, 2 weeks ago

So Fred, how does this compare to having Tony Connell on City council, and his wife on the regional transportation board for CDot? Seems like this would be a conflict when both are in positions to influence much larger projects than this little trail. I will admit to total ignorance of the day to day working of Connell Resources, or the bid process for city and CDot projects, so your insight into how this isn't the fox guarding the henhouse would be appreciated.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I am a contractor and stay on my side of the fence. That is for others to answer.

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Pat West 2 months, 2 weeks ago

I would say you have crossed the fence over this RCR bid. Also, this is just the first contract awarded in a 10 year, $5million payout for trails. It has yet to be seen if this will be the standard for the process. Looking to 2015, there is $150k set aside for parking lot construction at the base of the Ridge/Rotary trailhead, this is far from the ability of the RCR crew, and as is said before, a easily won contract for either Johnson or Duckles.

I think you may be jumping to conclusions and this one bid will not be standard for the rest of the 2a funds. Now if RCR win the bid for the parking lot, I will be the first in line at city council to protest.

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Pat I want to preserve my ability to act as devils advocate. Public works and the bidding process are sacred and the effort to short circuit the system is never ending.

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jerry carlton 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Scott W. Talking about "fat" people is terribly politically incorrect. I think the correct term is overweight. I like to refer to myself as pleasingly plump.

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john bailey 2 months, 2 weeks ago

so the biters have more to eat , right ? ~;0) man the World Cup lasts a long time ... GO GERMANY....

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Fred Duckels 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Pat, Barney Frank stated that businesses were usually content with a reasonable advantage over their competitors. That is in effect with the Riders and vigilance is necessary daily to assure an even playing field an all fronts.

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