Contractors win projects with low bids

Daniel fire station and shop, Paradise road projects move forward

What appears to be a

small washout on Paradise Road “blows

commissioners’ minds” when the fix came in

at $744,900.

Sublette County Commissioners awarded

the bid to Avail Valley Construction

out of Afton during the June 16 County

Commissioners’ meeting.

Aaron Seehafer, with Rio Verde

Engineering, said two Sublette County

contractors and one contractor from out of

county attended a mandated pre-bid meeting.

On the day bids were due, only one bid was

submitted – by Avail.

Seehafer said the bid came in below the

engineer’s $750,000 estimates.

Commissioner Joel Bousman said the cost

to repair the small washout “blows his mind.”

Seehafer said a pile driver must be brought

in to stabilize the 40-foot embankment and

only one or two companies in the state have the

equipment. Avail will subcontract that work

out to Reiman Construction from Cheyenne.

Curb and gutter will be added to divert

water to the all the way to the bottom of the

hill and stop it from washing out the side

above the New Fork River. In addition, the

bank of the river will be reinforced more than

200 feet upriver to keep in from eroding the

hill under the road.

The contract to build the Daniel Fire Station

and Road and Bridge Shop was also awarded

to an out-of-county contractor.

A Pleasant Construction, Inc., from Green

River, was awarded the contract for $3.36


Todd Hurd, owners’ representative with

Forsgren and Associates, said the bid was

$230,000 lower than the second bid by BH,

Inc. and $700,000 less than the third bidder of

West Fork Construction, Inc.

Hurd said, despite being from out of county,

four of the six subcontractors for the project

would be from Sublette County.

The county received a $1-million State

Land Investment Board grant for the project.

Original estimates for the project exceeded

$4 million. As part of the contract, Sublette

County will provide a backup generator and

the exhaust system for the building rather than

include those in the bid because a general

contractor typically adds 15 percent of the

cost. The bid does not include engineering

costs that have been previously paid to

Forsgren and Associates and the electrical


The vote to award the contract was

Bousman, Mack Rawhouser and David

Burnett in favor, Tom Noble abstained because

his employer is one of the subcontractors and

Doug Vickrey opposed.

Since becoming a commissioner, Vickrey

has argued that the fire hall is not needed and

is an unnecessary expense.

Earlier in the meeting, commissioners

made concessions to break work on South

Cottonwood Road into multiple projects after

Sublette County contractors were unable to

get bonds large enough to cover one large


In the future, the road repairs will be

referred to as Phase One, Phase Two and

Phase Three. Phase One will be completed

this year.

The estimated costs for the full Phase Two

project were $2.5 million.

Seehafer said Phase One did not get many

bidders and local contractors indicated it was

too large to get the mandated bonds.

Road and Bridge Supervisor Billy Pape said

the entire Phase Two project was budgeted for

this year and funds would roll over.

In other action:

• Leases with Main Street Pinedale were

approved for areas of the courthouse lawn

on Thursdays for the High Altitude Farmers

Market. A second lease was approved for


• The date for the Sublette County Board

of Equalization to meet was moved from Aug.

25 to Friday, Aug. 28. Only one appellant

remains with a tax appeal on file.

• A contract was approved with Greenwood

Mapping. While the work was previously

approved, a formal contract was not signed.


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