Thursday, January 30, 2014
Pate Transportation Partners sued Forney for $50 million after contract termination on pass thru project
Forney pays $2 million to settle road contractor's lawsuit
- Published: March 22, 2013 10:35 PM
The Forney City Council agreed to settle a road contractor's lawsuit for $2 million this week, stopping the legal process short of an April 30 date in court.
Pate Transportation Partners sought $50 million in damages when it sued the city in 2011. The city filed a countersuit contending that Pate's missed deadlines were delaying $40 million in reimbursement from the Texas Department of Transportation.
The focus was narrowed during the suit. The company had sent the city a letter in 2010 saying it was open to a mutual termination of the contract for over $3 million. The city did not challenge that it owed $1.2 million in invoices for work done but not paid.
"PTP has always maintained the claims described in the suit have merit," said Michael Grimes, spokesman for the company. "This has been reinforced by rulings made and orders entered throughout the process."
Forney officials say that the settlement will not force tax rates higher and that the much-needed roadway projects were accelerated in spite of the suit.
In 2006, Forney voters approved bonds for three separate projects on state roads — a U.S. Highway 80-FM548 interchange and widening and other improvements on FM740 and FM741.
As rapid growth in western Kaufman County was putting pressure on Forney's roads, the city opted to borrow the money and be gradually repaid by the state.
"We weren't building so much for future capacity as we were for capacity needed now," City Manager Brian Brooks said.
Though TxDOT acknowledged the need, Brooks said, the projects estimated at $50 million were eight years from being on the state list, with no guarantee of funding even then. In March 2007, Pate entered into a contract with the city to do the work.
The state's repayment of the city is dependent on completion of the projects. That is why city officials say missed deadlines became such an issue.
In late 2010, the city asked the company to consider mutual termination of the contract. Then, in its last regular meeting of 2010, the City Council voted to terminate the contract whether the company agreed or not.
"Breaking the contract was really a non-issue with us," Brooks said. "We knew we were responsible for $1.2 million."
In December, a judge ruled that the city had failed to comply with the termination clause in the contract and set the April 30 trial date to determine damages.
The other $800,000 in the settlement is to cover related expenses incurred by Pate. Forney also dropped its countersuit.
TxDOT took over the projects for a short while until a new construction manager was hired. The interchange and FM741 projects are now completed.
City officials said the roadway bonds will be paid off 10 years early, saving $5.9 million.
The settlement also secured Pate's assistance in identifying and gathering records requested by the Federal Highway Administration as backup for audits in connection with a $5.6 million federal Bottleneck Grant for the U.S. 80 interchange. Those documents arrived in Brooks' office Friday.
The third project, work north of the highway on FM740, has a groundbreaking scheduled for Tuesday.
"Our goal from the beginning was to get these roadway projects completed on time and on budget," Mayor Darren Rozell said.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Sunday, January 26, 2014
I would like to express my concerns about the bridge over Old Highway 271 and the Union Pacific Railroad track. I believe we have a SUPER ELEVATED HORIZONTAL VERTICAL CURVE structure. This is a very complex design although I would think in this day and time there are computer programs that do this but the elevation part should be as simple as arithmetic.
The letter from Mr. Keith Kridler that states the original information from the very first surveys and continuing to present should or has been given to Pate Transportation. I have attached a position of their contract that plainly states that they are solely responsible for all of this project. I see no reason for we the citizens of Titus County to pay $1.8 million for their mistakes and adding to our debt, when other infrastructure's in the County would and could use that kind of money.
You and the Commissioners are elected Officers of Titus County and are responsible for the finances of this County, so man up and do the right thing and make Pate Transportation pay. That is what they have agreed to do in their contract.
Jerry D Domino
Titus Co taxpayer alert: $168 million (at least) bridge re-do dominates agenda Monday night, January 27, 6 pm
NOTICE OF MEETING OF THE
COMMISSIONERS' COURT OF TITUS COUNTY, TEXAS
Notice is hereby given that a Special Meeting of the Commissioners' Court of Titus County, Texas, will be held on the 27th day of January, 2014, at 6:00 o'clock p.m., in the Titus County Courthouse, County Courtroom, 100 West First Street, Room 205, Mt. Pleasant, Texas 75455, at which time the following subjects will be discussed not necessarily in the order presented:
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Commissioners' Court of Titus County, Texas
I, the undersigned County Clerk, do hereby certify that the above Notice of Meeting of the Commissioners' Court of Titus County, Texas, is a true and correct copy of said Notice, and that I posted a true and correct copy of said Notice on the bulletin board and doors of the Titus County Courthouse and Annex, places readily accessible to the general public at all times, prior to 6:00 o'clock p.m., on the 24th day of January,2014, and remained so posted for at least 72 hours preceding the scheduled time of said meeting.Sent from my iPhone