Representatives from Excelon and county officials have settled their dispute over damages to the Mullinville blacktop and the associated repair costs.
“We’re glad the damages will be repaired and the road won’t suffer in the long term,” said Kiowa County Road and Bridge Supervisor Gunnar Stauth.
The county received a $560,000 cash settlement from Excelon to pay for repairing the road, which saw heavy use during the construction of the Excelon-owned Shooting Star Wind Farm south of Mullinville.
The cash settlement was equal to the estimated cost of patching the 6.7-mile stretch of road and 4.25 miles of new 2-inch blacktop overlay.
The settlement is comparable to the counter-offer Excelon representative John Burke sent Stauth at the beginning of December.
Following that offer the county hired a third-party firm to provide an additional set of costs after Stauth and Excelon disagreed on a estimate provided by Ana Mijares, an Excelon-hired auditor from the Denver-based Arcadis company.
Speaking on Monday Stauth said the estimate provided by the county’s auditor was comparable to the settlement amount but was much higher than the 507 square yards of patching and half a mile of 1.5-inch overlay estimate provided by Arcadis.
Stauth said the cash settlement would pay for patching, which will be completed in the spring by the county road and bridge department, and 6 miles of new 1.5” blacktop overlay.
Stauth said he felt the county negotiated the repairs in good faith and that in the future they would likely hire an engineering consultant prior to construction, possibly hiring them for the term of the construction project to establish road condition and prevent future disputes.
Repairs are expected to be complete by summer 2013.