Contractor Controversy in Fruita

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

A Fruita contractor says he's lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in work and legal fees because the city rejected his work on a sewage project.

After a legal battle with the developer they want the city to pay up but Fruita officials say it's not their problem.

Lynn States and his son say they've been in the construction business all their lives and they've never experienced anything like this.

"We've lost business, we got fired from the company we had been working for for several years," said States.

His company, Continental Pipeline Construction, installed sewage lines in the Comstock Estates.

States says his company did the work correctly, but the city said otherwise after an inspection at the end of the job.

He says the city should have done an inspection sooner and it would have saved him a four and a half year legal battle with the contractor and thousands of dollars.

"It's been hard on my wife, she had to give some of her jewelry to the attorney and we've had a hard time with money," said States.

The States' won the suit and countersuit against Grand Valley Development
and around $9,000 in restitution.

"That doesn't pay for attorney's fees and damage to the business," said States.

Fruita officials say they won't pay a dime.

"If their contention is the city didn't catch their work that didn't meet specifications earlier, the bottom line is their work didn't meet specifications and we won't accept inferior work," said Fruita City Manager Clint Kinney.

Kinney says Fruita does not have the manpower to check every construction site every week, inspectors check at the end of the project.

He says it's the responsibility of the contractor to know if the work will meet standards and the city's concern is public safety not a contractor's income.

But for a family like the State's, who are trying to make a living in the construction business, they wish the city would think of the potential losses.

They hope the city does more inspections.

The State's say they may sue the City of Fruita.

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