The City of Kuna expects to get back about 38.5 percent of the money it paid a contractor who, according to Mayor Greg Nelson, made “a real mess” out of a flooring job at the Kuna Senior Center in 2011.
The city council last month reviewed terms of the $8,600 settlement with Robb Floth Foundations, the contractor who was awarded a bid to install a polished concreted floor in the senior center, and, after running into multiple problems along the way, ultimately received full payment of $22,300.
Shortly thereafter, it was discovered the work was not done it the city’s satisfaction.
According to City Attorney Richard Roats, a city employee did a walk-through of the senior center before payment was made, but did not immediately recognize any issues.
“(The contractor) had placed some shelving in some problem areas so it was covered up and we couldn’t see,” Roats said, noting strong fumes of flooring compound in the center prevented the employee from spending a lot of time inside to examine the floor.
“She just walked through to make sure everything was OK and done,” Roats said. “When we did a closer examination, and when the seniors moved back in, we realized we had some real issues.”
A published phone number for Robb Floth Foundations has been disconnected and the company could not be reached for comment this week, but a story published in the Kuna Melba News on Nov. 23, 2011 reported that Floth ran into trouble from the beginning, when asbestos was discovered in the senior center’s original floor tiles.
The trouble continued when excessive moisture was trapped by sealant and caused the floor to haze.
At the time, Roats said the contractor did a substandard job, including use of an outdoor-grade sealant, which allegedly sickened some seniors who were let back in the building prematurely.
A new bid of $14,250 was awarded to Silverline Floors, who contracted in November 2011 to grind the floor to bare concrete and apply an epoxy layer .
Meanwhile, city staff crafted a demand letter to Floth, seeking repayment of $14,250 to cover the cost of correcting and finishing the job.
Last month, Roats brought the finalized agreement to the city council as he asked members to authorize the mayor to execute the agreement with Floth.
The agreement was signed by Robb Floth, the company’s president and Ashley Floth, secretary, a married couple who live in Kuna, on Oct. 18.
The total settlement amount is listed as $8,600, with a $5,000 payment up front and the remaining $3,600 payable over 24 months.
“Certainly we were pushing for the full amount,” Roats said, but noted a large consideration was whether the city would end up empty-handed if it chose to pursue litigation.
“(Floth) could shut his door and open up another company the next day,” Roats said. “Do we take a little bit, or do we spend money on litigation, get a judgment and have them turn around and file bankruptcy and we’re left with defunct corporation we can’t the collect money from?”
The agreement also states that claims related to the exposure to asbestos during the work are retained by Floth.
“I don’t think it’s a real issue,” Roats said. “They were in there with masks and under regular contractor rules when they were removing those tiles (which were confirmed to contain asbestos), and it was just very brief. We brought in the professionals and got that cleaned up. They were not exposed to it but they wanted to preserve that.”
Floth is scheduled to pay the city $150 per month.