• Last modified 1273 days ago (Dec. 2, 2020)


Heated dock in limbo a year later

Commissioners hold executive session, make no decisions - yet

Staff writer

County commissioners may be looking to cut bait after the park and lake supervisor told them a businessman hired a year ago to rebuild a heated boat dock has yet to get a performance bond for the job.

Lake supervisor Isaac Hett said he has been able to reach Ben Baxter, the owner of Ben’s Boat Docks in Kechi, hired a year ago to rebuild the dock after it was destroyed in a July 4, 2019, storm.

Baxter earlier dodged calls from the county. He lost his business entity standing with the Secretary of State’s office in 2003 for failing to file annual reports.

Hett said Baxter told him a week ago he is working to get a performance bond.

Performance bonds are required for public construction jobs and are usually only given to financially stable firms. The county did not ask Baxter for a bond prior to awarding him the contract.

“He said he was working on that to get it done,” Hett said. “We are still kind of just trying to pursue that same route.”

The yearlong delay in the work being done has Hett feeling less than confident.

“I’m not going to feel confident until I get something,” Hett said.

Nevertheless, Hett wants to believe the work will get done.

“After dealing with it for a year, I’m still hopeful,” Hett said.

“We’re going to keep trying. Hopefully sometime in the next year we’ll have something out there that people can use.”

Commissioners and county counsel Brad Jantz held an executive session during Monday’s meeting, but made no decisions and took no action on the issue

Commission chairman Jonah Gehring said the county is working to get the dock completed.

The county made a $101,950 down payment last December for the work and Baxter said in May he expected to have the dock finished by July.

Baxter’s bid, accepted by commissioners in December, was $203,900, of which the county’s insurance company agreed to pay $177,020.

The old dock still floats on the water in shambles, its walkway closed off with fencing to prevent anyone from entering it. A sign reads, “Park and Lake heated dock is closed to all.”

Last modified Dec. 2, 2020