NewsMarshall Fire


Boulder Co. commissioners approve debris removal contract, intergovernmental agreement

Commissioners also approve bid for soil sampling
drone marshall fire.png
Posted at 2:24 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 16:24:13-04

DENVER – Boulder County commissioners on Tuesday approved the contract with the company that will be responsible for the debris removal process for homes lost in the Marshall Fire, as well as an intergovernmental agreement which Superior and Louisville have already signed off on.

The commissioners voted unanimously to approve the estimated $60.1 million contract with Louisiana-based DRC Emergency Services, LLC, whose bid for the debris removal was awarded Feb. 10.

The signing of the contract had been held up by two appeals, which were dismissed, and a lawsuit that challenged the manner in which the bid was awarded to DRC.

But a judge dismissed requests for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction in that case last week while the question over whether open meetings law was violated continues. A hearing in that case is scheduled for March 30, but Boulder County and Louisville officials said the governments could move forward with the signing of the debris removal contract after the judge’s decision.

Boulder County commissioners Matt Jones, Claire Levy and Marta Loachamin unanimously approved the contract at Tuesday’s meeting after also approving unanimously the intergovernmental agreement (IGA) with Louisville and Superior that will allow them to proceed together in the cleanup process. The city and town have both already approved the IGA.

Jones praised those who worked on the IGA for its clarity and for working out a cost sharing agreement that will have the federal government cover 90% of costs, local governments covering 5% and the state government covering the remaining 5%.

Carrie Doyle, the assistant county attorney, told commissioners that once the contract with DRC Emergency Services was signed, work on debris cleanup could commence “as soon as possible” and that the project is estimated to take about four months.

She said the company and the local governments were working to finalize the specific scopes of work and would be able to share full details of how the work will start and other project management details with the public at a community meeting scheduled for later this month.

DRC had said in its bid that if it was able to start the debris removal process on March 1, it hoped to have the cleanup done by July 1 barring any weather delays. Officials said earlier this month they still hope to have the work done in July.

The final item on Tuesday’s agenda was a vote on whether to approve a RFP analysis and recommendation for Private Property Debris Removal (PPDR) soil sampling for homes and businesses lost in the Marshall Fire.

A team from Boulder County, Louisville and Superior recommended the bid from Denver-based Tetra Tech, Inc., for an estimated cost of $762,923, to the commissioners for the project, which the commissioners also approved unanimously.

If commissioners approve the forthcoming contract once it is finalized, Tetra Tech would be first in charge of conducting asbestos inspection for foundations before the debris removal process begins with DRC, according to Cody Lillstrom, the Zero Waste Program Manager for Boulder County Public Works.

The company would also oversee sampling soil 3-6 inches deep after the debris is removed from each property to be sure contaminants of concern at each plot are gone.

Lillstrom said the company said it could sample multiple sites per day and turn around the results within 24 hours.

The recommendation to award the bid to Tetra Tech says the company had the most cost-effective bid and is the most experienced. It says the county contacted 488 vendors, and three bids were sent in – from Tetra Tech, as well as a company based in Dacono and another based in Vancouver, Wash.

“Tetra Tech scored highest for price by a wide margin and they had the most relevant experience of all proposers,” the recommendation says. “Their proposal was well organized, and it was easy to understand their methodology for sampling.”