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Troubles at CVIC addition

by Sheila Gardner

The long and the short of it is this: the new addition to the CVIC Hall isn’t high enough and the old-fashioned streetlights that go around the parking lot are about 3 feet too tall.

Minden Town Board members reacted to that news Wednesday night like the owners of an expensive but ill-fitting suit. They refused to pay for the alterations.

“This process was not very well-managed,” said Town Board Vice Chair Bob Hadfield. “It’s incredible to me that we even had this discussion about the lights. The Town of Minden is not going to pay for it.”

The town paid more than $800,000 for the 4,400-square-foot addition to the historic CVIC Hall, dedicated Sunday and now home to the town office. Douglas County issued a temporary certificate of occupancy, but wants assurance the defects will be corrected.

The height of the building is a foot short, which means heating and ventilating equipment on the roof is visible. The building’s contractor is proposing to add a foot to the parapet around the top and try to camouflage the equipment with paint, but Hadfield said that’s not going to solve the problem.

“Part of my frustration is that 1 foot doesn’t cover it anyway,” Hadfield said.

The contractor submitted a bill for nearly $3,000 to the town to cover the costs. Normally, a change order would be submitted to the architect, John Copoulos of Carson City.

Copoulos told the board Wednesday that he changed the height of the building, but the superintendent got pulled off the job and did not communicate the change to his replacement.

“I happen to think you bear some responsibility for this,” Hadfield said.

“I’m sorry you’re unhappy,” Copoulos said. “I wish you’d brought it up sooner.”

Copoulos agreed the town was not responsible for the changes and he would take up the billing with the contractor.

As for the lights, Copoulos said the subcontractor ordered the wrong size and they would be replaced.

The board agreed to advise county officials the corrections would be made within 90 days.

n New building. In other action Wednesday, the board unanimously approved design review for a new, 13,800-square-foot office building for Clark Properties Inc. on two parcels along Highway 395 between the AM/PM Minimart and Louie’s Chinese Cuisine in north Minden.

The board requested that the sign be modified, and Patty Clark said she would take the matter under advisement.

“Since all the tenants will be real-estate oriented, we may be able to have a simpler sign,” Clark said.

Town engineer Bruce Scott said the building itself will be recognizable for clients and tenants.

“It’s a very nice design and will enhance the town,” Hadfield.

n Backflow. Town board members also discussed clarifications and setting more restrictive standards for the town for installation and maintenance of water backflow prevention devices in the county ordinance.

“It’s for the protection of water quality,” Scott said. “If you have a break in the line, the backflow can pull contaminated water back into the system. It’s a question of water quality and water safety.”

The ordinance gives the town the authority to set fines and a timetable when repairs must be complete.