Hillsboro Contractor Requests Arbitration
Sunday, February, 21, 2016
A contractor working at Hi-Tech Center in Hillsboro is now seeking arbitration concerning the penalties assessed by the county’s architect regarding an unfinished project. Gilbert Construction’s owner Randy Gilbert brought the matter to the Highland County Board of Commissioners during their weekly meeting recently, demanding arbitration to help settle the dispute.
A Highland County attorney points out that arbitration is usually done after the lawsuit is filed, but stated she had no problem meeting with Gilbert’s attorneys to discuss the matter. In her view, the sooner the meeting occurs the better it is for everyone involved.
Gilbert is disputing the final payment with the county’s architectural firm that included a more than $9000 assessment in penalties for the amount of time elapsed on the project. The project was extended 49 days for weather, but more than three months passed beyond the extension deadline. The extension became an issue that resulted in penalties assessed by the county architect and the county took the money out of what it paid Gilbert for the project.
Gilbert believes he was treated unfairly and does not believe the more than $9000 penalty should be his responsibility. He hopes arbitration will result in a reduction of the penalty or an elimination of his responsibility to pay it all together. Both parties seem eager to begin arbitration proceedings and those familiar with the situation believe the process will get underway without much of a delay. Who will oversee the arbitration and where it will take place is yet to be decided, but in most cases, both sides have a role in choosing the arbitrator and the date and location of the arbitration.