Brainerd city attorney clarifies settlement amount paid to Tom’s Backhoe

According to a settlement agreement, the city will pay Tom's Backhoe half the retainage fee owed on the disputed project.

Workers from Northern Dewatering work to clear a corridor for water and wastewater pipes through Lum Park in April 2016. The work was done as part of the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport utility extension project. (Steve Kohls/Brainerd Dispatch)

The $125,000 the city of Brainerd must pay to Tom’s Backhoe Service, according to a settlement agreement between the two parties, is part of the city’s retainage fee for the project that prompted the lawsuit.

An article in the Thursday, Feb. 18, edition of the Brainerd Dispatch stated the city is to pay $125,000 to Tom’s Backhoe after a utility extension project at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport in 2016 that ended up requiring repairs. Both parties disagreed on who was responsible for the damage and should pay for repairs.

City Attorney Joe Langel clarified Thursday, Feb. 18, the sum paid to Tom’s Backhoe is half of the final payment originally set aside for the project. Typically with public contracts, 5% of the total cost is withheld for the final payment once the project is completed. In this case, that amount was $250,000 for the repair project.

“This isn’t some out-of-pocket payment from the city to Tom,” Langel said, noting the sum was negotiated by both parties to avoid further litigation expenses.

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