Floodplain administration: Ten X housing in holding pattern while town works with county flood control

Tusayan residents gathered for the official kick-off to the Ten X Ranch housing development project July 21. The development is located approximately 3.5 miles outside of the gateway community of Tusayan outside of Grand Canyon National Park. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN)

Tusayan residents gathered for the official kick-off to the Ten X Ranch housing development project July 21. The development is located approximately 3.5 miles outside of the gateway community of Tusayan outside of Grand Canyon National Park. (Loretta Yerian/WGCN)

TUSAYAN, Ariz. — Although construction has ceased as the town of Tusayan works to come into compliance with Coconino County Flood Control District permitting requirements, work on the project – and its costs —are still ongoing.

At the Town Council’s regular meeting Jan. 16, Rod Davis, owner of Premier Building Group, gave council members a breakdown of the continued costs associated with Ten X project even though construction at the site has been suspended indefinitely. Considerations brought to the council include the removal of rental equipment, a security presence at the site, receiving of ordered supplies and materials and ongoing construction management and risk (CMAR) activities.

Davis presented the council with three site shutdown options — full demobilization of the project, demobilization with the ability to remobilize and standby mode.

Davis said full demobilization, estimated to cost around $1.36 million, would essentially terminate the project. All equipment, both rental and company owned, would be removed along with the retention pond and trailer facilities and all excavations would be backfilled with remaining material hauled away. Council member Robb Baldosky questioned the amount, asking if costs could potentially increase and if any ongoing work would need to be factored in.

Davis said the bulk of the $1.36 million, about $812,000, would be spent on hauling spoils from the site to a pit off the property. Premier had planned to reduce hauling costs by backhauling — taking a load of unusable material back in the empty truck after fresh fill material had been offloaded.

“If we have to bring trucks up here to transport the material separately, that’s where you’re going to see your costs increasing,” he said.

Davis also said both the town and the company had looked at places near Tusayan where the spoils could be used, but testing confirmed it was not high enough quality to be crushed and used as a base for either the development or the as-yet undeveloped sports complex.

Other costs include about $324,000 in payments for ordered materials — items such as drain culverts and water tanks — and $106,000 for seeding and stabilization of the graded areas. Another $30,000 would be spent on teardown of Premier’s temporary housing and office trailers and the retention pond. $15,000 is reserved for backfilling all excavations and removing storm water pollution prevention (SWPPP) materials and the last $30,000 to remove all equipment from the site.

Davis noted that his estimate did not include other services up to the date of action, including fees from associated engineering firms and housing designers, storage and transport fees for already-acquired materials or possible damage of materials onsite, such as two 25,000-gallon fiberglass water tanks.

The second option involves a partial demobilization of the site and remobilization at a later date, presumably after the town either secures a permit from the Coconino County Flood Control District or becomes its own floodplain administrator. A one-time estimated payment of $about $273,000 would cover two-way transport for Premier-owned heavy equipment and rental equipment ($101,000), teardown and set-up of an office trailer ($5,600), seeding and stabilization of previously-graded areas ($106,000), draining and subsequent repairs to the onsite retention pond ($27,000), SWPPP monitoring and maintenance ($17,000), backfill of excavations ($9,000) and crew travel to and from the site ($6,000).

Davis said the option covers the cost to lay off all field employees except those involved in SWPPP monitoring and maintenance and removal of all equipment with an option to remobilize in May or June. The option also presumes that design and procurement activities will continue as usual.

Under this option, monthly standby payments would be required to comply with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality’s (ADEQ) SWPPP requirements, as well as operate the trailer park pending workers’ return. The monthly standby cost is estimated to be just over $91,000.

Davis recommended the demobilization-remobilization option along with the monthly standby operations, but did inform the council that construction costs may increase during the downtime because of price increases in materials.

“It minimizes the time to restart the project,” he said. “We may see some increases as cost of materials go up, we just don’t know.”

The council voted unanimously to take these suggested measures.

Town Manager Eric Duthie said the town will pay approximately $91,000 per week through the end of January (totaling the $273,000 demobilization and remobilization costs) as required to partially demobilize and put the construction site in standby mode. The town will also pay about $91,000 in February, covering the first month of standby.

“After that, our costs will go down to approximately $67,000 per month because once the rental equipment has been removed, it’s a cost we’re no longer incurring,” he said.

The town council is prepared to cover standby costs until a referendum on its ability to take over Tusayan’s floodplain administration is decided in May.

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