Fire Station Fiasco

By: Lindsay Liepman
By: Lindsay Liepman

A fire station falling out in College Station.

Local businesses are vowing to refuse work for the city if it continues to do business with a Texas City contractor.

Fire Station #5 will be a source of pride for College Station once it's complete, but the process has been a headache.

"Our focus is getting a quality fire station, obviously it's disappointing when you have issues with the contractor and the subcontractors," said City Manager Tom Brymer.

From the beginning...there were problems.

The city has a contract with Stephens Construction based in Texas City.

They are the general contractors and hired several local sub contractors to do part of the work.

But late payments and construction issues have plagued the project.

"When you have those kind of problems you have delays," said Raymond Batten of RSZ Construction.

Raymond Batten is one of about 9 local businesses that says they haven't received a single payment from Stephens Construction on time...

Marvin Klintworth owns Brazos Site Works and worked for six months just to get a check.

"It's a big financial burden. I've got a lot of hands working for me but without it coming in, it's hard to cover it and then you're in trouble," said Klintworth.

Stephens Construction was unavailable for comment Friday. But sub contractors say the construction company always had an excuse for late payment, usually blaming it on the city.

But it's not the city's fault.

Stephens Construction assured the city that payments were on time.

It's been a he said she said argument for almost a year, but money is still due to some contractors.

It may become a bigger issue if the city chooses to work with Stephens Construction on the relocation of Fire Station #3.

"We haven't crossed that bridge yet, but we'll make that decision at that time," said Brymer.

Meanwhile, Batten and Klintworth say they just want to finish what they started.

"We just want to finish the project, get our people paid and move on," said Batten.

Fire Station number 5 is now expected to be complete by late August.


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