The City of Colorado Springs has agreed to pay $2.95 million to GE Johnson, which built a visitor’s center atop Pikes Peak and then sued the city for ignoring its invoices.
The settlement money will be paid by Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, a city entity that gets funding from private donations, toll fees, concession sales and revenue bonds.
Half of the money must be paid by mid-July and the other half by year-end, according to a copy of the settlement the city provided. It was signed on June 2.
“The settlement of $2.95 million will come from the PPAM enterprise, not from taxpayer dollars,” Skyler Rorabaugh, the manager of Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, said in a statement.
“Constructing a building on the summit of a 14er that welcomes more than a million people annually is an impressive accomplishment, and the City of Colorado Springs and PPAM are proud of the work that brought this community vision to life,” he said.
In a second settlement that was signed that same day, GE Johnson agreed to make paving repairs to the west parking lot at the visitor’s center in exchange for $630,000.
Laura Rinker, a spokeswoman for GE Johnson, said both sides consider the settlements fair.
“We are proud of the work on the Pikes Peak Summit Visitor Center project, which has received widespread acclaim for the outstanding achievements in construction that made its completion possible, and is an impressive asset for the region,” Rinker said in a statement.
GE Johnson sued Colorado Springs on March 8, accusing the city of delaying completion of the $60 million, 38,000-square-foot complex and then refusing to pay the general contractor for its additional work there. The lawsuit did not say how much money GE Johnson was owed.
A month later, Colorado Springs countersued the builder, accusing it of doing shoddy work on that west parking lot, as well as a wastewater system atop Pikes Peak.
Before any of those claims could be litigated, the two sides reached an amicable settlement. The settlement makes clear that neither side is admitting they did anything wrong.
During a special meeting in mid-May, the Colorado Springs City Council unanimously agreed to settle the case, but the exact terms were still being worked out. El Paso District Court Judge Eric Bentley closed the court case on June 8 at the request of both sides.