Contractor for protracted library project sues Daly City

Claiming incompetent and uncooperative city officials delayed a $10.5 million library project by years and now refuse to pay for the extra work, the contractor in charge of the endeavor is suing Daly City.

In a lawsuit filed Feb. 29 in San Mateo County Superior Court, an attorney for Arntz Builders said the city owes the company $6.4 million. The suit was filed after a claim was denied by city attorneys.

Daly City officials contracted with Arntz Builders in April of 2005 to build the three-story John Daly Library, refurbish the War Memorial Community Center and build a basketball court. The project was to be completed in 510 days but dragged on an additional two years. In the court filing, Arntz Builders attorney John McGill said the plans for the project were incomplete and unreliable and project representatives — from the design team to the city’s staff — were unresponsive or incompetent.

On Friday, City Manager Patricia Martel said the delays were not caused by city officials but by disagreements between Arntz Builders and the architecture firm that designed the project.

“The city found itself in the middle, trying to get the job done,” Martel said.

The library opened its doors on Veteran’s Day last year.

A $6.4 million judgment would put a dent in the city’s $68 million overall budget, but it wouldn’t be a heavy enough hit to affect city services, Martel said.

City Council member Mike Guingona said the delays were caused by Arntz’s “substandard completion of work.”

tbarak@examiner.com

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