A district court judge dismissed a lawsuit filed by Ceres Environmental Services, one of the companies not selected for Boulder County’s post-Marshall Fire debris removal program.

A burnt-out car serves as a resting place for a backhoe. (Cliff Grassmick/staff photographer)

“Naturally, we are pleased with this decision,” Boulder County Public Works Director Jeff Maxwell said in a news release. “We hope the court’s decision puts an end to misguided efforts to halt the progress of the privately owned debris removal program, allowing our staff to remain resolutely focused on getting the difficult and important job of cleaning up Marshall Fire done.” .”

The Florida entrepreneur, who did not respond to a request for comment, in early April for follow-up County and Boulder County Commissioners, alleging the bidding process that had been conducted months earlier was shrouded in secrecy and misrepresentation. The company asked the court to invalidate the offer.

Boulder County then requested the trial to be fired.

In order to withstand the county’s motion to dismiss, however, “(Ceres) must have suffered factual harm and have a legally protected interest,” the May 26 order states.

Harm actually indicates actual or imminent harm, including harm to a protected interest. To that end, Ceres argued that she had suffered such harm because her ranking was the “product of a corrupt, illegal or unfair process”.

According to information previously provided by Boulder County, Ceres placed third out of 11 companies vying for the contract.

A glimpse of the damage along Dillon Road in Louisville.  (Cliff Grassmick/staff photographer)
A glimpse of the damage along Dillon Road in Louisville. (Cliff Grassmick/staff photographer)

The company was not one of the two selected to be interviewed by the selection committee due to the scoring discrepancy between the Ceres proposal and the two companies selected for an interview. Out of a possible total score of 100, Ceres received a score of 68, while the other two companies received scores of 84 and 91.

While Ceres argued he should have been ranked higher, Judge Kenneth Plotz disagreed with that assertion.

“Ceres’ alleged injuries are speculative, and it cannot reasonably be concluded that Ceres would have received the award,” Plotz determined.

Before taking legal action, Ceres appealed the candidacy decision to the county commissioners, but the appeal was denied.

The Boulder County Private Property Debris Removal Program has been underway since mid-April. He continued as the trial unfolded.

According to the county, selected contractor DRC Emergency Services is currently working on more than 300 properties in Louisville, Superior and unincorporated Boulder County, with more than 65 nearing completion.

The Commissioners on March 22 officially approved the $60 million contract with DRC and OK’d the intergovernmental agreement that requires Superior and Louisville to reimburse Boulder County for private property debris removal costs not covered by the state or the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

FEMA reimburses 90% of eligible project costs, with state and local jurisdictions each paying 5%.

This isn’t the first time the Boulder County Debris Removal Program has overcome legal hurdles.

another trial the challenge to the debris removal contract was introduced earlier this year by former FEMA Director Michael Brown and his group, Demanding Integrity in Government Spending. That lawsuit accused the county of violating open meeting laws during the bidding process.

Visiting Judge Stephen Howard determined that Brown – who does not live in Boulder County and could not prove harm related to the DRC contract award – lacked standing to sue and dismissed the case end of March.

A nonprofit organization, made up largely of residents who survived what is now the state’s most destructive wildfire, opposed both lawsuits by filing formal motions to intervene.

The group argued that the two would delay the cleanup and that any delay would add to the emotional and financial hardship of people whose homes were lost or damaged in the Marshall fire.

“Even without any delays caused by this lawsuit, many fire survivors will struggle to complete the rebuilding of their homes within the 12 or 24 months of additional living expenses coverage available to them,” the group said. more recent movement States. “But with a delay, many survivors of the fire would be unable to pay both rent, now dramatically inflated after the disaster, and their mortgage if they lacked additional coverage for living expenses.”