Anthony Skeens, The Triplicate

A construction company is suing Del Norte County, claiming it was not paid for $375,000 worth of work.

Steelhead Constructors, Inc., located in Palo Cedro, filed a lawsuit Aug. 10 for what it claims is a breach of contract for failing to pay for extra work in reconstructing the Klamath boat ramp in April 2011, according to court documents.

The extra labor resulted from a discrepancy between plans and specifications and actual conditions of the ramp encountered by Steelhead, the suit claims.

The scope of work included reconstructing a boat ramp facility damaged by a flood, debris removal, excavation, and embankment, rock embankment and concrete work.

The initial contract was worth $866,383.

The county disagrees with Steelhead's claim, said County Administrative Officer Jay Sarina.

"As you go through a project, many times there are change orders and you negotiate those change orders as they come up," said Sarina. "We are pretty confident we have information to show what we believe is the valid payments have been paid."

He said there were a few changes in the project, which resulted in a minimal rise in costs.

"They're seeking extra charges that they allege were costs incurred above and beyond what the contract called for, and we disagree," said Sarina.

Steelhead submitted a $375,000 claim to the county - a necessary step before filing suit - that was rejected, court documents state.

The company asks that the county pay $115,000 for hauling stockpile, $18,000 for security, $23,000 for delays and $34,000 for changing the ramp location twice, among other additional charges, the suit states.

Sarina said there was a manager hired by the county throughout the project documenting changes and the overall project as well as dealing with any issues that were brought up with regard to construction.

"I think it's part of the process," said Sarina. "We obviously would like to avoid (a lawsuit), but we will go through it."

Reach Anthony Skeens