In its dispute with Salaspils District Council, Merks is trying to find a solution in court
After making a number of futile attempts to resolve its dispute with Salaspils District Council regarding a kindergarten construction contract, Merks Construction Company has filed a lawsuit.
The construction of the Salaspils kindergarten was due to be completed in January this year, but construction work has been delayed due to shortcomings in the construction project ordered by the council. A number of significant shortcomings have been identified, including non-compliance of certain sections of the construction design with fire safety requirements, which have been confirmed by the responsible state authorities. These shortcomings have caused delays in the construction process, preventing Merks from meeting the original schedule. The resultant delays have been used by Salaspils Council as an argument for not paying for the work already done and for arbitrarily declining to fulfil its contractual obligations.
“We are currently in a deadlock, because we could have completed the project in the spring of 2022, but we found ourselves having to deal with an inferior construction project, whose shortcomings still haven’t been remedied. Moreover, Salaspils City Council is not only unwilling to cooperate to get the project completed, but is also not paying for the work done, amounting to more than €1.5 million, and is demanding that the contract be terminated. During this time, we have sent dozens of letters to Salaspils City Council calling for a solution, we have initiated several meetings, but we still do not see any positive reaction or progress. On the contrary, we are being forced to work in conditions defined by the council’s indecision and opposition. Given that our priorities include future generations, we have approached this project with particular care. It is sad to realise that this September almost 300 children will miss out on the opportunity to learn about the world in new, modern and specially adapted spaces,” explains Merks Board Member, Andris Bišmeistars, stressing that, despite the aforementioned circumstances, Merks is ready to continue working and complete the jobs.
The contract with Salaspils District Council was signed in the autumn of 2020. The project is being built in line with the latest sustainable construction trends, with a particular focus on environmentally friendly solutions. To date, 85% of the planned construction works have been completed.