Construction firm shutdown costs local jobs

LOVELAND – Michigan-based Lamar Construction, which had an office in Loveland and several projects underway in Northern Colorado, has ceased operations, leaving about 70 in Colorado without jobs and some local subcontractors without payment for work completed.

Lamar had multiple projects underway along the Front Range. Among them were an office and industrial building in Mead for oilfield services company Weatherford International, a truck depot east of Greeley for the Dairy Farmers of America cooperative, and a pair of apartment complexes in Greeley. All were in various stages of completion.

One former local Lamar employee laid off this week, who asked to remain anonymous, told BizWest that workers didn’t receive their final paychecks.

The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press reported on Friday that Lamar had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Lamar’s president Carl Blauwkamp told the paper Lamar was closing due to its bank calling in its line of credit after “some unexpected losses.” Lamar had 280 employees in all.

Attempts to reach Blauwkamp Friday were unsuccessful. Lamar Construction’s website has been taken down. Calls to the company’s office in Loveland, near Interstate 25 and Highway 34, went unanswered.

One local subcontractor – who also asked that his name not be used so as to not give his own business the appearance of instability – said payment issues with Lamar had been going on for some time. He said he had been paid by project owners for all of the work he completed for Lamar. But he said he knew of some other smaller subcontractors who hadn’t been so lucky.

Officials for various project owners could not be immediately reached Friday, though an official for Dairy Farmers of America did issue a statement.

“DFA’s truck depot is very near completion and we intend to finalize this project despite Lamar’s abandonment of the project,” DFA director of transportation for Colorado Wade Meek said. “In the meantime, DFA’s business and its deliveries to its customers in the area will continue without disruption, as the Cooperative will continue to dispatch vehicles out of its current facilities.”

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