Complaint prompts state inspection of Hotel Indigo site

Record-Eagle/Pete Rodman Hotel Indigo construction site at the corner of Grandview Parkway and Hall Street.

TRAVERSE CITY — The Michigan agency responsible for overseeing job site safety and health standards launched an investigation at the Hotel Indigo construction site.

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials confirmed late last week they've opened an investigation at the hotel site. A MIOSHA safety inspector visited the site on the corner of Grandview Parkway and Hall Street the same day.

Dan Rivet, a superintendent on the site from J.S. Capital Construction, called the MIOSHA visit "routine" and resulted in only minor findings. The site remained open and crews continued to work throughout the week.

"It wasn't anything life-threatening," Rivet said of the inspector's findings. "Just very minor adjustments to make."

Tanya Baker, a spokeswoman with the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, said MIOSHA's visit to the construction site was "unprogrammed" — in other words a visit prompted by a complaint, a death or an accident.

Baker said state officials will not comment on findings of open MIOSHA investigations.

J.S. Capitol Construction President and Owner Jeffrey Schmitz said MIOSHA inspectors regularly visit construction sites like Hotel Indigo's. Schmitz said there have been no accidents or deaths at the job site, and said the MIOSHA inspector did not issue any citations to site supervisors.

Supervisors were only instructed to correct a problem with temporary scaffolding at the site, which was two inches too far away from the hotel's walls, Schmitz said.

“We made the corrective measures that day," he said.

Bernard Yantz, a Traverse City laborer who's working at the hotel, said he called MIOSHA on Jan. 13. There were no temporary heaters at the site, Yantz said, and the weather on Tuesday was so cold his crew packed up and left before the work day was done.

"I called because of the lack of heating," Yantz said. "And MIOSHA found quiet a few other findings, including the scaffolding."

Schmitz said crews will install temporary heat at the building today or on Tuesday.

High levels of contamination, a nasty 2014 winter, cost overruns and financing problems all derailed work at the Hotel Indigo at various times since construction started in 2013.

Most delays were caused by the discovery of high levels of cyanide in groundwater at the brownfield site on the corner of Grandview Parkway and Hall Street.

Schmitz said the hotel's construction remained on schedule this week. He hopes to open the four-story boutique hotel, — complete with a roof-top restaurant and underground parking — in August.

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