A $60,000 settlement covering construction delays cauased by county-initiated change orders on its new $20 million justice complex was approved Wednesday by the Davis County Commission.

The commissioners approved the payment to the project's general contractor, Layton Construction Co., and will try to recover as much of the payment as possible from the project's designer.The construction contract called for a Jan. 1, completion date, project manager Joe Rhoads said. But as construction proceeded and changes in the design were made, the project fellbehine that deadline.

The changes also caused the contractor to have building crews idled at the site, Rhoads said, while new designs for the changes were drawn up.

As part of the settlement with Layton, the county will also push the Jan. 1 completion deadline back to Jan. 15 for the courts and sheriff's department administrative portions of the building and to March 20 for the 400-bed jail section.

That relieves the contractor of paying a $1,000 per day non-completion penalty written into the contract.

The county, in turn, will try to recover as much of the $60,000 cash payment from the project's architects, Edwards, Daniels and Associates, Rhoads told the commissioners.

EDA has admitted to some design deficiencies that delayed construction, Rhoads said, but further negotiations will be required to fix to a final amount.

"This issue of settling claims is complex," said Rhoads, who negotiated with Layton with the help of deputy county attorney Jerry Hess. "The architects admit they are responsible for some of the delays, but less thatn athe county believes.

Rhoads said he took a "hard-nosed" stance in negotiations with the contractor, pushing as far as he thought he could short of settling in a court judgement.

The county still has adequate money in its construction contingency fund to cover the settlement, Rhoads said, in addition to getting part of the $60,000 reimbursed from the architects.

The commissioners agreed the settlement is fair, approving the payment to the contractor unanimously.

Commission chairman Gayle Stevenson said the changes orderd by the county will enhance the building and are worth the extra cost.

Commissioner Dub Lawrence said he believes the settlement is fair to all parties and wants it worked out while he and fellow commissioner Robert Rose, whose terms expire next week, are still in office.

The issues behind the change orders and setlement are complex, lawrence said, adding he doesn't believe it fair to saddle the two incoming commissioners with having to make such a complicated decision in their first days in office.

Wednesday's commission meeting was the last one for 1990 and the settlement with Layton had to be approved before the Jan. 1 construction completion deadline in the original contract expired.