SANTA BARBARA - For decades they were one of the top general contractors on the Central Coast.
But now Melchiori Construction is ending in bankruptcy and liquidation.
Ugo Melchiori was an Italian immigrant who settled in Santa Barbara and with his son Mark built Melchiori Construction into one of the busiest general contractors on the Central Coast.
Once a thriving family business, phone calls to the firm's stylish offices in downtown Santa Barbara are now met by an answering machine.
The office is now closed, the parking lot is empty and the company's once busy radio tower is shut down after Melchiori Construction filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy claiming assets of about $50,000 and debts and liabilities of between 1 to 10 million dollars.
Among recent Melchiori projects that ran into problems, subcontractors claimed they were never paid for work they did on Santa Barbara County's new Emergency Operations Center or for work done on the renovation of the County Public Defender's Office at the Santa Barbara Courthouse.
County taxpayers are not on the hook though as a county attorney tells Central Coast News insurance bonds have covered subcontractor claims and any unfinished work by Melchiori.
UC Santa Barbara terminated a contract with Melchiori for its new Ocean Science Education Building, the university claiming the project was far behind schedule because subcontractors stopped working after not being paid.
Ugo Melchiori died in 2009.
His son Mark took over as president of the company which is named in several lawsuits seeking payment for services or repayment on bank loans and lines of credit.
Central Coast News was unable to contact anyone with the company and a phone call to one of the company's attorneys in Ventura County was not returned.
In a Chapter 7 bankruptcy, a judge decides how to liquidate a company's assets and how the proceeds are divided amongst the company's creditors.
Wednesday, June 5 2013 5:40 PM EDT2013-06-05 21:40:27 GMT
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