Stephenville's Fire Department recently moved into a new, state-of-the-art station at the intersection of the North Loop and Wolfe Nursery Road.

But some local businesses say they still haven't received payment for their services from Prime Construction, the project's general contractor.

"We did all of the work we were asked to do and now we're having to send notices of nonpayment to Prime Construction for about $90,000," said one local business owner who asked not to be named. "Now we're having to talk to a lawyer about placing a lien against the bond."

That attorney is Brady Pendleton who said no liens have been filed yet, but that could change if Prime doesn't pay its subcontractors soon.  

"Prime Construction still has time to make payment," Pendleton said Wednesday. "We aren't to the point yet where we are going after anyone, but if it comes to that, it won't be the city of Stephenville or the station, it will be Prime and the bonding company."

Officials with Prime Construction did not return calls for comment. 

Pendleton said Prime Construction is a bonded company that builds fire stations, and is currently building one in another city.

Pendleton said he and his clients are giving Prime two weeks to pay the businesses before taking further action against the company. Pendleton represents two of the companies facing problems getting payment.

"The job was bonded and that's like having insurance for these exact kinds of things," Pendleton said. "If Prime doesn't pay, the bonding company will have to and then they won't bond Prime anymore. I seriously doubt Prime wants anything like that to happen because they build lots of projects like our fire station. If they can't get bonded, they cannot continue to build."

Stephenville City Administrator Mark Kaiser said officials did a final walk-through in November and released final payment to Prime Construction along with a punch list of items still needing to be complete.

"There's still time for Prime to take care of the payment issues," Pendleton said. "I have a hard time believing they want this to be a problem. But at this point we are just waiting to see what they do before the deadline."