MB city council to hire attorney for additional Parker House negotiations

Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 10:04 AM.

The Parker House may be gone, but the conversation continues.

During Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting of the Mexico Beach City Council, Councilman Jack Mullen gave an update on the new city hall.

Last month city hall workers vacated the former bank building the city was leasing on U.S. 98 after it was purchased by a bank branch out of Georgia. Lacking a functional city hall, workers moved into a temporary location inside the Public Works building on 22nd Street.

Mullen said that the city currently has two options. It can take the $750,000 insurance settlement offer on the historic Parker House, which was purchased by the city in 2011 and caught fire several days later, or it can move to arbitration where each side gets an appraiser to work with a third party to determine the actual settlement amount. The danger of arbitration is that it has the potential to lower the amount of money the city may receive for damages.

Adding to the complications is the $63,000 that the city paid in rent during the two year period they were relocated to the bank building.

“We believe we’re owed another $63,000 for rent during the time we couldn’t occupy the Parker House,” said Mullen. “We’re at that point where we need to make a choice.”

Mullen recommended reengaging with Panama City attorney Dion Moniz, with whom the council consulted last month. Previously, Councilman Gary Woodham had passed a motion allowing for $3,000 to be spent in legal consultation.

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