Mexico Beach council acknowledges possible violation in Parker House vote

Published: Thursday, October 24, 2013 at 10:30 AM.

In a split vote, the Mexico Beach city council may have violated an ordinance regarding competitive bidding.

During a workshop three weeks ago the council agreed to have a third party evaluate the foundation slab beneath the historic Parker House which was deemed usable by the insurance company.

At Tuesday’s workshop, it was noted that a formal written statement had been provided from the insurance company to say that the slab is in good condition but the council intends to show them another conflicting analysis in an attempt to leverage additional money.

“The insurance company is saying that the slab is fine,” said Councilman Jack Mullen before bringing up the analysis from Cathey Construction, which found issues with the existing foundation. “Obviously, we don’t agree.”

After the council agreed to get a second opinion, city administrator Chris Hubbard solicited “informal bids” by phone for several engineering firms recommended by the Bay County commissioners. The council received one bid from Nova Engineering and Environmental out of Panama City.

Before the council could accept the bid, Mullen read ordinance number 177 that states that expenditures over $3,000 require competitive bids.

Nova’s $3,500 bid for soil borings and structural analysis put the council in a bind since no other bids were received.

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