The insurance battle over the Parker House has ended.
After voting last month to halt progress on constructing a new city hall, pending legal review of the contract with Cathey Construction, the Mexico Beach City Council formalized its vote at Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting.
Councilman Jack Mullen reported that the claim on the Parker House property had officially been settled and the city received its insurance monies totaling $801,590.
The city purchased the Parker House property in 2011 for use as a new city hall but the building caught fire several days later. After a three-year battle with the insurance company to receive funds for damages and rent reimbursement on a temporary city hall, the settlement is complete.
“The city has been paid, we have the check and our discussions and claims are settled,” said Mullen.
The claim didn’t provide adequate funds to cover construction of a new city hall building on the Parker House property which spurred workshop discussions to scrap the project entirely.
At the council’s request city attorney Paul Komarek examined the existing contract and offered the council its cancellation options. Komarek said that the contract was merely a request for qualifications filed in 2011 and contained many blank sections for prices, times and deliveries for constructing a new city hall.
“It’s a piece of paper that says it’s a contract,” said Komarek. “The situation changed entirely and this was unforeseeable to us.
“In my opinion, it’s not a true contract.”
Komarek told the council he believed the contract could be safely canceled without penalty.
During a special meeting last month, Councilwoman Tanya Castro expressed concern that in the case of cancelation, the project would need turned over to the second bidder, Southern Cat.
Komarek said that since the document with Cathey Construction wasn’t an official contract that would not be the case and recommended the city send Southern Cat an official letter to let them know of the decision to cancel the project.
“The next step is for the city to do whatever it wants to do to build a new city hall,” said Mullen.
According to the city clerk, Cathey Construction filed an invoice, though the council members said they didn’t know what it was for or for how much. Castro said it may be a consulting fee for the project.
“If someone did what you asked them to do, you’re obligated to pay it,” said Komarek.
Mullen called for a workshop to discuss the project further. The meeting will be scheduled after the invoice had been reviewed.
Councilman Jeff Tendler made a motion to cancel the contract with Cathey Construction and start over on the project which passed 3-1 with Mullen dissenting and Mayor Al Cathey abstaining.