Parker House decision looms over election

Parker House

The Mexico Beach city council has received a settlement offer on the historic Parker House and must decide how to proceed.

Special to The Star
Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 09:45 AM.

It’s no secret that with three seats up for reelection on the Mexico Beach City Council next month, the council’s decisions on the historic Parker House may weigh heavily into the public’s choices.

Despite feelings about the project’s history, all incumbents agree that progress needs to be made; they just have different views on how to go about it.

The city purchased the Parker House and property in July 2011 for $429,000 with plans to use it as a new city hall. On July 29 the property caught fire due to an electrical issue and was considered a loss.

Shortly thereafter the insurer paid $322,622 for damages and the council bid out redesigns on the city hall with hopes of utilizing the existing structure.

With just two bids submitted the project was awarded to Cathey Construction out of Mexico Beach.

Toward the end of 2011, designs were drafted for the new city hall and Cathey Construction began demolition of the building in March 2012 but uncovered issues with the foundation that could hamper rebuilding.

Councilman Jack Mullen brought the issues to the insurance company over several visits to its Lake Mary office, even taking Cathey Construction owner Brian Cathey with him on one occasion.

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