Parker House decision looms over election

Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 at 09:45 AM.

In November an insurance representative visited the Parker House but decided that the slab was fine to rebuild on.

The council, not convinced, hired Nova Engineering out of Panama City for a second opinion. After conducting a foundation analysis and soil borings Nova agreed with Cathey Construction that the slab should not be used.

The council decided to build the new city hall on Parker House property, but in a different location and began designs on the plans.

Rather than rebid the project, which had changed in size and scope, it stayed with Cathey Construction, which has been an ethical sticking point among citizens.

“Brian Cathey is the one person who’s gone over there and knew what he’s talking about,” said Councilman Gary Woodham. “He’s totally responsible for all the insurance money we’ve made.

“He should receive gratitude, not condemnation.”

While the insurance company had paid the city $660,000 for damages, more than $140,000 was spent in rent and upkeep costs on the damaged building over two years, leaving the council just $485,000 to construct the new city hall.

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