- Published on Sunday, 08 April 2012 01:51
- Written by Super User
Former Contractor Files Lawsuit For Breach Of Contract
Mayor Dean Lambeth, Building Inspector John Batson and Brian Cox of Engineering Services met at the park site on Tuesday December 20, to examine and document issues with the project which caused the Town Council to consider terminating their contract with the general contractor constructing the project.
By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
KURE BEACH - The Kure Beach Town Council terminated the former contractor building their new oceanfront park downtown on Atlantic Avenue in December 2011.
Since that time the Town has been working with their insurance bonding company to determine how the project will be completed and to agree upon a new contractor.
In a press release issued Tuesday April 3, it stated, "The Kure Beach Town Council voted in a special meeting on Thursday, March 29, 2012 to accept a takeover agreement with The Gray Casualty and Surety Company of Metairie, Louisiana (bonding company) to complete construction of the Ocean Front Park project and is waiting final signature from the bonding company."
According to the press release, in December of 2011, the Council terminated their contract with the original contractor and has been negotiating with the bonding company to reach an agreement selecting a new contractor to resume work.
The release states, "As part of the takeover agreement, the bonding company has hired Landmark Corporation of Johnston City, Tennessee as the completion contractor. Landmark Corporation is licensed in 48 states and is experienced in finishing projects where there has been a change of contractor. Existing unacceptable work on the site will be removed and rebuilt."
The Town expects Landmark to start work in early April and finish by November 13, 2012.
The first order of business is to finish the new boardwalk and beach crossovers to provide beach access in the downtown area. The release states, "The Town regrets that construction must occur during the busy summer months and will endeavor to keep Atlantic Avenue as open and available as possible during this time."
The Ocean Front Park project consists of an open-air pavilion for concerts and other events, a public restroom, small playground for tots, walking path, swings and benches. The park site is located at 105 Atlantic Avenue in the heart of the Town and across the street from the ocean. Also as part of the project, the boardwalk from K to L Avenue will be replaced and four wooden platforms will extend from the boardwalk towards the dunes. The platforms will have swings for viewing the ocean. A fifth platform will be an ADA conforming viewing area. A storm water infiltration system will be installed on the park site along with rain gardens and a cistern. Atlantic Avenue will be repaved and pervious pavers will be added in the parking areas. The Town Council envisions the park site as a way to preserve beach front property for the public and enhance the quality of life for the citizens and visitors for generations to come."
The original contractor, Wayne Laws - Integrity Builders LLC - explained last year there were issues with the project and he modified the plans. Because he didn't request change orders from the Town, he would be responsible for the cost of repairs.
He said of the concrete finisher, "It's not the best finish job I've ever seen. He is willing to do whatever he needs to do to take care of it. Ponding is also his fault." He said other modifications such as the height of concrete at restroom entrances had to be changed. The Council discussed alternative solutions but after multiple meetings, no resolution was achieved between the two parties.
In addition to other issues, the Town claimed the concrete poured for the pavilion was not as planned, uneven and would cause ponding of rainwater.
Also, they took issue with the quality of workmanship on the wooden boardwalk and crossovers. Mayor Lambeth said prison inmate labor did a better job on other crossovers.
Now Integrity Builders has filed a lawsuit. They allege breach of contract, breach of expressed and implied warranties, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing and seeking in excess of $10,000 for each claim, interest and cost of the action and attorney's fees.
At a meeting in 2011, Wayne Laws said, "I need better communication. I don't feel I'm getting the feedback I need to help me build this building. There are a lot of things that aren't working. I put myself at risk - obviously I'm going to take care of this problem - but I put myself at risk by not following the plans to make sure this works. I'm not going to do that from now on. You need to communicate because I'm not going to deviate from the plans at all." Laws said he chose to alter the plans to address certain issues and said the plans were not entirely up to code. The architect disagreed with Laws assertion the plans don't meet building code.
The Town pointed out in previous meetings that a clause in the contract with Laws said deviation from the plans would be his responsibility if permission was not approved by the Town before making changes.