The Fernandina Beach City Commission the city attorney will wait and consult before taking any action related to insurance c Brett’s Waterway Cafea city-owned building that city officials say is unsafe.
The house is listed in Bryan Simpson’s Center Street Restaurant Groupwhich is subleased to Brett Carter and Robert Fisher, owner of the restaurant. That list is set to expire soon December 2025. The safety of the structure, which is built on piles on the river, has been questioned. City Engineers Charlie George The building was deemed unsafe and the restaurant was forced to close until major renovations were completed. The owners appealed the decision, and after some discussion between them and the city, the case went to trial. District Court Judge Steven Fahlgrenwho stayed – or stayed – the decision of city officials to close.
In the January 17 city commission meeting, Commissioner Chip Ross express opinions about home insurance. He said the restaurant remains open despite the unsafe condition of the building, and while the city has a bond, Brett’s is not listed on that bond or the city’s petition. for insurance. He said Center Street Restaurant Group has liability insurance, but doesn’t know if his insurance company was notified of the home failure notice.
The city attorney, Tammy Bach, who is on vacation and was not present at the commission meeting; local attorney Harrison Poole stood in for him. He said, however, “in our legal society” the city commissioners can be called in a lawsuit if there is an action to be taken if someone is harmed by the condition of the building, the commissioners cannot be held liable because of competence and absolute immunity. .
Poole said, however, there is a chance the city could be liable.
“You are aware of the unsafe conditions of a city property,” said Poole. “If an accident happens, there is a situation that can be held liable. Those who are sued in the city, the operator and the tenant, are in trouble if there is no insurance.”
Mayor Bradley Bean said he believes the city should wait until Bach returns from vacation to address the issue, as the Commissioner did David Sturges.
However, Ross was not ready to let the case wait for two weeks. He said the city is “not” credit insurance, and “if you think that’s a good idea for your business, that’s fine;
“We know we’re naked?” Bean asked. “That’s the question I want to ask, that’s what I want to wait for Tammy (Bach) because he is the only one who can tell us whether or not we are running without insurance. We have a policy that includes Brett’s. That’s a question for a lawyer. I’m going to err on the side of what we do, because we have some solid policies.”
Ross says that Poole can do the research on the cases instead of waiting for Bach to return, and Bean suggests that Poole be paid by the hour, saying that he doesn’t want to be paid to explain it. something “we are sure we know. the answer, and lawyers are not cheap”. Poole said that it will take a long time to study the case, and the right time will come. to the commission regarding this matter, the next meeting of the city commission, when Bach returns.
Shaun Woleshinthe city’s insurance broker, said that from a liability perspective, Brett’s is not a “special policy.”
“We (the city) have a lot of common areas, sidewalks, a lot of common areas where we have injuries on those properties,” Woleshin said. “We don’t have to mark all the common areas of the city in order to have a criminal liability to respond to one of those claims.”
He said the city has no property on Brett since that insurance is provided in the lease to the lessee, but he thinks the city has a debt for the building.
Ross asked if the insurance company knew the house had been declared unsafe, and Woleshin said, “I don’t know.” Woleshin said an insurance company can deny coverage if there is “misrepresentation in the application,” but showing that the home is unsafe is not required in the insurance application.
“Would it be prudent to tell (the insurance company about the notice)?” Ross asked.
“I’ll give it to everyone,” Woleshin replied. “If that’s the order of the city staff commission to ask that question, we’ll certainly do it, it’s careful if we have solutions, if we have appropriate solutions to reduce the risk. We represent our clients and try to get the best outcome for our clients, so I don’t want to bring anything on board without a game plan to manage it.”
“I think it’s been made clear,” Bean said. “Questioning and questioning whether there is insurance does not make the insurance disappear, I think the insurance is here, and it seems like it is, I think we have it covered, it’s up to us experts we can talk to.
A local businessman asked the city commission to look into the policies of the Construction Department. Larry Hoganowns and operates Access America, the construction agency said Jimmy Parr does not comply with state laws governing the use of private home inspectors.
“Jimmy Parr The Department of Housing has decided to ignore the law that requires it to approve the use of private companies in cases where a property owner or contractor submits their plans and, after reviewing the the plan, choose to use a private company for inspections, “Hogan said.”Florida The state laws are clear, there is no gray area, as long as it takes, two business days before the first visit is required, it should be accepted. I don’t think so, we have a law and state law, and he chooses to ignore that, do it his way. Along with that, he searched me more than four times a month, which is also against state law. I want to see if that is normal, or just creating a difficult environment for my company and the people I serve? Nassau County.
“What is your clear statement to show why you are charged $20000 for a basic permit for your visits?” asked Hogan. “The total cost of your average permit is $56000. If you have a house on one side of the street (not in the city, but in Nassau County), you are paying $14000, and across the street (downtown), you are paying $56000. Why is the building department so expensive?” Mayor Bean said he would also like to look into the issues and organize a workshop about the housing department for the second Tuesday of February.
In other businesses, the city commission: · Flooring Jan. 20 Florida Arbor Day; · Promise January 16 Martin Luther King Jr. Day; · Authorize the city attorney to work with the city claims manager to protect the city d Fernandina Beach in the matter of Main Beach Sojourn LLC and Compass section, Inc. v. City of Fernandina Beach; · Confirm full change order $83, 971 to American West Specialty Contractors for the Peck Center brick restoration project; · Validate the name of the Heritage Protection Tree in one private hand and one for the public; · Approve a work order amendment and Sparrow Associates in the sum of $73, 000, as a result of additional construction management services for the fire station at the airport; · Confirm the purchase of medical supplies and equipment Bound Tree Medical, LLCby renewing a purchase back in an amount not greater $110, 880; · Amending, in the first reading, the Land Development Law for coastal and coastal development as previously ordered by the city commission; · Amending, in the first reading, the Land Development Code for additional structures and residential areas; · Amend, in the first reading, the Land Development Act regarding overnight parks and temporary mobile homes; · Amend, in the first reading, the Land Development Act to create a road marking program; · Changed, on first reading, the dates of the general election and the town cycle to coincide with the days of the primary election and the state general election, by a vote of 4-1, and Commissioner Ross the opposition vote was taken; · Approve on second reading, the revision of the fees for storm water, wastewater and water for the 2022-23 Fiscal Year. (protected mail)