City reaches agreement over fire station parking lot

Published 11:08 am Saturday, June 20, 2009

The City of Demopolis has reached a financial agreement with Brown Design and Eaves Construction regarding the paving of the parking lot for the recently completed Fire Station No. 3 on U.S. Highway 80 East.

According to city attorney Richard S. Manley, project architect Brown Design and contractor Eaves Construction each contributed $5,000 towards the cost of the reparations.

“We had some reserve money from them,” Manley said. “We had $10,000 of Eaves’ money we were holding back and $7,000-plus from Brown Design. We refunded them the excess: $5,000 to Eaves and $2,000-plus to Brown Design. Both of them signed the agreement, along with the city, and all agreed to waive all claims against each other.”

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The problems began last July, when the station opened. It was discovered that the parking lot was not level, causing pooling when it rained. The city contacted both entities, and each blamed the other for the problem. Eaves said that Brown Design had faulty plans, while Brown Design claimed that Eaves did not follow its plan. Manley said that Eaves did not get requested help from Atlanta to inspect the lot.

On May 28, after four months of failed negotiations with the companies, the Demopolis City Council voted to file suit against them for the $30,000 cost to repair the lot, plus $2,500 paid to Almon and Associates for surveying the lot in advance of the reparations. Less than three weeks later, both companies were able to reach an agreement.

“In my opinion — and that’s the issue we’ve had — both of them were at fault,” Manley said. “The council voted to sue because we couldn’t get any kind of negotiation. I think the result of the council making that decision was that we got cooperation. Both of them contributed $5,000 to us for use in the adjustments we had to make.”