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Council seeks info for complex

The Demopolis City Council discussed the added delay to the completion of the municipal complex following an accident on Jan. 29 when a Dairyman’s Supply Company truck lost control and plowed into the building at the intersection of Cedar and Washington streets.

The accident brought a temporary halt to the construction that was in progress on the building, which houses the Demopolis Police Department and will house the Demopolis city court upon completion.

“The insurance adjuster prefers to deal with the contractor,” said mayor Mike Grayson. “He does not include Mr. Brian Brooker (the senior project manager for Ellis Architects) on that. They have submitted several things to him (the contractor), which he has come back and asked for more detail on the accident-related things. We really have nothing of substance to report, other than I presume he is working on it.”

District 5 representative Jack Cooley told the council that there is no set amount of time for the adjuster to reimburse the city.

“We are six weeks into it,” Cooley said. “It is time to take some kind of action. This is ridiculous. Even if there is a disagreement or lack of agreement between the insurance company and the city, the insurance company can go ahead and make a partial payment, and the partial payment in this case is going to be a substantial amount of money.

“But, there is no reason for this thing to take six weeks and the adjuster continue to come back and say, ‘I need more information.’ His responsibility is to detail the information that he’s needed in order to put the claim together, not wait until you get the estimate, and then call for more information. It’s a bass-ackward way of doing business.”

District 2 representative Mitchell Congress said that the delay is affecting not only the construction progress but also the way the police department does its business. He recommended sending a letter to the insurance company encouraging it to move forward.

“I understand that some of the work is customized stuff, like the leaded glass windows that are above the portico,” Grayson said, “but I do recognize that it is time to get that ball rolling.”

Cooley recommended that the council “take the adjustor out of the picture” and contact the next-highest-ranking official in the company.