Ever since a developer came forward to make the Keller Building presentation, I haven’t observed any contractors working at the site. I thought the weather might be a factor, but the contractors for Sandusky Cabinets are working in the bad weather, so why aren’t the Keller contractors working in the bad weather as well?
Work started at the Keller Building in November with a contract deadline date of July 27, or face liquidation of $500 a day. Eight months seems a long time to bring down a building. Would the time frame allow a developer to obtain his historical credits? The developer did mention that he intended to apply for the tax credits by March 30 with the award being announced by June 30, 2014.
The Sandusky Cabinets demolition project started in December and the contractor has until March 2014 to complete the project. Why would the city give three months to the Sandusky Cabinets contractor while giving eight months to the Keller contractor?
The city engineer said that the Keller contractor mobilized one and one half months ago and the asbestos has been remediated; they are in the process of doing PCB’s and scheduled to bring in demolition equipment on January 6. As of the end of the abatement portion, the contractor will be approximately $200,000 into the contract. One commissioner said he was not asking to delay the project only for the city to call and talk to the contractor. The city engineer stated he did call the contractor and the person who spoke to him indicated he would run it up the chain of command but at a minimum, the contractor would request $200,000 for the work that has already been done. If the project is delayed at all, the contractor would be entitled to down time which would be additional cost to the base contract of which he would be entitled to, referenced city commission meeting minutes of 12-23-13.
The commissioners didn’t take a vote, but it was a consensus not to delay or stop the Keller work due to legal and financial ramifications. The developer wanted to come back in two weeks to talk about what options might be available, whether the developer did come back is not known. The commissioners took to executive session with no votes taken afterwards, so where does that leave the demolition project? Is it still a go for demolition and who is paying for the delays, as stated in the minutes, for every day the contractors are not on the job?
At this point, a lot can happen between now and July 27. It is much easier for developers to come forward at the eleventh hour when all the prep work, asbestos and environmental cleanup, has been finished and paid for by the taxpayer.