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Date of Issue: February 15, 2007

Anna Maria may sue over mold repairs

Anna Maria city commissioners and Mayor Fran Barford are hopping mad at the fact that city operations have been temporarily relocated to the Island Baptist Church, while repairs caused by mold take place at the Gulf Drive facility.

In fact, they’re so mad that Barford plans to direct city attorney Jim Dye to find a construction attorney for a pending lawsuit against Roof USA of Weeki Wachee, the contractor whose alleged negligence caused the damage.

Barford told city commissioners of the plan at an emergency city commission meeting Feb. 6 to approve more money for mold remediation at city hall.

"I hate to keep coming to you for more money," said Barford, as she asked for an additional $4,500 to pay Environmental Consultants Inc. just to document the damage caused by the mold. The mold occurred after a deluge of water from a rainstorm cascaded into city hall last summer through the roof that was being installed by Roof USA. The contractor had placed a shield over the roof to keep out rainwater, but it failed.

Barford has declined to accept a settlement from the company on any repairs to the interior of city hall caused by the water from Roof USA.

Commissioners unanimously approved the expenditure, bringing the total spent on mold inspections and cleanup to $24,511. The city will spend another $2,200 to have the repairs inspected by ESC.

The actual start of repairs at city hall have been delayed until ECS can review the asbestos report from InStar Inc., the company selected by the commission to repair the damage.

Barford indicated she would first ask Roof USA to reimburse the city for all expenditures related to the mold damage, including the cost to relocate to IBC. If that fails, she’ll be back to the city commission with a request to proceed with legal action against Roof USA.