More problems with the old Inverness station are found almost as quickly as the city can write checks to fix them.
While waiting to hear the cost of repairing the final issues, City Manager Eric Williams estimates it will cost the city $50,000 to $100,000 to repair the final issues that contractors have found with the structure in woods just outside Liberty Park.
Williams was not the city manager when the old station was moved to its current location and renovated. The city paid $1.3 million for the structure as part of renovations to Inverness’s depot district.
Earlier this month, Williams told his bosses that as the tenant’s new contractor prepared the building for move-in, he found problems with the old station’s electrical system as well as problems with the drainage of the water with back deck and gutter system and water collection issues. under the raised building.
These are just the latest issues Wheeler Construction LLC has reported to Williams.
In February, Wheeler reported to the city that the subfloor on the east side of the building was not the same height as that on the west side. To compound the problem, the subfloors were installed using square edge decking instead of tongue and groove decking.
Also, the subfloor was fastened with nails instead of screws, and some of the nails weren’t in the existing floorboards because the existing boards are not butted,
Even when all of that is fixed and paid for, the city still has to pay another $255,300 in regards to the vacant building.
This is because the city left the building without finished toilets, ceilings, interior walls and floors in hopes of completing the installation when it leased the building.
The city council leases the renovated station to C&V Express Enterprises LLC. The company is made up of businesswomen Vickie Humphrey, of Inverness, and Caroline Jenkins, of Lecanto.
The two plan to build the Train Station Café and game room in the 3,600 square foot facility.
Part of the lease agreement states that the business must be open and operational by July 4.
The city struggled to find a tenant for the building and only after two years of searching did they find a suitable tenant.
Williams told city council members there was little chance of forcing the original builder to fix the remaining standing water issues, noting that there were more than 60 change orders during its construction and minimal documentation on its construction in the possession of the city.
Williams told the Chronicle the city had no choice but to make the repairs and move forward to locate the tenants.
“We’re going to fix that,” Williams said.
But carrying out excavation work under the building to allow adequate drainage and moving the back deck will be “more complex” and more expensive than previous unplanned repairs.
Williams updated the city council earlier this month on the latest bad news during the council’s regular public meeting. He told the Chronicle on Thursday that it’s important that the council be kept informed of all station-related expenses rather than spending the money and then having to explain the expenses when the city’s budget is nearing completion.
“We have to keep moving forward,” he said of the repairs and the building.