Attorney Bruce Partington shared this letter with the Pensacola City Council and the media earlier today. It directly contradicts statements by Gene Church, owner of the cell tower in the Long Hollow Stormwater Basin, that were made to the daily newspaper.
Biggs Construction, Partington’s client, was hired in March 2014 to obtain permits, supervise and coordinate the different trades working on the cell tower construction.
“Mr. Church paid us a partial deposit, to reimburse us for the permit costs, and was then to contact us when he was ready to proceed,” said George Biggs in the letter.
The general contractor said he followed up with Church several times–“He either did not respond or would say that he was not yet ready to proceed.”
Then January 2015, Biggs was contacted by the city that the permit was about to lapse because of inactivity. When he contacted Church, he was told they were about to be ready to begin the project and asked Biggs to renew the permit. When pressed about insurance coverage for the work, Church told Biggs that work was nearly complete.
Biggs immediately notified the city that the “owner has started the work…without our supervision” and requested that the permit be suspended.
Biggs said, “As you can see, the statements by Mr. Church reported by the Pensacola News Journal regarding the party performing the work being a ‘subcontractor’ of ours and that he was ‘unaware’ of it is entire false.”
City Administrator Eric Olson has some explaining to do. Last week, City PIO Vernon Stewart told the media: “The engineered construction plans were reviewed, permitted and inspected. The permit was issued to Gulf Coast Building Contractors and the final inspection on the tower was completed on August 7th, 2015. The foundations that were poured were not removed, the engineer of record designed a new foundation that was independent of the old foundations. The permit has been closed.”
The Pensacola City Council needs to use its investigative powers to find the truth….however inconvenient it may be for some at City Hall.