KEMPNER — The City Council on Tuesday agreed to settle its lawsuit against Gene Doss Construction Inc., ending about a year’s worth of possible litigation between the two entities.
“We have negotiated back and forth,” Mayor Gene Isenhour said to the council. “I think our first offer (from the contractor’s insurer) was $3,000, and now we are up to $15,000.”
Isenhour felt with growing legal and attorney fees, the offer was probably the best deal the city would get, he said.
Isenhour said attorney fees are estimated at $2,000.
Last June, Kempner started to pursue legal action against the Temple-based contractor, which finished building City Hall in September 2011, after employees discovered several small problems with the building.
The damage included several hairline cracks in the council chamber and courtroom walls and a sticking door.
The temperature change from a dry summer to the cooler rainy season caused lumber shrinkage, said Dennis Dyke, the building’s engineer at Hewitt-based Abacus Engineering Inc., last year. The building’s damage was mostly cosmetic, he said.
Kempner wanted the contractor, Gene Doss Construction Inc., to pay for repairs to the $369,000 building, because it was less than a year old and still under warranty, but the contractor refused.
In January, the contractor’s bond firm, United Fire and Causality Company, also was named in Kempner’s possible lawsuit in the 27th District Court.
Both parties have asked for the dismissal of possible litigation as part of the settlement, Isenhour said Tuesday.
“It has been a long process,” Isenhour said. “We need to do what we did to make sure the citizens were getting their money’s worth.”
Isenhour said he plans to start calling contractors to make the repairs to the building this morning.