Lawsuits loom over health department delay
Mar 27, 2012 | 2334 views | 0 0 comments | 26 26 recommendations | email to a friend | print
By Jody Norwood

Tribune-Courier News Editor

jnorwood@tribunecourier.com

BENTON – Delays and construction issues on the new Marshall County Health Department could be making their way into civil action. Last week, the Marshall County Board of Health asked County Attorney Jeff Edwards to file lawsuits on their behalf in order to resolve a conflict between contractor Cleaver Construction and architect Kevin Perry.

Problems came to light after the board was made aware the building did not meet Americans with Disabilities Act standards. There were also concerns the building was not constructed with the proper seismic bracing. In recent months, Cleaver and Perry remain split on who is to blame.

Judge Executive Mike Miller, who serves as board chairman, said the county has waited long enough for the issues to be resolved.

“We authorized Jeff to file any lawsuits we need to,” Miller said. “We’re tired of pointing fingers. I don’t care– we’ve got a building and I just want us to be able to get in it.”

Early construction dates had placed the department to be open already. Construction on the $3.9 million project is 98 percent complete, but work has nearly halted until issues between the contractor and architecht can be resolved.

Edwards said the board would pursue legal action against any appropriate parties. One monday, he was preparing documents for legal action. In the meantime, Edwards said, the county will also take control of the building until litigation is resolved.
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