Amidst lawsuit, generator for Wewa firehouse remains unpaid for

Posted

Update: The missing payment for the city's generator was made to Meyers Electric LLC by Winterfell this week. 

Previous Report:

Months after the contract between Winterfell Construction Inc. and the City of Wewahitchka for construction of the city’s new firehouse was terminated, the final payment on a generator for the firehouse has yet to be made.

The payment, which totals $11,198.60, was to be the final of three made for a generator secured for the project by Meyers Electric LLC. 

According to Wewahitchka’s Attorney Michelle Jordan, the city paid Winterfell the amount for the generator’s final installment last summer, months before the contract’s termination.

"I can confirm that Meyers Electric reached out to the city about Winterfell's lack of payment for the generator,” she said. “The city paid Winterfell for this equipment last summer, and Winterfell signed a release stating that all subcontractors had been paid in full.”

Winterfell Construction Inc. and the company’s owner, Bay County Commissioner Tommy Hamm, did not respond to multiple requests from the Star for comment as of  Wednesday afternoon.

Meyers acquired the generator for the project following their receipt of two prior payments totaling $32,198.60 of the generator’s overall $43,397.20 cost. 

This came around the same time disputes between the city and contractor began to heat up, eventually leading to the termination of the contract over concerns about the construction quality and the project’s timeline. 

Since then, Winterfell has filed a lawsuit against the city, claiming the contract was improperly terminated and that city processes greatly slowed the pace of construction. 

Hearings in the case are scheduled to begin June 20, when Judge William Henry will hear a motion from Southeastern Consulting Engineers, who helped oversee the project, to dismiss Winterfell’s lawsuit. A hearing for Wewahitchka’s motion to dismiss is scheduled with the same judge one week later.

According to Jordan, Meyers is unable to deliver the generator until the final payment is received.

Financial documents obtained by the Star show charges for “electrical services” totalling $36,429.23, which were paid to Winterfell Construction Inc. by the city for the period dated May 26, 2021 through July 27, 2021. Of that amount, invoices were provided totalling $25,230.63, which cover expenses including electrical panels and lighting equipment.

The remaining balance – $11,198.60 – is exactly the amount owed to Meyers.

Under the contract for the project, the city holds 10 percent of such expenditures as retainage.

Receipts for the prior two payments to Meyers were dated May 4, 2021 and May 19, 2021. 

The city and contractor had a payment bond on the project to be used in the event that disputes of this nature arose, as is also outlined in the project’s contract. 

The bonding company for the project was put on notice of the missing payment in April, according to Jordan. 

“In accordance with Florida law, we provided Meyers Electric with a copy of the payment bond and are working cooperatively with them to resolve this matter," she said.

Under the bond, the final payment should be made to Meyers, allowing the city to obtain the generator.

An exact timeline for this process is unclear.

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