MAYVILLE – The contractor that was hired by the city of Jamestown to oversee Phase 2 of the renovation work on Tracy Plaza is suing the city for breech of contract. Specifically, Patterson-Stevens Inc., based out of Tonawanda, is claiming the city owes over $306,000 in back payment for work that was done at Tracy Plaza in 2018.
The lawsuit alleging the breech of contract was filed in Chautauqua County State Supreme Court on Friday, July 17.
According to the lawsuit, the city entered into a contract with Patterson-Stevens in July 2017 to oversee Phase 2 renovation work of Tracy Plaza, which included the replacement of the plaza deck, which also serves as a roof over the Jamestown Police Department and City Fire Department. The initial contract called for a payment of $1,534,864 to the firm, with two additional change orders bringing the final tally to $1,645,689.
Funding for the Tracy Plaza renovation project came primarily from a $1.48 million New York State Green Innovation Grant.
However, in September 2017, a strong rain storm swept over the city and led to significant flooding of the city police department. According city officials, the flooding caused damage to city equipment, files, computers and radios. The main entrance to the police department also had to be closed to the public for months. Then in September 2018, city officials claimed additional damage was done to the Jamestown Fire Department when rain water pored into the interior as a result of the ongoing renovation work.
In both instances, City officials claimed Patterson-Stevens Inc. was at fault for the water damage. In February 2019 the city, through its insurance company, filed a lawsuit in Chautauqua County Supreme Court against Patterson-Stevens, seeking $2 million in payment due to the water damage that took place. That case is still ongoing and has yet to be settled.
In the counter-lawsuit filed Friday by Patterson-Stevens, the contracting firm claims former Jamestown Mayor Sam Teresi had said the departments were susceptible to water damage and flooding even before work began.
“Tracy Plaza was in desperate need of repair because, as the City’s Mayor said to Spectrum News on January 4, 2017, the plaza ‘has literally been deteriorating and leaking since day one when the building opened back in 1970,'” it said in its legal complaint.
The firm also claims the city delayed the start of the project in the summer of 2017 by at least one month. It also says that it undertook efforts to protect the surface below the plaza deck from water and moisture, including the installation of a temporary roof. But in April 2018, the city issued a stop work order for the project and ordered Patterson-Stevens to remove the temporary roof. As a result, the firm claims that any damage that was done after April 2018 was due to the city’s improper stop work order. The city then withheld payments to the firm for work that was already done or which continued to take place.
According to the lawsuit, Patterson-Stevens says, “The City has breached the contract by delaying the start of the project, issuing an improper stop work order, interfering with Patterson-Stevens’ performance of the contract, improperly withholding payment or failing to pay or reject invoices as required by the Contract, and improperly delaying completion of the project well beyond the June 30, 2018 completion date.”
Due to its claim, Patterson Stevens says it has suffered monetary damages in the amount of at least $306,048. It is asking the court to not only order the release of the payment, but also pay any interest, attorneys’ fees, costs, and disbursements, along with any further relief as the court deems necessary and proper.