City rejects $1.05 million business damage claim
The city of Cape Coral formally rejected a $1,050,540 business damage claim from U-Build-It Aluminum Center Inc. with a requested action of a counter offer to settle the issue for $100,000.
The city staff’s settlement proposal was discussed during the City Council’s workshop meeting Monday night.
On Jan. 26, the City Council purchased the required right of way, along with the necessary permanent utility and drainage easement, which the city notified U-Build-It Aluminum Center in pursuant to Florida Statutes. The purchase was needed for the Del Prado Boulevard expansion project.
Public Works Property Broker Dawn Andrews explained that U-Build-It Aluminum Center owners had to provide their best estimate in response to the city’s purchase of a right of way near the business.
She said the claim the business provided is a calculation of future lost profit.
The business owner has 160 days to respond to the business damage claim and the city has 120 days to respond to that.
She said the city still has to settle the land and a counter proposal to settle the business damage claim.
“The building is not salvageable and should be torn down,” she said. “We believe the settlement offer is deemed appropriate.”
Andrews said the business is still currently operating in two units.
Councilmember William Deile explained that the only thing the council is addressing is the value of the businesses.
“A claim for business damages is allowed when all the elements of Florida Statue Section 73.071(3)(b) are satisfied and represent compensation for future lost profits and other business losses,” according to a prepared statement by the city.
Council adopted a resolution on March 17, 2008, declaring that “certain properties necessary for widening and reconstructing a segment of the Del Prado Boulevard Corridor between Pine Island Road and the vicinity of N.E. 7th Street, including intersection improvements.”
The prepared statement also stated that the city is responsible for payment of U-Build-It Aluminum Center attorney’s fees, “which are generally calculated as a percentage of the amount of compensation recovered over and above the city’s first offer for business damage by the city.”
U-Build-It Aluminum Center Inc, which was built in 1964, is located at 737 Del Prado Blvd.