Anonymous Letters Raising Questions in Mexico Beach - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Anonymous Letters Raising Questions in Mexico Beach

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Anonymous letters sent to Mexico Beach residents are creating concern in the community. Several citizens spoke up at the city council meeting Tuesday night about the legality and the content in the flyers.

News 13 is on your side fact checking one of them that deals with the future city hall.

The historical Parker House is sitting empty and partially burned down. It's an eyesore in the city and sore subject for some citizens who are voicing their complaints through these mailings and in public meetings.

The City of Mexico Beach bought the Parker House in the Summer of 2011 and some people are wondering how much the project will cost them.

In a newsletter sent to citizens, it reads "Parker House purchased on July 22, 2011 for $430,000 (asking price $409,000).

"We paid $430,000 for three lots that were assessed at over $850,000." said City Administrator Chris Hubbard.

Hubbard considers what they got a deal. It includes the lot the house sits on and two additional pieces of land behind the home.

But a week after closing on the house, it caught fire because of electrical issues.

"When it first caught fire, we thought we might be able to save the structure. That was what we were hoping for because of the historical value there," said Hubbard.

The City Council chose Cathey Construction, owned by Mayor Al Cathey, and other partners to fix the house. The mailing questions why there was no dollar amount on the bid.

"A request for qualifications is a request based on their qualifications to do the job. There's no dollar amount included in that price. It's not intended to have a dollar amount," said Hubbard.

The mailing alleges a new bid should have been done after the insurance company said it would be cheaper to rebuild. But Hubbard says the original bid would also cover reconstruction. The letter also asks about the size of the new city hall.

"The insurance company is going to replace what was there. What was there was a 3,200 square foot building and so they're going to pay to replace a 3,200 square foot building," said Hubbard.

The news letter also mentions more than $74,000 in costs. The writers of the letter say they hope insurance will cover the costs. 

Hubbard says the insurance company will cover the entire $660,000 they determined it will cost for the full project with the exception of the almost $14,000 for a driveway the city already built.