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Tracy Plaza Contractor Sues City For Breach Of Contract

The contractor who Jamestown officials hired to renovate Tracy Plaza is suing the city for alleged breach of contract.

Patterson-Stevens Inc. of Tonawanda filed the lawsuit against the city in State Supreme Court in Chautauqua County July 17.

According to the lawsuit, Patterson-Stevens claims it has suffered monetary damages in the amount of at least $306,048 because the city allegedly breached the contract by delaying the start of the project, issuing an improper stop work order, interfering with the contractor’s 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.

Patterson-Stevens is asking the court to order the release of the $306,048 payment, but also pay any interest, attorney fees, costs and disbursements, along with any further relief as the court deems necessary and proper.

Elliot Raimondo, city corporation counsel, said city officials haven’t received the lawsuit yet so he would not comment on it until he has a chance to review the suit.

“Once we are served, we will make a comment,” he said.

According to the lawsuit, the city entered into a contract with Patterson-Stevens in July 2017 to oversee phase two renovation work of Tracy Plaza, which included the replacement of the plaza deck, which also serves as a roof over the Jamestown police and fire departments. The initial contract called for a payment of $1,534,864 to the firm. Additional change orders raised the total to $1,645,689.

Funding for the Tracy Plaza renovation project came mostly from a $1.48 million New York State Green Innovation Grant program funding the city received in December 2016.

In September 2017, a rain storm led to significant flooding of the Jamestown Police Department. According to city officials, the flooding was due to Patterson-Stevens not properly securing the deck during the renovation project. The flooding caused damage to city equipment, files, computers and radios. The main entrance to the police department was closed to the public for months.

In September 2018, city officials claimed additional damage was done to the Jamestown Fire Department when again rain water poured into the interior during the ongoing renovation work. Again, city officials claimed Patterson-Stevens 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 payments due to the water damage. The case is ongoing and hasn’t been settled.

In the lawsuit filed by Patterson-Stevens, the contracting firm states the city delayed the start of the project in the summer of 2017 by 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.

However, in April 2018, the city issued a stop work order for the project and ordered Patterson-Stevens to remove the temporary roof. The firm claims the damage that was done after April 2018 was due to the city’s improper stop work order. According to the lawsuit. the city at times also withheld payments for work being done. In total, Patterson-Stevens officials claim the city still owes them $306,048.

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