Friday, October 25, 2013
When Harby Moses, owner of Coastal Structures, performed emergency repairs on the Harborwalk boardwalk last week, he did not have a building permit — as reported by the Georgetown Times Wednesday — but he did have the city’s permission.
A small area of the boardwalk along the ware side of Front Street was damaged by the Sept. 25 fire and had been blocked off. There was a push from organizers of this past Saturday’s Wooden Boat Show to have the entire length of the Harborwalk open for that event.
“A lot happened and happened fast,” Moses said Thursday.
Efforts to get the emergency repairs completed kicked into high gear on Wednesday, Oct. 16 — the day Sen. Yancey McGill held a meeting to discuss funding for fire victims.
At that meeting, Jonathan Heald, head of the city’s public works, said it would be too dangerous to allow traffic on the damaged area of the boardwalk.
Moses said he had been contacted by Jeepy Ford who asked if the temporary repairs could be made. He told Ford he needed to get a structural engineer involved to design the plans.
The plans that were used came from Nicky Kellahan, owner of Kellahan and Associates Engineers.
The cost of the repair was $4,000. Heald asked City Administrator Chris Carter about the city covering that cost. Carter said “no” to the request because the city is about to make permanent repairs.
Moses said he was told by Ford there was a donor who would take care of the costs. He said when he told Heald it would not cost the city anything, Heald said it would be OK to proceed.
City Planner Rick Martin was out of town at a funeral that day and did not speak with Moses until around 8 p.m.
Martin asked if the plans had been approved by Heald and was told “yes” by Moses.
The next morning, Heald was at the boardwalk as the repair work was beginning.
Moses said Martin thought Heald had prepared a building permit, but that had not happened.
However, Moses said, he had permission from both Heald and Carter to do the work once it was discovered a private donor was footing the bill.
He said Carter and Heald were updated on how and when the work would take place.
When asked about the identity of the donor, Moses said he does not know for sure. He said the bill was sent to Ford.