Work Continues on GPICC Building After Stop Order Resolved

Lee County Division of Development Services post “STOP WORK NOTICE” on new Chamber Building.

The notice was issued to:
Contractor Marra Construction Inc., Permit No. Comm2013-01271, Greater Pine Island Chamber, 3640 Pine Island Road SW., Pine Island Florida 33991. Code Violation: Marra Contraction Inc., Has been Suspend As of 1/17/2014, Corrective Action: Have your licence (sp) Re-Activated by the State, Date: 7/22/14 Inspector: Dave McFalls Phone: 410-8269.”

County records indicate all permits for the building of the GPICC were pulled by Marra Construction, Inc. and were granted by Lee County Permitting office.

An agent with the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulations said “The suspension on 07/10/2014 was not due to any new complaints but due to old fines and attorney fees that have not yet been paid. “

GPICC sources said, “Marra Construction has been paid in full for his services, and has been removed as general contractor at the Chamber site. A new general contractor is in place and Lee County Division of Development Service is allowing the final inspection process.

There is a question of whether or not Lee County Permitting checks the licenses of contractors before issuing permits.

Pat Hutchinson was chair of the building committee at the time Marra Construction, Inc. was hired by the GPICC. Hutchinson said, “Marra Construction’s license was not suspended at the time permits were issued. We requested that a state officer look into resolving the issues of Marra’s fines in July when we discovered an issue. That was done within 10 days of our discovery with the DBPR official, David Spingler confirming receipt of Marra's restitution and reinstatement of his license.”

The Ft Myers News-Press Reports: Marra said another Pine Island businessman has targeted him, “hounding the state,” and causing his problems. That’s why the state notified the county that his license had been suspended. He said another project he was working on in Lehigh Acres also received a stop-work notice.

As of this date, the county indicated the following items are what needs to be completed to receive the CO: CT Alarm needs to finish the inside alarm installation, Final touches on the A/C (chiller system), then final A/C inspection, Termite Certificate, Final Elevation Certificate from AJ Watson (done, just need the certificate) Final Inspection/CO.”

Comments

Dan Palma I got off the

Dan Palma

I got off the phone with one of the directors a little while ago after sharing this information on another page. Hearing another side to this really provided a fairer view of the situation.

That led me to doing a little research about the builder myself. First, at no time during construction was the contractor working without a license or on a suspended license.

Second, the contractor has a very good reputation overall and has minimal complaints. Construction is a complicated business. In this day and age, one disgruntled customer can cause a lot of grief whether their complaint is justified or it is not justified.

I am a partner in a Painting Contractors business. We are licensed painting contractors in Lee County and my business partner holds the license.

While we are proud to serve Pine Island and have a loyal following on the island, the bulk of our business is finishing cabinetry and other wood products in our shop in Fort Myers.

In our 12 years in business here, we have worked for people whose motives can challenge even the most honest contractor and put into question the integrity of the best in the business.

After making a call to the state and checking into the complaints against the contractor, most will likely come to a much different conclusion regarding this situation and the reasons this contractor’s license has been suspended. It is likely that his license will be reinstated without prejudice once the situation is resolved.

It seems that the decision makers at the Chamber made good decisions based on the information that they had and certainly cannot be blamed for the problems. Unfortunately, the new building is more than 99% complete and the situation with the contractor is causing a delay in final completion.

In the end, the good people on the board of the Pine Island Chamber of Commerce would surely be willing to answer any questions regarding this issue and have done nothing wrong.

STOP ORDER

Joanne Holmes Good work Dan!!! I have seen this kind of situation... always reserve any judgement till you know the whole story.

STOP ORDER

Joanne Holmes
I would have to know what the suspension was about.

Assoc. Editor:
Good luck I personally spent over 2.5 hours on the phone with An agent at the Florida Department Business and Professional Regulations who said “The suspension on 07/10/2014 was not due to any new complaints but due to old fines and attorney fees that have not yet been paid. “ this same agent could not find a reason for the original suspension in 2011. Their records are a mess, no one knows.

Joanne Holmes
How typical!! Thanks Pat for trying to look into it.

Bernee Brawn government at it's finest!