Laurel Hill City Council declines paying engineer for services

Published: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 05:23 PM.

LAUREL HILL — The City Council has declined to fund $2,975 of engineering services for Sunnyside Avenue repairs. City leaders said the Niceville engineer, Charles Bolen, lacks Florida certification.

Bolen's plans received scrutiny after the Okaloosa County Public Works Department agreed to help the city repair Laurel Hill School's main access route. Since plans weren't signed or sealed by a Florida-licensed engineer, county officials advised city officials not to proceed with Bolen's plans, city leaders said.

Using Bolen's plans would present liability concerns, Mayor Robby Adams said Thursday before the council's 3-2 vote.

Still, Councilman Clifton Hall, who recommended Bolen for the task, was adamant about paying Bolen.

"I strongly suggest that we pay this man; he did his work," Hall said. "If you do this (decline payment), it will be something immoral and wrong."

The council agreed to use Bolen's plans when the project was handled solely by the city, Hall said, adding that the county's involvement does not allow the city to back out of an agreement.

Councilwoman Betty Williamson agreed. However, Hendren, Willie Mae Toles and Johnny James voted against paying Bolen.

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