City Commissioners took no action during their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, June 27 concerning damage to a city residence.
Andrea McAlpin, who came before the commission, told the group that she and her husband, Dr. Gordon McAlpin, owned a home on Beechwood Drive on December 6, 2012, that was damaged by the sewer system. McAlpin stated that no one had been home for nine months and her husband had checked inside the home on Wednesday. However, the following day the sewer had backed up into the basement causing almost $6,000 in damage.
When the city workers arrived at the home, she continued, one of them noted that she should turn it in to the city’s insurance, “because that’s what their insurance was for.” Once the city’s adjuster denied their claim, the commissioners then agreed during the February 2013 meeting to pay $1,000 of the damage as they felt that would be their deductible for insurance. However, the following day, City Attorney Reed Moore emailed the McAlpin’s attorney, Richard Jackson, and rescinded the offer on Mayor Jeff Proffitt’s authority, noting that they had since found out that they would not have any deductible liability.
McAlpin continued that the email stated it would be discussed in the March meeting, but had not been addressed since. “We did nothing to make this happen,” McAlpin added. The cause of the back-up, she added, was tree roots that had grown in near the manhole, but reiterated that no one had lived in the house in more than nine months with the sewer being unused.
When commissioners asked about the McAlpin’s own homeowner insurance, McAlpin noted that “We have chosen not to turn it in on our homeowners.”
“It just seems this is a battle between the insurance companies,” Commissioner Jeff Harrison noted. He also added that in the past there were decisions and payments by former commissioners that may not have been what they should have been, but “we have looked at each case and gone by what our insurance company says–that’s what we pay them (the insurance company) for.”
Commissioners took no action on the matter.