MERIDIAN -- A case between the City of Meridian and contracting company Petra is headed to the Idaho Supreme Court Wednesday. KTVB went to Meridian City Hall Tuesday to see the issues that spurred this lawsuit.
In 2006, the City of Meridian hired Petra Inc. as the construction manager for the building of the city's new city hall. Meridian officials told us the contract between the city and Petra said Petra was responsible for managing the design, overseeing all the contractors' work, protecting the city from deficient and defective work, and any work that did not meet project specifications.
City workers moved into the new, $20 million city hall in October of 2008, and the city said there were problems almost immediately after moving in. City Council member David Zaremba said the roof started leaking about three weeks after they moved in. From there, the city said the problems continued -- heating and cooling temperatures couldn't be controlled, the fountain out front was leaking thousands of gallons of water a day, and multiple areas suffered flooding.
At that point, the city said they made good on their end of the deal and Petra was fully-paid, according to the contract. Then, Petra came back asking for more money from the City of Meridian.
The city refused to pay Petra more for what they said is defective work. The City of Meridian and Petra Inc. attempted mediation, which was unsuccessful, so the case went to trial in 2010. The judge sided with Petra. Meridian is appealing that decision and the Idaho Supreme Court will hear the case Wednesday.
We felt we had paid for a building that should be functional and sound to begin with, and we didn't feel it was fair for us to have to pay for the repairs. And we didn't think it was fair to pay any more to the people who we had hired to be our watchdogs and make sure that those problems didn't happen, said Zaremba.
KTVB called Petra to get their side of the story. They referred us to their lawyer, Tom Walker, who would not comment.