Pioneer Way project prompts several financial claims

Harborside Village owner Frank Scelzi is asking for more than $10,600 for property damage he says was sustained during construction on SE Pioneer Way.

Scelzi, one of the loudest critics of the street project, submitted three separate claims for damages to City Hall last week. The priciest request addresses “areas of concrete splashes” and stucco damage along the mall’s facade.

An attached estimate for repairs includes the cost of painting a good portion of three storefronts, pillars at the mall entrance and an entire wall on Hathaway Street. The estimate also included the cost of cleaning the area below the front windows of three other stores to remove the concrete splashes. Based on that estimate, Scelzi is asking for $5,850.

He’s also asking for $3,500 to fix “areas of damaged brick and concrete” and a water intrusion problem that’s occurring along the front of at least two buildings, and for $1,278 to replace a planter that was moved from the front of the mall and broken.

As of Friday, all of Scelzi’s claims were still under review with the city’s insurance provider, the Washington Cities Insurance Authority.

In Washington, a claim for damages is not a civil lawsuit. While it can be a predicate for one, it’s the first step in a request of financial compensation. Claims submitted in Oak Harbor are turned over to the insurance authority for review and possible settlement.

Scelzi isn’t the only one to file claims for damages related to SE Pioneer Way project. Since January, four merchants, one motorist, and a pedestrian have also filed financial grievances.

Oak Tree Antiques owner Les Bense, also a vocal project critic, asked for a total of $397 in three separate claims for damaged merchandise; Paint Your World owner Ron Apgar, who also suffered broken goods, asked for $447; and Linda Roberts of Maurices asked for $130 to pay for a broken vacuum cleaner.

Finally, Tony Maggio of My Fathers House Community Thrift is seeking $435 for daily sales revenue lost when the parking lot entrance was blocked for one day in September. Of the four merchant claims, all but Maggio’s, which is still pending, have been awarded.

In July, Oak Harbor resident Jo Lord asked for $5,000 for injuries she sustained when she tripped on the roadway – her claim was denied – and most recently Ellen Moffitt asked for $293 to clean a motorcycle.

Moffitt was riding on SE Pioneer Way shortly after it was paved and, according to the claim, the bottom of the bike was covered in tar. Moffit’s request was also denied.


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