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Brownouts lead to claims against city

Staff writer

A series of brownouts has prompted some Marion businesses to file claims against the city’s insurance, but information on how many claims have been filed is not available.

Insurance agent Alex Case, who represents the city’s insurance company, said several businesses had filed for damages they incurred, but he declined to provide a specific number.

The insurer investigates each claim and decides whether payment will be made.

“The city is not liable for any of those damages unless they are negligent,” Case said. “I honestly do not know if anyone is getting reimbursed.”

Judy Smith, co-owner of Gambino’s Pizza, said she had filed a claim for damage to a prep table and exhaust fan. She doesn’t know whether the company will pay the claim.

The availability of filing claims against the city insurance had not been mentioned publically until Historic Elgin Hotel co-owner Tammy Ensey mentioned at a Marion Merchants meeting last week that her hotel had received a claim payment. She was not available afterward to discuss the claim.

Sherry Hess, co-owner of Wagon Wheel Express, had not been aware she could file a claim until being contacted for this story. Her business incurred thousands of dollars worth of damage.

She now is gathering information and will decide later whether to file a claim.

This year’s brownouts aren’t the only time power outages have caused problems for the business.

“It’s been an ongoing thing off and on,” Hess said. “The last two years have been our biggest struggle.”

Jeannie Wildin, owner of County Seat Decorating Center, said her business lost two computers a year ago during a scheduled power outage but had no problems this year.

Last modified Aug. 6, 2020

 

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