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Channelside safety being addressed before Fourth of July fireworks

TAMPA — The firm that runs Channelside Bay Plaza said it has fixed most of the fire code and safety violations recently discovered at the downtown retail center and is working on the last fix: reinforcing the second-floor guardrails.

But Madison Marquette executive Chuck Taylor, who oversees Channelside for the Irish bank that foreclosed on the property in 2010, disputed the Tampa Port Authority's description of the 18 violations as "life/safety hazards." Instead, in a letter Friday to the port, Taylor called them "ordinary maintenance and repair items."

The Port of Tampa, which owns the land under Channelside, said it discovered 18 fire and safety violations on June 5 and June 7. The port said it found a broken fire alarm, a blocked firefighting valve, exposed wiring, damaged outlets and loose overhead lights. Port counsel Charles Klug sent the Irish bank that owns the center and Madison Marquette a letter detailing the issues. The port asked the bank and receiver to fix them before the port does the job itself.

Klug on Tuesday said that the port is still waiting for a thorough inspection to take place. Both sides are expected to meet Sunday to conduct a joint inspection of Channelside. A contractor will soon finish fixing the loose guardrail, according to Taylor's letter.

The Port of Tampa wants the repairs done before thousands pack Channelside to watch the annual Fourth of July fireworks show. As for the stalled sale of Channelside, there was no new news to report at Tuesday morning's meeting of the port's governing board.

Channelside safety being addressed before Fourth of July fireworks 06/18/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 8:16pm]
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