Should Sebastian’s taxpayers give $90,000 to Crab E Bills for alleged loss of income? – Sebastien Daily

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At Wednesday night’s city council meeting, Peter J. Sweeney, attorney for Crab E Bills, said the restaurant would have lost $90,000 in revenue since November 2021, after the city shut down the back end of the restaurant. building for security reasons.

When the city closed the back dining room at Fisherman’s Landing, where Crab E Bills is a tenant, it was on the advice of their insurance company due to safety concerns. If anyone had been injured while dining at Crab E Bills in the backcourt, it would have been the city’s fault and the potential litigation would have been extreme and cost the taxpayers dearly.

But to compensate for the loss of seating, city officials moved the dining tables elsewhere inside/outside the building.

According to city records, Crab E Bills can only have a six-table seating area with no more than four seats and ten stools in an elevated area. So when the city moved tables from the risk area to other places in the building, it provided nine tables to the restaurant. That, of course, is an extra seat and above the allowance.


Transparency: There has been so much talk about the LEASE, so we want to show what it says about repairs and the interior/exterior of the building. They are found in sections 6 and 8:

Crab E Bill’s lease is three thousand dollars ($3,000) per month.

Under Section 6IMPROVEMENTS:

The Leased Premises are accepted by the LESSEE “as is”. The following improvement requirements are adopted:

  • A. LESSEEat its sole cost and expense, may, after obtaining the prior written approval of the LESSORand in strict accordance with the management plan, design, authorize and construct any improvements to the existing structure, or place a new structure on the leased premises.


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  • A. LESSEE undertakes that all parts of the Leased Premises are maintained in good condition and in good condition by LESSEE. LESSOR assumes responsibility for the maintenance of the external structure. LESSEE must maintain and carry out all necessary repairs and modifications inside the Leased Premises to keep the Leased Premises in good condition. TENANT Sole right of recovery shall be against its insurers for loss or damage to stock of furniture and fixtures, equipment, improvements and improvements. LESSEE undertakes to carry out or contract emergency repairs and to provide the necessary protective measures to protect the Leased Premises against damage and to prevent injury to persons or loss of life. LESSEE undertakes to do its best to ensure that the Property is maintained in an attractive condition and in a good state of repair. LESSEE must also keep the Leased Premises free of trash and debris.
  • B. The interior and exterior of the Leased Premises must be kept clean. It will be TENANT responsibility to provide and pay for indoor pest control.

The lease was then signed by ALL PARTIES (including Suzy Andrews), and reviewed and approved by the Florida Communities Trust.

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The city council voted unanimously on Wednesday to spend $50,000 to repair the current issues with the structure. But as Councilman Bob McPartlan pointed out, he’s worried the building won’t need any more repairs once they start opening up the walls and ceilings.

A resident at the meeting suggested the city lower the rent, even though Crab E Bills is paying far less than market value or any other nearby business due to the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfront grant.

There has also been talk of Crab E Bills being the last remaining fish store in the area, blaming the town of Sebastian for failing to save Archie Smith Fish House and Judah & Sons Fish Market. But that’s not the real story.

The real story is that the Archie Smith Fish House is in the county, not the town of Sebastian. Also, the Fish House is still standing and you can see it on Indian River Drive next to the Sebastian Saltwater Marina restaurant. What collapsed in the water was the Ice House, which was built in the 1980s.

As for the Judah & Sons fish market, that wasn’t the town’s fault or responsibility either. Privately owned, the family sold the land to a new owner and retired. Unfortunately, the new owner demolished the building as it was about to collapse into the Indian River Lagoon due to a cracked levee.

The Fisherman’s Landing building, where Crab E Bills is a tenant, was never a fish market until 2014. Also, the building is not historic, and if it is a landmark , it’s more about Hurricane Harbor than anything else.

The century-old building itself had multiple uses, ranging from a warehouse to an auto repair shop. It was never a fish market, but it was a warehouse for contraband at the time. It also stood empty for several years. The city purchased the building just over ten years ago to preserve the property. It is the center of the waterfront district.

So now Crab E Bills have had their attorney seek $90,000 in alleged lost earnings. So the big question is: should Sebastian’s taxpayers be responsible?

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