Lester House Damage Update

April 5, 2018

The below average temperatures at the beginning of 2018 led to damages at the Lester House, also known as Charlie’s Place, which forced the city to close the facility due to safety concerns for all the non-profit groups and senior citizens involved in activities at the house. As the city works with our insurance company, we want our citizens who have enjoyed attending activities in the house to know the status of repairs needed to re-open.
The City of Wills Point wishes to recognize the Masonic Lodge and its membership for graciously allowing Meals on Wheels and Senior Citizen Activities to continue at their facility on Lake Drive.
On January 2, 2018, a City Public Works employee was dispatched in response to a water heater that had burst at the Lester House as a result below freezing temperatures. Damages incurred include flooring and ceiling joists in the attic, electrical, walls and ceiling in downstairs bathroom, along with walls and ceiling in garage.
On January 4, 2018, City of Wills Point Human Resources received all documentation and pictures on this issue and moved forward by determining how to gain an estimate on damages. A local plumber was contacted, and upon assessing the site, the plumber stated they could not give an estimate or work on any damage due to safety concerns.
On January 24, 2018, City of Wills Point Human Resources proceeded to file the claim without any estimates since no other local contractors kept appointments.
A Claims Adjuster, on behalf TMLIRP (City Insurance Company), met with City of Wills Point Public Works on January 29, 2018 at Lester House. The Claims Adjuster took pictures of all damage to begin claim process and stated they would send findings to the insurance company.
The City contacted our insurance company Claims Specialist at TMLIRP to verify our decision to stop people from accessing the facility. The response received was, “from a liability standpoint, yes keeping people from going in and out of this location is advisable. Turning off the utilities is another good idea, again from the liability side of things”. At that time, all locks were changed to the building, in an effort to control anyone from going into the house to avoid any potential harm. All utilities were also disconnected for safety.
As of this morning, April 5th, the Claims Specialist stated they have located a company in the metroplex who have agreed to sign a contract to assess damages and safety concerns. The Claims Specialist is expecting the contract to be returned any day and advised that it shouldn’t be more than a couple days for the company to report to the site after the contract is signed.
When working with insurance companies and claims, the City has no control over the amount of time the process takes. While the delays have been frustrating for everyone, the City is working diligently with our insurance company to expedite the inspections and evaluation of damages. We will continue to update the citizens as this project moves forward.

Last modified: April 5, 2018

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