On Wednesday, the Sebastian City Council gave City Manager Paul Carlisle approval to spend up to $30,000 for a forensic evaluation of the building where Crab E Bills sells fresh seafood and has dining options.
The east side of the building was condemned for safety reasons in November 2021 after an engineer provided the city with a building report that suggested it was unsafe to occupy.
Another evaluation was conducted by City Engineer Karen Miller, who told the council she agreed with the first report and suggested going through and completing a forensic assessment and air quality study. The $30,000 will provide a more in-depth investigation of the interior and exterior walls and structure.
Mayor Jim Hill told Sebastian Daily that he wants to help save Crab E Bills and its business, but he also wants to do the right thing and make sure the building is safe for the public.
During the meeting, Hill echoed that statement and said the city is doing everything to ensure the seafood market stays in business.
“I think Crab E Bills has been a fine partner with the city over the years, and I’d like to see that continue,” Hill said.
Vice Mayor Fred Jones and Council members Ed Dodd, Chris Nunn, and Bob McPartlan also agreed to help the business while engineers probe the 100-year-old building.
McPartlan appeared surprised over the $30,000 asking, suggesting it may take more money to complete the evaluation.
Attorney Peter J. Sweeney, who represents Crab E Bills, told the council he was happy with the quick progress and minimizing the seafood market’s business disruption during the forensic evaluation.
On November 3, 2021, Hill was interviewed by Sebastian Daily to discuss all options in saving Crab E Bills.