Bellaire Bridge demolition talks continuing

BENWOOD – The attorney for owners of the Bellaire Bridge said his clients are “uncomfortable” with an agreement passed by Benwood City Council last week that gives the city total control over a $500,000 escrow account that would ensure completion of the bridge’s demolition.

Lawyer Jeremy Domozick of Virginia Beach, Va., represents KDC Investments and Delta Demolition, companies operated by bridge owners Krystle and Lee Chaklos. Domozick said the agreement previously discussed by him and Benwood officials would have placed both the names of his clients and the city of Benwood on the escrow account. Upon successful completion of the demolition, Delta Demolition would have received the $500,000 back with interest.

“The biggest change is now they want to hold this money in their own account,” he said. “This makes my client uncomfortable, as you can imagine.”

He said he speaks regularly by phone with Benwood City Attorney Eric Gordon about the Bellaire Bridge, and he expects a deal still can be reached that will allow demolition of the bridge to proceed.

“The agreement they passed is not identical to one we agreed to previously,” Domozick said. “Our approach will be about revising the agreement, and I am still confident an agreement can be reached. After this, we will fund an account pursuant to the agreement.”

He expects a deal could be reached in the “next couple of weeks,” and Domozick added he and the Chakloses may attend the next Benwood City Council meeting on Aug. 28.

“In this case, the city holds all the cards,” Domozick said. “They grant the permit. If they pull the permit before the project is finished, my client would lose the money. My client is uncomfortable with them having so much control over the money. Not that we think that will happen – but it’s my job to look at every contingency.”