At least a dozen protesters are attending Durham City Council tonight over alleged non-payment of wages by subcontractors of the Marriott Residence Inn at Main Street and Buchanan Boulevard. The demonstrations, which have occurred in front of the 143-room hotel since late July, prompted Councilmember Steve Schewel to recommend the city not pay the $500,000 in incentives until the dispute is resolved.
The city agreed to pay a half-million dollars to the developer on the condition it preserved the facade of the old McPherson Hospital, the rest of which was demolished for the hotel.That payment is not due until January 2017.
The facade of the old hospital, now preserved and integrated into the Marriott Residence Inn
"I want to say to all of you that we on the council take your concerns very seriously," Schewel said.
SLP Enterprises of Griffith, Indiana, is the subcontractor at the center of the disagreement. The News & Observer has reported
that the company's representatives allege the work was subpar and left unfinished.
However, as City Manager Tom Bonfield and City Councilmember Eugene Brown emphasized, the city cannot adjudicate the dispute. They advised protesters to hire a lawyer, possibly through a social justice organization such as Durham CAN, to represent them in court.