Tilghman House potential termite treatment put on hold by city

By John Shipley Jr.

Palatka Daily News


The Palatka City Commission put the Tilghman House’s potential termite treatment on hold Thursday until a resolution regarding a proposed voluntary media consent and release agreement is made. 

At the meeting, commissioners voted unanimously to table the item until the parties involved reach a more suitable agreement. 

Members of the Palatka Art League have spent a year searching for a cost-friendly solution to treat the Tilghman House, the property where the group is housed. Two businesses have offered to donate the treatment, which is estimated to cost $4,500, but one of the companies’ requests has caused a snag in the process. 

“We went from tears of joy to tears of sadness,” Palatka Art League President Debra Daniels said. 

Florida Pest Control has offered to provide labor and other supplies for the treatment at no cost to the city or the Palatka Art League.

Douglas Products & Packaging has offered to provide the Vikane gas needed for the treatment, but the donation is contingent on the city of Palatka, which owns the Tilghman House, accepting a voluntary media consent and release agreement.

The proposed agreement would have given Douglas Products & Packaging the right to use media associated with the donation in any training or promotional videos or other media-related venues. 

City Attorney Don Holmes said at Thursday’s meeting the commission is free to execute the media release agreement if it chooses, but as the commission’s legal counsel, he strongly advised against it. 

“Well, I have major concerns — not about the generosity of Florida Pest Control or Douglas. But if you’ve read this agreement, it doesn’t take an attorney to be concerned,” Holmes said. 

Holmes said the proposed agreement, which would be irrevocable, contained language with which he was not comfortable.  

One example of such language includes an item stating Douglas Products would have the right to make changes to any media created. Another item states Douglas would not be held liable for any damages that could potentially arise as a result of media created from the donation. 

“If you read the language though, (the agreement) is without any restriction, including but not limited to, composite or distorted representations. I don’t like the words’ distorted representations,” Holmes said. “That release is not something that any lawyer is going to advise their clients to sign, in my opinion at least.”

Commissioner Justin Campbell said if Holmes has concerns with the agreement, then red flags should be raised for the commission. Campbell suggested representatives from Douglas Products and Florida Pest Control work with Holmes and interim City Manager Betsy Driggers to find a more agreeable solution. “(They should all communicate) just to see what they can do to come up with a resolution to lessen our attorney’s concerns,” he said. 

Palatka Daily News

1825 St. Johns Ave.
Palatka, FL 32177
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