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cityofsedonalogo.gifThe city of Sedona deducted $200 from NJ Builders’ contract for construction at Sedona City Hall after a subcontractor started a brush fire there June 27.

By Trista Steers
Larson Newspapers


The city of Sedona deducted $200 from NJ Builders’ contract for construction at Sedona City Hall after a subcontractor started a brush fire there June 27.

The fire started during unpermitted hot work the morning after Sedona City Council passed an ordinance banning outdoor fires, use of charcoal grills and work that could produce a spark without first obtaining a permit.

“If I would have known I needed a permit, I would have gotten one that morning,” NJ Builders owner Brian Cashatt said. NJ Builders is a construction company based in Prescott.

Council approved the ordinance the night before, June 26, at a regular council meeting. The fire started the next morning before noon.

“We fined him $200 for not obtaining a permit,” Assistant to the City Manager Andrea Costello said.

The amount will be deducted from the contract but City Manager Eric Levitt said an actual citation won’t be issued. The city is not citing NJ Builders because council passed the ordinance less than 12 hours before the fire started.

City staff did, however, decide to deduct from NJ Builders’ contract because they didn’t want to set a bad

precedent, according to Levitt.

The fire, started by a worker cutting a piece of rebar, burned a tree in a landscaped lot adjacent to City Hall.

Immediately after the fire, NJ Builders went to Sedona Fire District to obtain a permit and now also has a fire extinguisher on hand at the job site, Cashatt said.

“They reacted very promptly,” Costello said.

According to Cashatt, men working at the site were being cautious.

Crews used a backdrop — an incombustible structure behind a work area — and a hose while working.

“We take those precautions every day in the field,” Cashatt said.

A worker actually used the hose to

suppress the fire until SFD crews arrived, according to Cashatt.

People who don’t comply with the ordinance can be fined up to $2,500.

“We didn’t feel he deserved a high fine for what happened,” Costello said.

NJ Builders’ work for the city is excellent, according to Costello, and the brush fire was an accident.

“It doesn’t reflect on his work as a whole,” Costello said.

The ordinance passed by the city is

similar to those SFD, Coconino County, Yavapai County and the U.S. Forest Service instated in June as fire conditions worsened.

For more information on restrictions or to obtain a permit, contact SFD at 282-6800.


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