City in Utah Expects $2.5 Million Fire Insurance Settlement

March 30, 2006

Ogden, Utah, officials are expecting a $2.5 million insurance settlement for a fire that destroyed a building the city had offered for sale at a fraction of that amount.

The cause of the March 11 fire that destroyed the 100-year-old Shupe-Williams Candy Co. building has not been determined.

The 63,000-square-foot downtown building had been the subject of controversy in recent months between people hoping to renovate it and others hoping to tear it down and rebuild.

The settlement from the Chubb Group of Insurance Cos. likely will be finalized within the next several weeks following the clearing of the debris, city Management Services director Mark Johnson said.

The policy’s $2.5 million coverage amount is based on the estimated cost of replacing the building and depreciation.

“It’s worth that and more,” city chief administrative officer John Patterson said.

Jason Rusch of the Ogden-Weber Museum Committee, which had expressed a desire to buy the building from the city, said the organization is interested in selling the structure’s bricks to the public as a museum fundraiser.

The committee’s goal is to eventually build a museum at the site of the former candy company.

On March 6, Mayor Matthew Godfrey sent a letter to Robert Chugg, president of the Ogden-Weber Museum Committee, offering to sell the building to the organization for $510,000 if it planned to keep the structure or for $310,000 if it demolished the building.

Godfrey said city is willing to sell the property to the group for $510,000, which is the appraised value of the land.

A developer, whom Godfrey didn’t identify, is in line to buy the property for commercial purposes if the Ogden-Weber Museum Committee doesn’t purchase it.

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