Aquarium faces roof damage, possible eviction

This could force the aquarium out of business.

After years of legal issues and a turnover of leadership, the Aquarium of Boise is facing another problem: eviction.

It stems from a lawsuit from the company that owns the building the aquarium leases space from.

Levinson Properties filed the lawsuit earlier this month. It says a building inspection found the rood of the aquarium is soft and spongy in certain areas, and isn’t safe. According to the lawsuit, the damage was likely caused by high moisture and humidity levels in the aquarium.

"One more issue we have to deal with that the folks there before us failed to take care of and they did fail to take care of it,” John Watts, the chairman of the board of directors for Aquarium of Boise said.

According to the lawsuit, the property owners notified the aquarium, but the aquarium hasn’t taken and steps to fix the problem.

Now the building owner is suing the aquarium for violating the lease agreement which could lead to eviction.

But Watts said the aquarium has been working with the property owners from the start.

“The building's a very high priority for us, so we've been very cooperative. We've asked to work with them, we've asked them to collaborate with us and we hope that we will be able to do that,” he said.

The attorney for the building owner, Levinson Properties, declined to comment.

Watts said it’s unfortunate that this has come to a lawsuit.

"We prefer an open communication, a little bit of dialogue across the table,” he said. “We like to get things done that way.”

Watts said not getting the roof fixed right away has nothing to do with money, adding they have insurance. He said once they establish the exact problem and what needs to be fixed, the aquarium will work to fix it, especially after all of the work they put into turning the aquarium around.

“We're looking forward to checking this off because we've had so many things that we had to check off,” he said. “And moving forward doing what we have to do with the current facility, looking at perhaps can we expand."

Copyright 2016 KTVB


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