Navy Pier accused of not paying its bills

A Chicago landmark and tourist attraction has been accused of not paying its bills.

Contractors responsible for many of the renovations at Navy Pier say they're owed a lot of money.

The next time you visit Navy Pier, you might want to check out the dozens of new trees planted along the South dock. Donels Johnson's company supplied the steel foundation for those trees.

FOX 32: How much are you still owed for the work you did at Navy Pier?

“Well somewhere in the neighborhood of $300 and eighty thousand,” Johnson said.

You might also end up buying some tickets for a bike ride, or a boat ride. Rudy Magana's company built those brand new kiosks. He told FOX 32 he's still owed $40,000 for his work.

“For me, five or ten thousand dollars is very, very important. They coming with forty thousand, they're almost killing me,” Magana said.

These two subcontractors are among dozens who have helped remodel Navy Pier in anticipation of this year's centennial celebrations. The plans, announced by Mayor Emanuel three years ago, included transforming the South dock into a more contemporary, greener space with more seating. But small businessmen like Donels Johnson and Rudy Magana say even though their work was completed last summer, they still haven't been paid in full.

“I can't do what I need to do to pay my people, and just provide a livelihood for my family,” Johnson said.

Navy Pier officials declined to answer questions about why these companies haven't been paid, but in correspondence over the last few months, they've blamed the general contractor, Madison Evans, for not paying its subcontractors.

Navy Pier officials terminated Madison Evans contract last month, claiming the company had failed to provide enough skilled labor and pay its subcontractors. Madison Evans says it's still owed about $12 million dollars on the $70 million dollar project.

In a letter to pier officials, the company called the termination "...nothing more than an ill-fated attempt by Navy Pier to cover up significant cost overruns." Anyone who hasn't been paid, Madison Evans says,   " a direct result of the actions of Navy Pier."