External photo of Vision Source optometry

Two noted residents of Hamilton, Ohio — former mayor Dr. Tom Nye, and former Hamilton Citizen of the Year Jason Snyder — have taken their dispute over an unpaid construction invoice public. Now, things are getting nasty, with one construction company picketing in an effort to get their message across. 

In a mechanics lien affidavit obtained by Levelset, Snyder, co-owner of TAMZ Construction, Inc., alleges that Nye owes TAMZ a balance of $119,000.

TAMZ was hired on as the general contractor to remodel the new Vision Source building, in which Nye plans to run his optometry practice. In another affidavit obtained by Levelset, subcontractor Miami Heating & Cooling, LLC alleges that Nye owes them a balance of $23,000.

Screenshot of TAMZ Facebook post from March 23, 2021
Screenshot of official response to construction dispute issued by Dr. Tom Nye

While all parties agree that the remodeling project started sometime in 2020, this is about where the consensus ends. In a Facebook update, co-owner Tammy Snyder, writing for TAMZ, says, “The permit was obtained on July 22, 2020. Any work prior to that was contracted separately and done so in preparation for the permit.” 

TAMZ goes on to write, “The TCO (temporary certificate of occupancy) was obtained December 15, 2020.” This is pretty much in keeping with the mechanics lien they filed which gives a start date of July 27, and a finish date of December 30, 2020.

In their mechanics lien, Miami Heating & Cooling gave a start date of August 4, 2020 and a finish date of March 9, 2021.

Nye, on the other hand, contends that the project was started in January 2020, writing in his own statement on Facebook, “since the commencement of the project at the beginning of January 2020…”

Elsewhere in his statement, Nye alludes to feeling as if he was “cheated” by TAMZ. 

“Prior to commencement of our project, TAMZ Construction, Inc. promised us that the ‘worst case scenario’ budget estimate for our project at 644 High Street was $400,000.00. It was upon this information that we agreed to move forward with them,” Nye said. “We have paid TAMZ over [$]500,000.00 — far in excess of the ‘worst case scenario’ amount that they initially promised.” 

Furthermore, Nye wrote, “No less than 25 punch-list items have not been completed by TAMZ as promised, or were done improperly and will need repair and/or further attention.” 

According to Jason Snyde, Nye had been invoiced monthly, and there was no history of payment issues with the project, until the last invoice was sent.

“We didn’t have any problems whatsoever with payment, until that last payment when he was in this building in December and got what he wanted,” Snyder said. “Now, he doesn’t want to pay that final invoice.”

TAMZ dismisses Dr. Nye’s allegation of running up the budget. Instead, TAMZ maintains that it was Dr. Nye’s numerous alterations that caused the project to exceed its budget.

“Yes, we were hired for the renovation and provided ‘budget numbers’ based on a layout provided by their architect/designer”, wrote TAMZ.

TAMZ continued: “Dr. Tom Nye and his wife Jennifer Nye have made numerous alterations to that design/layout which included custom doors, custom copper displays, salvaged architectural pieces, reclaimed marble on the storefront, changing lighting after it was already installed, a drop in ceiling to a tin ceiling mixed with reclaimed tin, and the list goes on.” 

Regarding the punch list items, TAMZ commented, “I have never been made aware of, nor provided any ‘punch list’ from Dr. Nye or anyone representing him. There was a small amount of work remaining but due to Dr. Nye refusing to pay for the work completed, we were unable to finish.”

Where this dispute goes remains to be seen, and picketers with signs reading “Who doesn’t pay during a pandemic” and “Business doesn’t pay,” among other things, were seen outside Vison Source beginning the last week of March 2021.

Nye indicates he is willing to go to court over this matter, writing, “We continue to look forward to resolving this dispute, whether amicably or in court if necessary.”

Allegedly, Nye has already offered to pay $72,000, half of the outstanding balance of $119,000. Snyder then reportedly refused, stating TAMZ would finish the work at the site if the remaining balance was paid in full.