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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Aug. 9, 2019 2 months ago

City water tower very rusty, commission faced with $30,000 decision

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Also in City Watch: Campaign Treasury reports for Ormond Beach candidates and PACs will need to be filed directly to Supervisor of Elections website.
by: Jarleene Almenas News Editor

An inspection oversight for the ongoing city water tower improvements could end up costing the city an additional $30,000 — or force the city to rebid the project at an unknown cost.

The City Commission tabled a request at its Wednesday, Aug. 7 meeting to allow additional work at the water treatment plant due to unforseen rust and corrosion damage to the tank's struts. The change order was placed in the meeting's consent agenda, and was pulled by City Commissioner Troy Kent who said that, while he's pleased with the work being done so far, the city shouldn't have to pay for needed work the contractor missed before bidding. 

“Those that know me know that I loathe change orders, and this one is no different for me," Kent said.

The contract was awarded to Tank Rehab, of Jacksonville, on Oct.  2 for a contract price of $880,139. It was not the lowest bid. A Michigan-based company bid $775,700 for the project, but didn't acknowledge certain documentation in the bid, failed to include a bid for lead-based paint removal, had a significant mathematical error, and was therefore rejected, city documents stated. Other bids went as high as $1.2 million.

Public Works Director Gabe Menendez said that the drone utilized by the inspecting company — which was not Tank Rehab — didn't catch how much rust the tank's struts contained. Tank Rehab noticed the extent of the damage after it sandblasted the structure. 

If the commission chooses to reject Tank Rehab's change order request,  City Manager Joyce Shanahan said the city would need to put out a separate bid for the struts' repair. Tank Rehab would continue its scope of the work as planned, but the rebidding could cost the city more than $30,000. 

Kent asked if the city could hold the drone company responsible for its oversight.

“I’m sorry your drone footage wasn’t as good as it should’ve been," Kent said. "Lesson learned. Don’t do it next time.”

Off-beach parking lot now open

Beachgoers utilizing the Cardinal Avenue beach approach will now have a new place to park as the county has opened the off-beach parking lot at 650 S. Atlantic Ave.

“As elected officials, our main role is to serve and protect. Sometimes governments need to pass laws to nudge people and corporations to make new and better products, which are in the best interest of public safety or protecting the environment.”

Susan Persis, Zone 3 City Commissioner. See story on straw ban.

The lot has 124 parking spaces and a restroom, according to a press release. There is also a designated space reserved for ambulances to charge equipment during standby. Overnight parking between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. is not allowed.

Also nearing completion is an on-site operations facility, which will be used to store maintenance and operational items for the Beach Safety and Coastal Divisions. It will also act as a satellite office for Coastal maintenance staff. 

Change in campaign financing reporting

Campaign treasury reports for Ormond Beach will be made available on the Volusia County Supervisor of Elections website come next election.

The commission approved an ordinance requiring all political committees and candidates to file campaign reports electronically through the county's filing system. This was one of the commission's 2019 strategic plan objectives. 

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