Did Port Orange Lose More Of Our Money via another covert project?

monetLoss
Port Orange Taxpayers

A few of us first noticed the Halifax Paving issue after reading about it on the agenda for the June 30th “mini-meeting” (a much shortened 15-minute special meeting of the Port Orange City Council). The Halifax agenda item was billed as an Amendment to a previous Agreement but read much more like a Restitution Agreement than a simple modification of anything existing. Turns out Halifax owes the City a lot of money and/or a lot of fill dirt, perhaps over a million dollars worth, and the City has known about it for years. Our initial simple questions as to how a million dollars can go unpaid or 7,000 loads of dirt can go missing quickly changed to “what’s been going on out there for close to a decade?” The project involves two huge man-made reclaimed water lakes (75 acres and 100 acres) located west and slightly south of the County landfill but it’s hard to find out much about them.

I’ve been able to find stuff on the City’s website as far back as the 2005 link that you reference and have requested info from the City on what happened prior to that (starting probably in 2003 or 2004?). From what R. Woodman wrote earlier today his first-hand knowledge goes back much farther than that. At any rate, I’ve attached the links I’ve been able to find and there may be more out there that I haven’t been able to find yet. Please look them over (AND ANYONE ELSE WHO READS THIS BLOG!) and let me know what you think. My impression is that somewhere in the 2008 to 2010 range things went south on the reclaimed lakes project since it seemed to pretty much drop from public view. That of course doesn’t mean that nothing was happening, only that we don’t have an easily accessible record of it. What has transpired recently–special meetings with no public comment and special meetings between the City Manager, City Attorney and Contractor, again with no public comment–could have been going on from 2008 to now and we would never have known about it.

We’ll try to ask some relevant questions at the July 17, 2014 meeting this Thursday but don’t really expect any answers. The only way answers will be forthcoming is if the Council demands them and so far they seem content to pretend nothing is wrong.

Halifax Paving Change Orders/Extensions, etc. to Fill Dirt Contract:

https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/regular/2005-05-03/05032005commentary.htm#Item#14

https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/regular/2007-11-13/11132007commentary.htm#Item#06

https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/regular/2008-12-02/12022008commentary.htm#Item#13

https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/regular/2013-12-10/commentary.htm#item25

https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/special/2014-06-30/agenda.htm

https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/special/2014-07-17/agenda.htm

Halifax Paving Settlement for Coraci Park Work:

https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/regular/2009-03-24/03242009commentary.htm#Item#20

https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/regular/2009-08-25/commentary.htm#Item#11

Halifax Paving Misc. Contracts:

https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/regular/2007-12-11/12112007commentary.htm#Item#09

https://www.port-orange.org/documents/meetings/regular/2010-01-19/commentary.htm#Item#07

Please let me know your comments, impressions, etc.

Mike Gardner
618 Ruth St
Port Orange, FL 32127
386-527-1959
manddgardner@cfl.rr.com

6 thoughts on “Did Port Orange Lose More Of Our Money via another covert project?

  • July 16, 2014 at 2:19 pm
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    Does anyone know how the concept for these projects to build a couple man made lakes came about? . Did the city hire a consultant to recommend a use for all this land the city had purchased? Who recommended that we purchase this land and why?
    Or did some city official sit down at a local restaurant with a few developers and contractors to solve the problem of where they could get a lot of fill dirt for their planned developments? Resulting in the land purchases and 10+ years of excavations
    Curious George

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 10:00 pm
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    Mike / R. Woodman,
    Mike that’s a lot of info. I found a link to 2 Pages of Permits for the reservoirs. There are many documents and changes of permits on this site. All the players names in the permit process are listed along with the proposed changes. Quite a bit to decipher. Mr. Woodman are there any provisions of the permit that we are financially obligated to perform? Anything not in order? You seem to be the go to guy aka the novel reader to those who fear transparency. I think this post is functioning well together. I hope we can continue to assemble documentation and come to an understanding.
    https://permitting.sjrwmd.com/epermitting/jsp/Search.do?permitNum=86929&theAction=permitNumber

    Reply
  • July 16, 2014 at 11:02 pm
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    I have been looking further at the St. John’s site and have been reviewing the documents and emails and violations etc. It looks like the Utility Engineer is the last signature on the legal documentation that has the liable clause on the current permit. Per the document he appears to be the legal liable and responsible individual. I think we now know more than council and have our man to direct our questions at. I hope he can give us some answers. That’s why the taxpayers pay him the big bucks right. This should not be a complicated request. I’m sure there are some internal controls and this should be a simple no brainier for them. I can’t imagine us locating more on our own than they have on file. I hope this helps for tomorrow night. Good luck.

    Reply
    • July 17, 2014 at 2:05 am
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      I wonder if this engineer is willing to testify that parts of this lake were not excavated to depths of 50 feet in contradistinction to FDEP and SJRWMD regulations protecting the Floridan Aquifer. Will he be able to argue with a depth finder when that violation is finally revealed? Is there a reason that Parker and Smith intentionally kept their resident expert on potable water issues away from the lakes and nuetered his professioal concerns? The public utilities head engineer with over 25 years in this position with Port Orange that is now administrating the Halifax Paving contract bears responsibility. If citizen activists care about the source of our potable drinking water they should call the environmental specialist for Port Orange’s potable water supply with VCHD and FDEP and ask if digging 50 feet it permitted and what its potential effects are on the aquifer. Her name is Patricia Carrico and she can be reached at 274-0714. Port Orange has had to enhance its tertiary treatment process to protect the public against fecal coliform hits from the wells adjacent to the excavation. This concern by Port Orange environmental staff has fallen on deaf ears by the administration. Perhaps the Port Orange senior public utilities engineer would like to address these environmental concerns in a public forum with Pat Carrico present. I guarrantee he would be tongue tied and unable to address the regulatory issue. I suppose that is why we are paying him over six figures a year because ignorance is bliss.

      Reply
  • July 17, 2014 at 12:32 am
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    Incoming2–
    Good stuff. I was unable to find this.
    Thanx,
    Mike

    Reply

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