Submitted on 2015/03/31 at 9:58 pm by Don Juan Matus
There is a memo that was generated by Ex-Public Utilities Director Roger Smith that explains the primary purpose and function of the reuse lakes that cost tax payers approximately $20,000,000. I am sure that someone can dig up this synopsis of the project that Mr. Smith so articulately produced.
Reuse augmentation was stated as a mere ancillary benefit of this project. Avoidance of river discharge and wetland mitigation were not even identified as the primary purpose. The fact is that the number one purpose of the lakes was to recharge the aquifer via percolation through the lake bottom into the Floridan Aquifer. This was omitted and edited from the report of the reuse system that Donna Stienebach submitted to City Council intentionally as she has always been committed to cover up for the same administration that has buttered her bread.
Unfortunately our consulting engineer that managed this project QLHA, the City Manager, Ken Parker, and Mayor Allen Green proceeded down this path in spite of senior Public Utilities staff raising many objections. In spite of these objections they proceeded with this project and dug these lakes that were found to have about 20 feet of impervious pan clay lining the lake bottom. This pan clay has prevented percolation, which is the ability to realize the primary purpose of this project, namely the recharge of the aquifer and has exacerbated the silting effect that has elevated the TSS problem in conjunction with the vertical pumping system. If truth be told the primary purpose for these lakes will never be realized.
Another thing is that this project was originally sold as a Regional Aquifer Management Plan (RAMP) project so that the city would be able to qualify for and obtain an extended 20 year Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) for its raw water source supplying its potable water production system. If successful, the reuse lakes would be considered a qualifying RAMP project.
The truth of the matter is that tax payers were never informed that these lakes were not the only qualifying projects to meet the RAMP criteria and there were less costly more practical RAMP projects that we could have chosen to qualify for the 20 year CUP. This is evidenced by the initiatives our sister cities have taken and the fact that they were able to identify more cost effective and less glamorous qualifying RAMP plans to obtain their extended 20 year CUP’s. This project has however provided millions of dollars’ worth of unaccounted for dirt for construction purposes with destinations terra incognita.
You can thank our 20 year failed project that we are spending millions of dollars of taxpayer dollars for with only marginal redemptive potential to Mayor Allen Green, Ken Parker, and our illustrious consulting engineering firm QLHA. The sad thing is that the mayor is still desperately trying to procure, establish, and sustain a management team, city politic, and future consulting engineering services that are committed to obfuscating the true history of this debacle, obscuring just how much of failure it is, and spinning it as a potential future success even though at best it will only have a minuscule potential of realizing its original purpose. This is a concerted effort to obfuscate and evade accountability.
Just say the word if you are interested in Roger Smith’s original synopsis being posted and I am sure that someone will be more than happy to post it. By the way, Mr. Smith lived in perpetual terror of losing his job over this and was imposed upon by Ken Parker to run accountability interference for the mayor and himself. Once Parker retired Mr. Smith became fair game and was used as a scape goat. Maybe we can invoke some commentary from the Woodman chronicles who is someone who has integrity and can probably produce the most honest and knowledgeable history of what has transpired.