Was City's Sidewalk Repair Program Poorly Planned??

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Councilman Stiltner and Mr. Harden,
There are approaches to the issue that are available in the code and policy.
Approach One: Budget once and contract once. Plan your work and work your plan.
Approach Two: If the estimate for the contract at the beginning of the year is low, the city manager may approve a change order up to $25,000 to keep work progressing for three weeks until council approves the $70,000 requested.
Otherwise, the city is able to revise the policies and ordinances for the system that streamlines the process and complies with financial accounting standards. The finance department will be required to meet the financial accounting standards and Tracey’s input will be helpful in this regard. Due to some difficulties and concerns in the finance department that preceded Tracey Riehm’s tenure, the auditors have given their best guidance in the management letter to achieve a solid financial system and the guidance may not be the fastest methodology.
I will work with the city manager and the council to achieve the methods most desired.
Margaret T. Roberts
City Attorney/City of Port Orange, Florida
Phone 386 506-5525/Fax 386 506-5530

From: Stiltner, Scott
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2015 6:12 PM
To: Harden, David; Adumuah, Branford
Cc: Roberts, Margaret; Rivera, Cynthia; Rosen, Alan; Silvey, Michael; Cockcroft, Kynah
Subject: RE: sidewalt repair
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this.
This seems to be a good example where red tape is prohibiting us from quickly and effectively addressing a safety issue that needs to be handled much more expeditiously. This is not at all what I want for our residents. Definitely an area we need to work on. And I agree, we certainly seem to be behind on our sidewalk maintenance and repairs around the City. I noticed that specifically as I drove around today.
Thanks again for your input. Hopefully we can get this area addressed very soon and then move on to the next areas that need work.
Scott Stiltner, Councilman
City of Port Orange, District 4

From: Harden, David
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2015 3:43 PM
To: Stiltner, Scott; Adumuah, Branford
Cc: Roberts, Margaret; Rivera, Cynthia; Rosen, Alan; Silvey, Michael; Cockcroft, Kynah
Subject: RE: sidewalt repair
From my observations I think two problems are at work here. First, I am told that the amount of money budgeted for sidewalk repair has been totally inadequate for the last several years. As a result there is a large backlog of needed repairs. Second, you may recall that on June 16 Council was presented with and approved a Change Order to increase authorized spending with Sparks Concrete by $70,000 to pay for additional sidewalk repair. Public Works had spent all they were authorized to spend this fiscal year with Sparks. Getting the item on the agenda takes time and staff work. Once the Change Order is approved several more days are required to get it through the process of being signed and approved by everyone before we can start giving work to the contractor. Altogether it probably took about three weeks to get the additional work approved.
What I am accustomed to is that the City would award a contract for sidewalk repair based on an estimated quantity. Then the staff would have authority to give work to the contractor regardless of the total cost, so long as budgeted funds were available. In a case like this where there are hazardous sidewalk conditions, staff would be able to transfer money within the Public Works budget to cut something else and increase funding for sidewalk repairs. The practice of capping authorized spending for a contract not specific to a project, like sidewalk repair, and then requiring a Change Order to exceed that amount is not the practice followed in the other two cities where I have worked.

From: Stiltner, Scott
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2015 2:38 PM
To: Adumuah, Branford
Cc: Roberts, Margaret; Harden, David; Rivera, Cynthia; Rosen, Alan; Silvey, Michael; Cockcroft, Kynah
Subject: RE: sidewalt repair
Thank you for your response and the information on this matter. I do appreciate your staff responding immediately to set up cones and barricades that provide a measure of caution. I went out to the site and met with the resident this morning. I can understand his frustration and concern. It has been 47 days (June 3rd) since his wife fell and was injured due to a break in the sidewalk. He also conveyed to me that he witnessed a jogger trip and fall over the same break in the sidewalk since his initial reporting to the City. I think it is reasonable for the residents to expect to see repairs to something like this sooner and hopefully moving forward that time frame for repairs to something like this will get reduced.
I took a brief walk down Central Park Blvd. and then around the corner on Broken Box Ln. There are actually quite a few breaks on the sidewalk along this route. Some have been marked and some have not. Can you give me an approximate time frame as to when you think a crew will be out to this are to make repairs?
Also, please let me know what council can do to help reduce the time frame between a report like this to the problem being repaired.
Thank you! Scott
Scott Stiltner, Councilman
City of Port Orange, District 4

From: Adumuah, Branford
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2015 11:44 AM
To: Stiltner, Scott
Cc: Roberts, Margaret; Harden, David; Rivera, Cynthia; Rosen, Alan; Silvey, Michael; Cockcroft, Kynah
Subject: RE: sidewalt repair
I have been involved in this particular matter and events as described by the resident are not exactly what took place. The sidewalk was reported on June 3, 2015. Staff realized it was a safety issue and immediately visited the site but could not identify the location because Mr. Skarb had provided an incorrect address. Fortunately, he called back later and provided the correct address. Staff went out again and secured the site of the raised sidewalk by marking and barricading it. Mr. Skarb was informed that repairs will be done this month or early next month. He was not satisfied and in an attempt to explain the delay staff informed him that sidewalks needing immediate repairs have been more than anticipated and budgeted for this fiscal year. Therefore, additional funding to increase the sidewalk purchase order was before City Council for approval as required by City policy. Mr. Skarb appeared to have understood. He was never told that “we have no money for repairs.” The funding was approved by the City Council and sidewalk repairs have resumed. Please see the attached documented service request entered and tracked in Citizen Connection.

From: Stiltner, Scott
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2015 10:14 AM
To: Harden, David; Rivera, Cynthia; Adumuah, Branford; Rosen, Alan
Cc: Roberts, Margaret
Subject: FW: sidewalt repair
Can you get me some feedback on the email below I just received right away please? I have not seen the sidewalk myself as of yet, but if a resident tripped, fell and was injured on a city sidewalk that is in need of repair, I certainly hope we did not give an excuse of not having money to repair a sidewalk.
Please let me know right away what you find out about this.
Scott Stiltner, Councilman
City of Port Orange, District 4

From: walter skarb [pwskarb707@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, July 20, 2015 9:39 AM
To: Stiltner, Scott
Subject: sidewalt repair
About 2 months ago my wife Pat tripped on a raised portion of sidewalk in front of 711 central park blvd and suffered a bruise to her rib cage. I notified public works about the fall and told them of several other areas of problems near my house and areas around Bernice and Ron’s home. They responded with saw horses which are still there. I called the public work and spoke to the management there and received a response of we have no money for repairs and had to go before the council for additional money. He indicated that repairs would be made during the middle of July. I don’t understand how we can spend a million dollars on a canoe launch at Parkers folly (RIVERWALK) and a not needed and dangerous sidewalk a mile long on spruce creek road when we can’t repair the ones we have. We could use your help with this problem.
Walt Skarb

 Last years complaints
“I Cannot Believe This Response From Port Orange”
i January 21, 2014
Broken slabs of sidewalk January 21, 2014 10:43 AM
From: “Joseph” <jaycee2@mindspring.com>
To: “Greg Kisela” <gkisela@port-orange.org>
Good Morning Greg,
I need your help on an issue that hasn’t been corrected since October 2013. I have called several times to the public works department about having three slabs of sidewalk repaired since notifying them in October. The only response I get is “We are a little behind in doing sidewalk repair”. I cannot believe this response for Port Orange is not that big of a town that by now this work has not been done.
A whole entire section of street was made including sidewalks around the B.J.’s shopping center off of Dunlawton Avenue after I reported these broken slabs. Can you help me in this matter for Mr.Paul Riley from the Department of Public works has not? My address is 1215 Thomasina Drive and my home phone number is 872-3059.My cell is 917-309-0836.
Thank you for any help you can direct to this matter.
A concerned Taxpayer,
Mr.Joseph Carbone

Please see the note and response below. All I can say is “REALLY?” I can’t believe we use public works not noticing a problem as an excuse, as we have too many eyes in all our departments who drive through the entire city.
Despite turnover in the ranks, we need to do a better job as a city being proactive. This didn’t require a public works employ on the clock to drive by, notice it, and address it.
Our culture needs to be proactive. I would like to see a culture where Public Works is inviting of a call or email from any employee in any department at anytime who notices things that need addressed! We have lots of employees who care greatly when they see issues and they need to know that what they see will get fixed promptly. Our response time has to improve!
I see we also have a complaint from Mr. Joseph Carbone this morning stating that he has called public works three times to get help with the broken sidewalk problem. Without verifying the validity, I also know that this is not nearly the first time I have seen items in the read file that state that there have been multilple requests to Public Works for help. This has to improve!
Don Burnette, mba
Vice Mayor, City of Port Orange

From: Tom McGillis [mailto:tmcgillis@cfl.rr.com]
Sent: Tuesday, April 01, 2014 1:58 PM
To: Kisela, Greg
Cc: Green, Allen; Burnette, Don; Ford, Bob; Bastian, Drew; Kennedy, Dennis
Subject: Walk

Mr. Kisela
My is Thomas N. McGillis I live at 5331 Peach Blossom Blvd. Port Orange that is in the Port Orange Plantation subdivision. Our subdivision is on the southbound side of Williamson Blvd. There is a small stretch of area where the sidewalk on the southbound side of Williamson Blvd between Royal Palms subdivision and Town West Blvd. where I live where the sidewalk is not complete. I am sure there are plans to complete that section of sidewalk however I have no way of knowing when but I would ask of you and the city council, could this project be given some priority and put on the agenda as soonest. It would be a blessing to be able to travel to the Pavilion Shopping Center and the Publix using the sidewalk.  I am in a electric wheelchair which has the ability to go that far but I am afraid of riding the shoulder on
Williamson Blvd. too many people have been killed that way,riding the should of busy roads. There are many people besides myself who walk and ride bikes who would also benefit from this as well. Please take this under consideration and Thank You for your time it is greatly appreciated.
Thomas N McGillis

Mr. McGillis: I understand your  request and concerns.  We do have sections of sidewalk that has not been constructed on Williamson Blvd.  We are working on installing an additional traffic signal at Town West Blvd and Williamson Blvd.  that we believe will accelerate the development of the remaining parcels of property fronting on Williamson.  If so, we will  require the developers/property owners to install their portion of the sidewalk that will create that connectivity you are looking for to get to the Pavilion and Public.    I hope this answers your questions.    Be assured we are committed to completing these missing sections as soon as possible.
Greg Kisela
City Manager


2 thoughts on “Was City's Sidewalk Repair Program Poorly Planned??

  • July 21, 2015 at 1:10 pm

    I had not read of these complaints before and I thank Pat for posting them on this web site. Also a little applaud to Don Burnette for last year’s prompting to the City Manager to do better. But here again, it seems that a city council man after making his complaint did nothing to follow up on verifying that improvements in sidewalks were being made. I am so tired of asking for someone to inspect what he expects. Why is this so difficult for the city council people and city manager to perform such an elementary administrative principle?

  • July 21, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Ask them how much employee time and money has been spent just within the Town Park Subdivision ?
    Prime example, as most all the sidewalks there have issues with the large oak trees and roots buckling the sidewalks in the entire subdivision.
    It’s either fix them throughout the city or it becomes a liability they cannot defend when someone trips and falls.
    Pay now in the form of repairs or pay later in the form of lawsuits for injuries for trip and falls on ill maintained city property.


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