Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lake Worth Park of Commerce, Boutwell Road Improvements - Discussion from the Commission's 12/3/13 meeting

The three videos that are part of this playlist total over an hour. I would recommend listening or watching all three. It relates to the city getting things going with the Park of Commerce and some of the complexities involved with that process. The city holds out the Park of Commerce as the best bet for future economic development, tax base increases and job opportunities. It is part of making good of the promises that were made ten or more years ago with Palm Beach County, the property owners and city residents at the time of annexation of most of this land.

The City Commission voted to continue this discussion to a "date uncertain" in January of 2014 on both these items concerning contracts with Matthews Consulting ($349,930) and Mock-Roos Engineering ($644,120). They were rightly concerned that such things as deliverables, schedules and progress be easily communicated with residents and to make sure what we are getting for the money over a 30 month period. I won't go into all of the details here or this post would extend for about three hundred feet, but this is what is needed to get "shovel ready" projects in place for this important strategic city economic asset.

The general work items for Matthews Consulting is as follows for owner representation:
This is the basic engineering services that would be performed by Mock-Roos:
One reason that this discussion is important to listen is the recognition by the City Commission, and by the two residents who spoke on the item, that the city has to be accountable for every dollar of the money that it spends. We can't have "another" situation (as Commissioner Szerdi refers to it) where mistakes are made and the onus is on the city to pay for mistakes made by others. What other situation could everyone be talking about? The BEACH! Kudos to this Commission for being so careful and wanting to be so specific on what amounts to a $1 million investment in the city's future.

Let's touch on the beach for a moment. The previous administration tried to convince the public that Morganti, the engineers and architects were working in the "best interest of the city" and that there was no need for oversight by the city or some unique third party looking out for the interests of the city. WRONG! Still unresolved are serious design and construction issues at the beach. The unique aspect of this conversation is that it is being made in the shadow of the beach project and it is clear that no one wants to make the same mistakes going forward. The Mayor stated that she didn't want to have future commissions saddled with the mistakes made by this Commission. They have to do it right.

So, even though it is lengthy, it will do much for your peace of mind if you listen to the entire discussion. It is clear that the adults are finally in charge.

Lastly, concerning this particular proposed owner's representative contract, it was surprising that Matthews was not present to answer or respond to the City Commission's questions or concerns about his contract. Vice-Mayor Maxwell made the point that you would expect to have someone there from a company that was up for a $350,000 contract. This is especially the case when that contract is for being the representative of the people approving your contract on such a strategically important project. Let's hope that Matthew's gets the message and shows up at the next meeting when discussion on these contracts resumes. As for Mock-Roos, they still seem to be the one that is first in line for the city's engineering work. Maybe this reflects a little indigestion from the work by Kimley-Horn on the beach?

And, by the way, it is time to have a full meeting/status report on the beach and casino building project punch list.