Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The Lake Worth Herald editorial, in its entirety, published May 7, 2015

     Now we see the actual proposals and the hype about selling the beach [emphasis added] and a convention center turn out to be highly inaccurate. This hype, perpetuated during a campaign cycle spread untruths to the voting public. 
     Leasing the upstairs of the Casino to a restaurant at the offered twenty dollars a square foot, including common area maintenance and taxes will not help Lake Worth. This figure is much too low to be sustainable. It was said the cost to the city is closer to thirty dollars and even that won’t help pay back the six million dollars loaned from the utilities fund to pay for the building, much less offset the nearly three hundred thousand dollars the city spends to maintain the pool and keep it open twenty-nine hours a week. 
     Leasing to a restaurant will not provide the revenue needed to fix the building shortcomings left as a result of a guaranteed maximum build price. Value engineering is not a good way to build a building that is intended to last many years, especially one sitting on the coastal dune exposed to salt air and spray at all times. 
     Maybe the other proposal didn’t meet all of the code requirements, but these were preliminary drawings. The proposal did address the pool deficit. It addressed the pool deficit without taking the public pool away from the citizens. It adds parking to the beach complex and relieves the city of the maintenance woes of the existing building and parking areas. 
     Hudson Holdings must believe they can recoup the fifteen million they are willing to invest. 
     To look at preliminary drawings and eject the concept the city was hoping for is not doing the citizens of Lake Worth justice. 
     The city can not afford to dump hundreds of thousands of taxpayer money in a pool that is much larger than necessary. The pool was built to Olympic standards to house college swim teams during the winter. This has not panned out in the past few years and the taxpayers are left holding the bag. 
     The money dumped in the pool could be better spent on things like, well, employees, for instance. 
     What percentage of those using the Casino and Beach areas are taxpayers in Lake Worth? Not saying they shouldn’t be using our beach, we love their parking money and the merchants and restaurants in the complex appreciate their business. Fact is, a lot of tax dollars are being spent to keep a large pool open when a smaller pool would suffice. There would be more room for other business and that my friends means more tax money in the city coffers. 
     There is not one thing in the proposal that addresses taking anything away from the public. The amenities that exist now will be enhanced with more amenities and an opportunity for Lake Worth to attract more visitors to the beach will be enhanced.