Wednesday, June 8, 2016

[UPDATE] Why hasn't any work been done at Casino to avoid a default declaration? Will taxpayers be left "holding the bag"?

The issue of the City's substandard Casino construction finally came to a head last night at the City Commission meeting (6/7). It wasn't pretty. Here is a quote from City Attorney Glen Torcivia:

"It's taken longer to fix the building than it took to build it."

Check back later today to this blog for more on what happened at the City Commission meeting last night (June 7th). Am still gathering some information. I was not able to attend the meeting last night but will let you know when the City's video is available. There was some good news though, the Statute of Limitations is not as much a looming problem, yet. City Manager Michael Bornstein had very strong comments last night at the end of the meeting you'll have to watch for yourself. Stay tuned.

Also, possibly this week, the media blackout on this issue will end. To learn the background on how we got to this point, read the blog post below from last week:

First, a little about my day at the pool and Casino: Yesterday was June 1st and that meant the beginning of the new pool schedule. As already noted, the weekday hours are now 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The weekdays the pool will be open are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Weekend hours will stay the same.
View of a swimming class taught by Sally, the pool manager.
After doing my water exercise routine in the pool got a bite to eat at Mama Mia's that is conveniently located next door in the Casino building. I chose an outside seat. Within five minutes of sitting down, everyone eating outside was greeted by a large commercial Pepsi truck. Voilà! No more view of the ocean. Just another example of poor planning by the "Best Commission Ever", or BCE for short.
It's not the delivery driver's fault. There isn't a proper loading area at the Casino complex.
The truck remained there for as long as it took to finish my lunch and was still there after my tour a little later of the Casino building. As you'll read below, this is where things really start to go terribly bad.
This is the view the truck obscured. Isn't the ocean vista the main draw to dining at the Casino?
I decided to take a tour of the second floor patio area of the Casino. It has been a while since we heard anything about the remediation/repairs to the second floor. These are leftover problems from the cessation of construction in 2012, with the contractor and architect being made aware of the construction faults since early 2013.

Beyond the physical effects of water penetrating the building, the water intrusion prevents the City from renting out the potential second floor restaurant space. You know, the one with a "killer view" you can't see when you sit down:
When standing there is this remarkable view of the Atlantic Ocean and beach.
But. . . when you sit down you can't see the ocean. Another reason the 2nd floor space is un-leased and vacant. A proper railing would be nice. Great plan, huh?
If you recall earlier this year, both the architect and contractor were about to be declared in default. Nothing had been done to that point addressing the building's defects, especially as it related to water leakage. At the time this item appeared on the City Commission agenda, a representative of the contractor appeared at the meeting (see video below), throwing himself and his company upon the mercy of the Commissioners. He begged and pleaded with them to not find his company in default, as it would hurt their reputation going forward with other public entities.

[To read more about this use these links:
  • From Feb. 17th: Videos and background: Default Declaration on Lake Worth Casino Building
  • From Feb. 20th: Lake Worth Casino Complex and pool is back in the spotlight again
  • From March 1st: Latest on the Lake Worth Casino Complex
  • From March 2nd: Discussion at last night's (3/1) Lake Worth City Commission meeting]
At the following City Commission meeting the architect, the contractor and the City's legal expert said that they had identified a "fix" but would have to try it out first to see if it would work. The waterproofing work would take time and then it would have to be evaluated to determine whether or not it would be successful.

Given this information, it was my understanding that the agreement to fix the building would be extended to June 7, 2016. After that point, a statute of limitations would kick in that would prevent the City from seeking remedies from the architect and the contractor.

They were to do work on the northeast part of the deck as that was thought to be the worst area for water intrusion. This is what that part of the stone deck looked like yesterday (June 1st).
Look like any work has been done?
On closer inspection, what look like older patches and repairs.
It looks like a whole lot of nothing has been done. There was evidence of older "patches", but nothing in the way of an entire area being worked on. So nothing has happened and the City still finds itself with its Casino building having only a temporary certificate of occupancy (since 2012) and is unable to lease the remaining space in the building.

Expect to see this matter to appear on the next Commission meeting agenda. Oh, and here is that video you might find interesting: