Money Wasted

Lake Worth Utilities
Waste Meter
... for an arc flash study that Mr. Reyes was qualified to do in house and at no cost to taxpayers.
... the estimated engineering cost of the express feeder which could also be done in house at no cost to taxpayers.
... wasted when insurance requirements were circumvented by the city manager and utility director.
... wasted when plant manager Dave Mulvay’s first attempt at writing a scope of work contained a defect that cost taxpayers an extra $123,098 for tainting the bidding process and giving unfair advantage to one bidder over another. - April 2009
... wasted when the Matrix organizational study to save taxpayers money was scrapped in favor of higher cost outsourcing by city manager Stanton.
... wasted engineering design cost of water piping and tanks (original county water deal) that will never be built.
... wasted when additional costs were incurred for not following insurance procedure on transformer repair.
... wasted when the commission unanimously voted to order transformers when we had equivalent replacements already in stock since the upgrade. - 15 Sep. 2009
Total Taxpayer Dollars Wasted:

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  Casino building... should it be condemned?
Posted on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 @ 02:52:07 EST by admin

Lake Worth

Casino Building... should it be closed down?

Photo courtesy of Wes Blackman

Does this picture prove that the Casino building should be closed? Far from it. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO


The origin of the cracks the arrows are pointing to could be anything. Cracks can originate or be exaggerated from jack hammering the stucco, stress on the beam, rebar deterioration, or incompatible concrete mixtures. To extapolate from two small observation holes that sufficient evidence to warrant closing the Casino has been gathered; and to use a study with conclusions based on observation to back up the call naive and reckless. Despite the errors in the study, one of which incorrectly claims that the exposed rebar came about from spalling and not from jack hammering; even the author admits that repairs can be made. Why weren't the recommended repairs made if such great danger really exists?

New information gathered today: the eastern header is about 232 feet long. Two areas about 3 feet long were excavated many years ago using a jack hammer. Recently, these areas were again widened using a jack hammer. All the pictures used in this report were from these two areas which represent about 2.5% of the total length. There is a third area that looks like a repair was made at some point and it shows evidence of cracking but hasn't been excavated. There are no other areas along that beam that outwardly show problems.

In an effort to establish some basic facts on the structural integrity of the Casino building, LWM took advantage of an opportunity to respond to an email circulated by Mr Wes Blackman concerning the deplorable condition of the Casino building and why it was a public safety risk. The email circulated some pictures with arrows on them pointing to various things.

According to Mr Blackman, the major conclusion of a 2001 study on the building was:

“The type and severity of conditions identified during our investigation vary from location to location, but the extent and quantity of damage is significant. The immediate concern with the deterioration of the reinforced concrete elements is the advanced state of deterioration, especially along the eastern façade, here the public has unrestricted access. The potential for concrete to dislodge and fall from the spalled and deteriorated areas is extremely high.”

So here’s what we’ve found out thus far. According to merchants… during the past 23 years, no chunks have fallen from the structure (called "spalling") other than the ones jack hammered out by consultants. But this is not to say there isn’t cause for some concern. There is evidence of rebar deterioration in some of the small inspection areas that have been jack hammered out. The pictures taken at some of those locations indicate the rebar has deteriorated in the eastern load bearing header that supports the upper floor. In other inspection areas along the same beam, there is no indication of substantial deterioration.

Therefore the pictures alone do not convey a comprehensive picture of the level and extent of deterioration to the structural integrity of the building. And to use them to sensationalize and exaggerate the condition of the building as a public risk worthy of closing it down is disingenuous and misleading.

Click here for info on spalling, delamination and cracks

For any assessment of structural integrity, core evaluation tests are needed for:

• Chloride content - High chloride levels indicate an increased likelihood of rebar corrosion.
• Carbonation - Although carbonation usually occurs to a depth of less than one inch from the surface, if it reaches the reinforcing steel, the potential for corrosion increases substantially.
• Moisture/water penetration - Estimates of moisture penetration may explain some of the deterioration.

In addition other tests to determine the integrity of the rebar are needed. Rebar deterioration is one factor that can cause cracking, spalling and delamination of the facade because the by-product of corrosion takes up many times the volume of the original uncorroded steel. The resulting pressure created inside the concrete can cause cracking and severe deterioration to the structure over time.

Corrosion activity can be related to the outdoor environment, the permeability of the concrete, the low integrity of the external coating applied to seal the concrete, the high humidity and chloride contribution from the environment, and water/moisture infiltration. But over 90% of the linear distance along the eastern header shows no outward appearance of any deterioration. And it is possible that this different corrosion activity pattern (referred to in the study) in isolated areas may not be representative of any general structural degradation. From those pictures, it is impossible to determine how much spalling, delamination and cracking has occurred as a result of the jack hammering to knock these chunks out and how much additional corrosion took place as a result of direct exposure to the salt air environment over the years the rebar has been exposed.

But any conclusions including any made from this writing… that are drawn from these observations are at best indications and are not proof of anything other than corrosion is present in some isolated areas and the overall integrity of the structure is still not known. The 2001 study was based on visual inspection only and none of the required testing to determine the real structural integrity of the building was done.

As for the concrete, the pictures indicate the cracks are limited to the one inch facade (probably mortar/stucco). What I find interesting is that from observation alone, it appears there is little if any cracking in the concrete below the facial coat near the rebar. Although it is possible that the rebar deterioration could cause cracking in the facade... there is no way from the pictures to establish a direct relationship between the cracking in the facade and rebar deterioration because there appears to be little if any cracks in the concrete around the rebar. The one inch surface coat is probably mortar/stucco which is rigid and prone to cracking easily by jack hammering, by stress on the beam or by deterioration of the rebar. But again, it’s difficult to tell from pictures and observation what the integrity the structure really is. But it certainly can be said that these days, refurbishing old structures is ALWAYS an option as the author of the study readily admits; and in this case, its one possibility that was never seriously explored.

At this point, with the information presented, to assume the entire building should be demolished or condemned without even looking into restoring it …is just more of the same reckless attitude that leads to bad decisions that keep costing taxpayers millions and millions of their money. Decisions are constantly being made without good information and the public ends up picking up the tab for this impetuous behavior. Government fails to maintain the city’s premier community building and instead of being accountable and responsible for the neglect, …it becomes easier to erase the evidence of misconduct rather than to accept responsibility and fix it.

As for Ms Lindsey’s statement to Mr Blackman that: “Your logical arguments and the evidence that supports your conclusion is undeniable” …this demonstrates the dangers of sensationalizing a few facts which fit nicely within a preconceived conclusion. Ms Lindsey knows better than most that the city usually gets the conclusions they want from the consultants they hire and I believe that’s why she resorted to suing the city in 2006 to get an injunction to stop the electric upgrade to 26 kv.

LWM would like to invite Mr Blackman, Ms Lindsey or anyone else to join LWM which provides equal opportunity for all sides to be heard.

Here are the pictures we took October 9th 2007. Keep in mind that these selections were made in the eastern header which would be the most affected by corrosion. Further, most of these openings and the rebar you see have been left exposed to the ravages of salt air for many years now. LWM would llike to know if any of the pictures taken by the author of the 2001 study are still available. As mentioned previously, the eastern header does support a single floor above for about half the beam length of 232 feet supported by columns about 14 feet apart.

Above (location 1) shows a few inches of rebar with significant corrosion and loss of reinforcement at this location. Cracking around rebar is of uncertain origin. Could be from jack hammer, inconsistent mixture or content of concrete materials, or from rebar deterioration.

above (location 2) shows the left rebar intact, the right one uncertain

Above (location 2) rebar in decent shape except the left... its condition is uncertain from the pic

Above (location 1) this is a different view of picture number one above showing significant corrosion and near loss of rebar reinforcement. Notice the inconsistent appearance of the concrete materials which could have precipitated this problem.

Location 2, rebar appears to be in satisfactory condition with some corrosion

Location 2, rebar in corroded condition

Location 2, some looks good some corroded


Casino building... should it be condemned? | Login/Create an Account | 7 comments | Search Discussion
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Re: Casino building... should it be condemned? (Score: 1)
by LynnA on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 @ 06:31:59 EST
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As it has been pointed out by numerous citizens, merchants and longtime visitors in the know, the building is poured concrete. It has withstood the worst of hurricanes. It is still standing. To restore it might cost $1million if proven that it is not as bad as some would like it to be. To give our entire beachfront property to a developer could cost us so much more than the long-term lease of perhaps $20 million in losses with the strong possibility that the lease will be renewed for another 20 years. Our loss, not only in losing total control of our property, could be 40 times that opposed to keeping the present building and restoring/refurbishing it.
So, what we have is-- our local officials want to give away our beach to a developer and build something the people do not want because???? Well no one really can answer that question other than the Mayor and Commissioner Dist 4 saying, and Commisisoner Dist 1 going along for the ride, "we just can't manage anything we have." It is easier for them to knock down a building than preserve what we own. What about some money in the CIP? What about some money for general maintenance at our beach? No. The 3 out of 2 commissioners would much prefer the easy way out at the expense of the people. Let's elect and then hire people who CAN do the job.



Re: Casino building... should it be condemned? (Score: 1)
by SaveOurBeach on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 @ 07:16:16 EST
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Clemens, the mayor, is quoted as saying today when talking about Greater Bay developer,
"this is the first step in making our beachfront a prime destination for all PBCounty residents."
The mayor should really know that the beach is what people want, not a destination for shopping or valet parking and access to it at the developer's whim. It is used by people not only in PBCounty but they come here to go to the beach from all over the world. Remember tourism? He speaks as if there are no problems with Greater Bay, a company that can't even get financing and a company off the hook right now with the City's blessing. He also forgets the two law suits with the City on the beach. The arrogance of our elected officials is really the most shocking thing out of this entire beach issue.



Re: Casino building... should it be condemned? (Score: 1)
by ILoveLW on Wednesday, October 10, 2007 @ 16:36:18 EST
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Well, if the Mayor wants it condemned, it will be. Too much power to too few. Ah oh, I see some rust here--better condemn the building. Ah oh, I see a rebar that has been exposed for 5 years caused by Romano's jackhammer with corrosion and deterioration. No kidding, kingfish.



Re: Casino building... should it be condemned? (Score: 1)
by LynnA on Sunday, October 14, 2007 @ 13:55:51 EST
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The Mayor with his 2 back-up commissioners, are hurrying to tear down this building. They just can't wait. It is sort of like, "See, I have the power. You don't." The developer will be thrilled. The people in this City really do get what they deserve. They voted these people into office. The merchants are probably getting what they deserve as well. It is always easier not to get involved and fight for what is right and leave it to the other guy. Let someone else raise the money and do the footwork. No time left now. The bullying will continue and the bulldozing will begin and soon we will no longer have a building that has withstood time with no thanks to the City for having done so.



Re: Casino building... should it be condemned? (Score: 1)
by drm184 on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 @ 19:18:49 EST
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If you want to get a better idea of the condition of the Casino building, go to city hall and request a copy of the engineers report commissioned by the Beach Steering Committee. I feel that it was in 2000 or 2001 when the Beach Steering Committee had the report done. It was a complete survey from top to bottom and would be a far better barometer for the condition of the Casino building. Doug McIntee



Re: Casino building... should it be condemned? (Score: 1)
by SunnyDaze on Thursday, October 18, 2007 @ 16:57:20 EST
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The report that Wes was quoting from and Bill was discussing was dated March of 2001. Is that the one you refer to?



Re: Casino building... should it be condemned? (Score: 1)
by ILoveLW on Thursday, October 25, 2007 @ 18:06:41 EST
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I read the report from 2001. The first thing that comes to my mind is, why didn't the City take immediate action and correct/fix? Why have they neglected this building. Is this not misfeasance by not awarding any money in the CIP?


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