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Money Wasted

Lake Worth Utilities
Waste Meter
$50,000
... for an arc flash study that Mr. Reyes was qualified to do in house and at no cost to taxpayers.
$200,000
... the estimated engineering cost of the express feeder which could also be done in house at no cost to taxpayers.
$591,898
... wasted when insurance requirements were circumvented by the city manager and utility director.
$123,098
... 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
$64,000
... wasted when the Matrix organizational study to save taxpayers money was scrapped in favor of higher cost outsourcing by city manager Stanton.
$450,000
... wasted engineering design cost of water piping and tanks (original county water deal) that will never be built.
$59,975
... wasted when additional costs were incurred for not following insurance procedure on transformer repair.
$82,620
... 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:
$1,621,591
 
 

 
 
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  HOW FORTY THOUSAND DOLLARS OF YOUR MONEY GOT WASTED
Posted on Monday, January 30, 2012 @ 13:42:30 EST by admin

LW Utilities

What happened to the ARC FLASH study?

In April of 2009, an ARC FLASH STUDY was commissioned by the utility director who is now being given $72,000 for her last three months on the job.

An ARC FLASH study is required by federal regulators for safety reasons and LWU was due to complete this study by January 2009 but granted an extension to comply. An ARC FLASH study specs out the clothing, tools and headgear to be worn at specific locations where high voltage danger could cause harm to electric utility employees. Such harm did occur when an employee got severely burned while working near a high voltage area in 2009.



As the articles and WASTE CLOCK (left) show, the data was already gathered and available for analysis by our Protection Engineer in March 2009, Andres Reyes. His seventeen years of expertise as a PROTECTION ENGINEER more than fully qualified him for the analysis and assessment of the data. However the utility director lied to the Commission claiming that no one on staff was qualified to do the analysis and assessment work. And in concert with city manager Stanton, the utility director then managed to secure $50,000 to outsource a study that not only could have been done in house at no cost to taxpayers… but even outsourced …shouldn’t cost more than $13,000. (Note the similarity to Joe Kroll’s performance when he would bid jobs three times over market price (Shuffle Board Court roof for example) making it a gravy train for contractors who would certainly be "grateful.")

But as it turns out, the ARC FLASH study wasn’t completed for two years (submitted February 2011) as employees were routinely exposed to extreme risk and the IBEW union never uttered a word or warning. Further, the study is worthless because it’s based on assumptions, guesswork, and modeling based on assumptions when it should have been based on calculations from real data as the utility director claimed it would be. Nothing in the study explains power flow through the system, no data on impedances, relay settings, fuse sizes… it's all guess work:

"Given the lack of specific data in some instances,…" (page 5 of the analysis for ARC FLASH FINAL T&D)

"Since detailed power flow and relay data for the transmission system was not provided, all transmission relays are assumed" (page 5 of the analysis for T&D the document)

"Since some settings were unavailable, certain engineering assumptions…" (page 7 of the analysis for ARC FLASH FINAL T&D)

"UCS assumed the device protection scheme includes a functional instantaneous fault clearing device and no reclosing." (page 5 of the LW GEN AF Final report)

"line impedance data were not available for all facilities which resulted in modeling assumptions for various facilities and components of the Plant’s system." (page 7 LW GEN AF Final report)

You can't insure the protection of employees with "assumptions" you need data. So today, as employees are scheduled to change out a 138 kV breaker, they are put at extreme risk. A new breaker requires new relay settings that no one on staff is qualified to make as they are part of a coordination study that is required to meet federal standards. So again safety is sacrificed and employees put at risk while union reps at the utility remain silent. The question is: has LWU complied with requirements to coordinate relay settings with FPL who has to approve the settings according to regulations? This seems unlikely as no one on staff is qualified to provide those relay settings. This could potentially end up with a NERC violation if not handled properly.

And how does this fair up to federal regulations? See bottom of article.

Summary

So once again, LW taxpayers got ripped off by wasting over forty thousand for a worthless study that wouldn’t have cost a single cent if the utility director had truthfully informed the commission.

Depending on the study (submitted by the same engineer that forgot about 12 million in expenses for the 26 kV upgrade) is like someone saying, “I’m guessing the footings underneath your home should have about 5 pounds per cubic foot of steel reinforcement …so that should be safe enough to proceed with the construction of two more stories on top of what you have... just sign here and we’ll get started.”

And adding insult to injury… the utility director’s grip of fear on the city is so well entrenched in the naive psyche of the new Commission, that like lambs led to the slaughter, they barely made a peep as a temporary city manager offered and agreed to pay an outrageous $72,000 for three more months of having taxpayers ripped off.

More info…

FAC-008-1 R1 - OVERVIEW

This violation was discovered during an on-site audit on September 2, 2009 and September 3,
2009 (Audit). FRCC determined that LWU, as a Transmission Owner and Generator Owner, did
not provide documents sufficient to demonstrate that its Facility Ratings Methodology included
the scope of relay protective devices in its methodology from June 18, 2007 to November 18,
2008.

FAC-009-1 R1- OVERVIEW

This violation was discovered during the Audit. FRCC determined that LWU, as a
Transmission Owner, did not provide documents sufficient to demonstrate that the Facility
Ratings for its solely and jointly owned facilities are consistent with the Facility Ratings
Methodology.


They need to comply with:

PRC-001 System Protection Coordination
To ensure system protection is coordinated among operating entities.

PRC-005-1a Transmission and Generation Protection System Maintenance and Testing
To ensure all transmission and generation Protection Systems affecting the reliability of the Bulk Electric System (BES) are maintained and tested.

FAC-008-1 Facility Ratings Methodology
To ensure that Facility Ratings used in the reliable planning and operation of the Bulk Electric System (BES) are determined based on an established methodology or methodologies.

FAC-008-3 Facility Ratings
To ensure that Facility Ratings used in the reliable planning and operation of the Bulk Electric System (BES) are determined based on technically sound principles. A Facility Rating is essential for the determination of System Operating Limits.

FAC-009-1 Establish and Communicate Facility Ratings
To ensure that Facility Ratings used in the reliable planning and operation of the Bulk Electric System (BES) are determined based on an established methodology or methodologies.

NOP Order 20110302

NOTICE OF PENALTY CITY OF LAKE WORTH

Additional info

ARC FLASH FINAL T&D

LW Gen AF Final Report



 
 

 
 
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