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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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  WASTED MILLIONS PURSUING GROWTH - by William Coakley
Posted on Saturday, August 25, 2007 @ 00:18:51 EST by admin

Lake Worth

Wasted millions pursuing growth



With the limits placed on how much water can be pumped from the aquifer, some municipalities have been forced to look at alternative sources. Our current RO (Reverse Osmosis) water project came about as a solution to the projected water shortage Lake Worth faces due to the imposition of these limits. Its champion was former commissioner and utility employee, Joe Egly. At the time, the estimated cost was somewhere around 37 million. Some current estimates now place it at about 60 million when finished and fully operational.

Back then the utility director (Van Dever) explained that instead of the heavy capital outlay for the RO water system, the city could save 2 million a year for ten years if they just bought water from WPB. A simple solution he had worked out. But Egly was insistent and led the commission against Van Deverís recommendation. Soon after, Van Dever resigned. Now many are wishing we had listened more closely to Van Dever's recommendation.

Lake Worth has already been told it canít dump the effluent from the RO process into the ocean. But the city has already invested in a pipe line from the utility to the ocean before thinking to get a permit. That's right - build the pipe line and commit the people by investing millions, then find out if you can get a permit to use it.

And according to DEP standards, the city wonít be able to dump the effluent into the Intracoastal either. Industry specialists suggest that means building an injection well which they estimate will cost between six to eight million dollars. So we have lost all or most of our investment in the pipe line and will have to spend an additional six to eight million for an injection well if that option is chosen. But thatís not all. After Lake Worth turned down the water deal with WPB mentioned earlier, that deal is no longer on the table. Rate experts insist that WPB will not offer another sweet deal like they did a few years ago.

A similar circumstance is occurring with the electrical upgrade. Since Lake Worth insisted on the cheapest system instead of the best systemÖ it was decided to upgrade to a non standard high voltage even though there was only a two million dollar spread between the "best" and the "cheapest" system. We have just discovered that most of that spread has vanished.

In the frenzy to get the upgrade going last year, we scrapped all the 4kv transformers that we took down. Now we are buying new ones because we havenít got replacements in stock. They will be practically worthless when the upgrade to 26 begins again. And we are also spending somewhere around a million in circuit reclosers for the existing system which will be worth pennies on the dollar when we upgrade. So what looked like a savings of 2 million just vanished and we are still getting the cheapest, not the best. Maybe that's why we always pay more and get less from our utility.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us with a growth rate that we canít sustain without spending a hundred million trying to patch up our infrastructure and for how long will that last before we need hundreds of millions more to sustain yet more growth? This is why Lake Worth Media believes it is critical that the people are listened to Öas to what their vision is for the city. We are currently planning a number of town hall meetings designed to inventory public concerns and suggestions with the end of putting these issues up for voting on our system. If the public will is not honored we will never gain any consensus on growth and other issues, and the political addiction to increasing a tax base to meet budget demands will move us ever closer to a dangerous edge and embroil our city into ever increasing fiscal and environmental problems.


 
 

 
 
WASTED MILLIONS PURSUING GROWTH - by William Coakley | Login/Create an Account | 2 comments | Search Discussion
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Re: WASTED MILLIONS PURSUING GROWTH - by William Coakley (Score: 1)
by SunnyDaze on Saturday, August 25, 2007 @ 09:22:37 EST
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seems like the waste you speak of would pay for a new Casino building at the beach and we would OWN IT NOW and not have slither around the people to give it to a developer.




 
 

 
 

Re: WASTED MILLIONS PURSUING GROWTH - by William Coakley (Score: 1)
by SaveOurBeach on Saturday, August 25, 2007 @ 14:22:27 EST
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There is so much corruption coming to light that my head is swimming. Keep up the good work.




 
 

 
 
 
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