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With plenty of rain in Palm Coast’s forecast for the foreseeable future, the City Council on Tuesday agreed to move forward with awarding a contract with S.E. Cline Construction Inc. to fix a water-control structure near Royal Palms Parkway, but Palm Coast officials put the company on notice, saying it needs to work better with the city or it could be banned from bidding on local projects.
At Tuesday’s workshop, four of the five City Councilmen agreed to put the item on next week’s regular meeting.
The contract is for $229,157.50 (including a 10% contingency for potential added costs) for a weir on Royal Palms Waterway, adjacent to Royal Palms Parkway.
According to city documents, the water-control structure has severely eroded because of failing concrete.
The structure was replaced in 2002, and on several occasions, repairs were made to the concrete to temporarily secure the structure from washing out, according to city documents.
The engineer’s estimate for the project was about $266,000.
The bigger issue, however, was if the city should continue to contract with Cline Construction.
According to City Manager Jim Landon, there are two divisions within Cline — water and land divisions.
Although the most recent water-control project done by Cline posed no problems or hiccups with the city, Landon said several paths projects have been delayed and have had “major and serious” issues.
As an example, Landon specifically mentioned the path project along Belle Terre Parkway.
The project was supposed to be completed in 2011, and then got pushed back to March 2012. The project is still incomplete.
Near the two schools along Belle Terre, there’s a gap on the east-side path. The project was approved and funded through grants by the Florida Department of Transportation. According to Landon, Cline wanted to construct boardwalks rather than the city path bridges that were agreed upon in the contract.
Once Cline agreed to do the bridge, workers used the wrong concrete for the bridge abutments, Landon said.
City Councilman Bill Lewis was in support of having city staff go back and review all previous projects done by Cline Construction to determine if they should be awarded with the weir project as well as other projects.
However, the other four City Councilmen felt it was important to at least move forward with the weir project because of the damage and pending weather conditions.
City Councilman Bill McGuire said he doesn’t know anyone who works at Cline, but agreed something needs to be done.
“We need to have some sort of a hammer here,” McGuire said. “Apparently, the impression I’m getting ... is this is a company that feels it is immune to what the city can and can’t do.”
Mayor Jon Netts directed city staff to move forward with this project, but also to make sure representatives from Cline know that City Council is concerned.
“Let’s award the contract, but let us use every effort to ensure (the Belle Terre path project) gets done,” Netts said. “And let’s go on record of saying we’re going to look closely at future bids.”
The contract for the weir will be on the Aug. 21 regular meeting agenda for a formal vote.
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