Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Four companies interested in Hernando Beach Channel dredge project

BROOKSVILLE — Only days after county commissioners fired their contractor on the Hernando Beach Channel dredge, officials already have heard from four others who are interested in taking over the project.

County officials have met with representatives from three dredging companies, and a meeting is being set with a fourth, said Lisa Hammond, the purchasing and contracts consultant for the Clerk of the Circuit Court.

All four of the companies are aware of the project's tight time line, financial constraints and environmental concerns, Hammond said Thursday.

Meanwhile, Orion Dredging Services LLC, which commissioners booted from the project on Tuesday, has sent a letter threatening litigation. The company also reiterates its arguments for why it needs several million dollars more and why the county's consultant is to blame for problems with the long-delayed project.

In the letter, Orion's consultant and general counsel Peter Buchler states that the commission's conclusions "fail to serve the best interest of the people of Hernando County.''

He notes that while it is not likely Orion will be asked back to work for the county, if it is, it will cost even more than the previous change order that riled county officials.

"We had hoped for a far different result, but notwithstanding what will undoubtedly be a highly contentious and expensive adjudication of our claims and cross claims, we truly wish you 'God's speed' in completing this project for the people of Hernando County,'' Buchler's letter concludes.

The county late Wednesday also notified Orion's bonding company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., that it was calling for the performance bond.

"Orion materially breached the contract by abandoning the project,'' wrote Assistant County Attorney Jon Jouben. "As a result of Orion's default, the county formally makes a claim against the above-referenced bond for all coverages and remedies provided therein.''

Hammond will meet today with county legal staff to discuss the rules of the bond. Technically, Liberty Mutual has 30 days to determine whether to find someone else to do the dredging, award the county millions to complete the work or simply deny the claim.

Since a June 30 deadline looms to spend or lose a $6 million state grant for the $9 million project, officials want to move on some issues while waiting for the bonding company's response.

The prospective dredge contractors are aware that the county has a strict deadline and only about $4.5 million left to spend to deepen, lengthen, widen and straighten the Hernando Beach Channel.

"So far no one has flinched,'' Hammond said. "Frankly, it's really refreshing to talk to people who say that it can be done and who want to do it.''

The county is also talking about utilizing some public works employees for tasks at the spoils disposal site, which is an old county wastewater site on Shoal Line Boulevard.

County officials will update the County Commission on their efforts to get the stalled project moving again during Tuesday's regular board meeting.

Four companies interested in Hernando Beach Channel dredge project 09/23/10 [Last modified: Thursday, September 23, 2010 7:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Editorial: Scott should keep demanding better for seniors in nursing homes

    Editorials

    The horrific story of elderly Floridians dying from the heat in a Broward County nursing home after surviving Hurricane Irma grows more outrageous. Even as a ninth death has been reported, the nursing home blames the state and has filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Rick Scott's move to prevent it from accepting new …

    Even as a ninth death has been reported, the nursing home blames the state and has filed a lawsuit challenging Gov. Rick Scott’s move to prevent it from accepting new patients or Medicaid payments.
  2. DCF announces $133 million in federal aid for low-income families who lost food during Irma

    Hurricanes

    An additional $133 million is being distributed to Florida low-income families to help replace food destroyed by Hurricane Irma, the Florida Department of Children and Families announced today.

    The United States Department of Agriculture has made $133 million available to Florida low-income families to help them replace food damaged during Hurricane Irma
  3. A meatless burger that tastes like meat? Ciccio Restaurants will serve the Impossible Burger.

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA — The most red-hot hamburger in the nation right now contains no meat.

    Luis Flores, executive chef at Ciccio Restaurant Group, prepares an Impossible Burger at Epicurean Hotel's Food Theatre. Impossible Burger is a plant-based burger that will launch on Sept. 27, 2017 in all the Ciccio Restaurant Group locations, except for Fresh Kitchen. "This burger caters to the carnivorous, not just the vegetarians" said Jeff Gigante, co-founder at Ciccio Restaurant Group. ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times
  4. Plan your weekend: Sept. 22-24: Buffyfest, Arcade Fire, Howl-O-Scream, Wanderlust 108 and 'Rent'

    Events

    Plan your weekend

    Pop show

    Florida Björkestra's Buffyfest: Pop culture meets pop music when the Florida Björkestra, a 20-piece alternative-classical ensemble that tributes ground-breaking pop artists, on Saturday will play with eight vocalists for "Once More with …

    The 20th anniversary tour of RENT, shown in 2016, comes to the David A. Straz Jr. Center for the Performing Arts Sept. 19-24, 2017. Photo by Carol Rosegg.
  5. Chris Archer, 25,000 Cubs fans and Tampa Bay's painful truth

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The biggest ovation inside Tropicana Field on Tuesday night was not for Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who was returning for the first time since managing the Rays.

    "W" flags fly in the stands after the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Rays Tuesday at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]