Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa company gets top ranking for Hernando County dredging project

BROOKSVILLE — The County Commission on Tuesday ranked Tampa-based BCPeabody as its top choice to complete the long-awaited Hernando Beach Channel dredging project.

BCPeabody, the only bidder in the previous round of bids, was the second-lowest bidder this time, sticking with $8.8 million. The lowest bidder, Center Contracting Corp. of Heathrow, which had bid $7.2 million and proposed a very different dredging method than the others, was ranked third by commissioners.

The second-ranked firm was Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, which had bid $10.5 million. Great Lakes officials told commissioners they would drop the price if the county would agree to haul dirt or could help getting electrical service to the job site.

County staffers will now negotiate a contract with BCPeabody and another with Great Lakes and bring that information to the board's special meeting on Tuesday.

Commissioners at that time will also discuss where to get the several million dollars they need to fund the project. There is only $4.5 million available in the budget for the dredge.

At the start of Tuesday's County Commission meeting, County Administrator David Hamilton said that next week he plans to recommend taking money from the $12.5 million in capital improvement funds earmarked for a judicial center. The county could repay the fund from whatever proceeds it receives from legal actions filed against the former dredging firm and its bonding company.

Later, during Tuesday's discussion of the judicial center, no mention was made of Hamilton's upcoming recommendation, even as a number of lawyers and judges insisted that the board not touch that fund.

Four dredging firms made presentations to the board during a special meeting Monday. Bids ranged from $7.2 million to $12.8 million. Each of the firms, two in-state and two out-of-state, had a slightly different plan for how to complete the dredge.

Bob Carpenter of BCPeabody assured commissioners Monday that developer and former road builder Gary Grubbs is no longer a major subcontractor for the job. Grubbs' involvement raised concerns earlier because he has had financial issues with the county.

SunWest Mine, which is Grubbs' property, is still a site where dredge spoils can be taken, according to the current permit.

The dredge project, which has been on the drawing board for more than 16 years, is supposed to widen, deepen, lengthen and straighten the 3-mile channel.

County Commissioner Jeff Stabins had questions about how much money is still owed on the project, especially an outstanding change order sought by the county's engineering consultant on the project, Halcrow. The firm recently sought an additional payment of $1,047,867 for work done in recent months on obtaining new permits and for ongoing sea grass care and monitoring.

Halcrow has already collected more than $2.1 million.

Transportation services director Susan Goebel said the county is still negotiating with Halcrow on the total of the change order, and that will be brought to the commission next week.

Stabins asked whether the county could fire Halcrow, but legal staffers said such a move would first have to be advertised for next week's meeting.

Dredging began in late 2009 but was stopped in January 2010 because Orion Dredging Services was returning filtered water to the canal that carried too much sediment. The county eventually found Orion in breach of its contract and sought to call Orion's bond. Orion sued in return, and those legal actions are still active.

Tampa company gets top ranking for Hernando County dredging project 03/08/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 8:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. 'Empire' star Grace Byers keynotes USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy luncheon

    Human Interest


    TAMPA — The first University of South Florida graduate to address the USF's Women in Leadership & Philanthropy supporters, Grace Gealey Byers, class of 2006, centered her speech on her first name, turning it into a verb to share life lessons.

    Grace Byers, University of South Florida Class of 2006, stars on the Fox television show Empire. She delivered the keynote at the USF Women in Leadership and Philanthropy luncheon Friday. Photo by Amy Scherzer
  2. Southeast Seminole Heights holds candlelight vigil for victims' families and each other


    TAMPA — They came together in solidarity in Southeast Seminole Heights, to sustain three families in their grief and to confront fear, at a candlelight vigil held Sunday night in the central Tampa neighborhood.

    A peaceful march that began on east New Orleans Avenue was held during the candlelight vigil for the three victims who were killed in the recent shootings in the Seminole Heights neighborhood in Tampa on Sunday, October 22, 2017.
  3. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  4. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  5. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series


    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.