March 9, 2012 -- “In typical fashion, Lake Worth narrowly dodged trouble with a missed deadline last month on its decades-long quest to fix up its public beach. Thankfully, the problem was averted, and the city may complete the work this year.
The beach improvements involve transforming the dilapidated concrete-and-asphalt site into a lush space filled with benches, walking and bike paths, a playground and trees. The work is meant to accompany the $6 million overhaul of the beachfront casino, which was all but torn down and is being restored into a stunning Mediterranean Revival-style home for restaurants and shops.
The improvements to the surrounding site were supposed to be paid primarily by a $5 million grant from Palm Beach County. But for Lake Worth to receive the money, the work had to get under way by Feb. 2. The city spent so long fumbling, plagued by unexpectedly high cost estimates, that it missed the deadline.
Fortunately, county officials let the city slide, telling Lake Worth in a letter late last month that they "have held off on serving a Notice of Noncompliance." On Feb. 28, the city commission approved the project, agreeing to pay the Morganti Group $6.7 million for site renovations and utility work.
The overruns, driven by higher-than-expected costs for utility lines and sea turtle-friendly lights, bring the cost of Lake Worth's new public beach to nearly $13 million, up from $11 million projected a year ago. Despite poor initial planning on the city's part, residents seem likely to get their money's worth.
Most of the face-lift should be done this fall when the casino building is completed and the restaurants and shops are scheduled to open. With the end so close for an undertaking that has endured decades of starts and stops, city commissioners need to ensure that no more unpleasant surprises slow progress.” - Andrew Marra, for The Palm Beach Post Editorial Board
Pulling from the editorial above - "Despite poor initial planning on the city's part, residents seem likely to get their money's worth.", I say: Oh Really?
RESIDENTS seem likely to get their money's worth? Would that be Lake Worth Residents? Lake Worth Utility rate payers? Or would that be Palm Beach County residents who will have lots of well lit CONVENIENT parking for their day at the beach. Or would that be Morganti, Inc the General Contractor? Or would that be incumbents running for re-re-election and the nearest TV camera on opening day?
You can click on the title above if you want to read the editorial and comments left there in the Post.