The following memo was sent by the RVCA's counsel to Commissioner Sorensen.
Dear Mr. Commissioner:
As you may recall, I am a member of the Fire-Rescue Facilities Bond Issue Blue Ribbon Committee. The Committee met this evening at City Hall, and received certain information concerning the status of the construction of fire station number eight which is extremely distressing. Since I will be reporting on this information at the Rio Vista Civic Association annual meeting on Monday night which you will also be attending, I wanted to provide this to you in advance so that you will have a "heads up". The comments contained in this communication are mine, and they are not the opinion of the Committee, although I suspect that most of the Committee members share my view.
I am attaching a copy of the Memorandum which was provided to the Committee members dated January 16, 2020 by the City staff. As with historical protocol, an individual from the City's public works staff reads the report out loud. Following his reading of the report, the members of the Committee are allowed to raise questions.
During the interrogation of the City staff personnel attending the meeting we learned a number of distressing things which include the following:
1. Sometime in December, all of the subcontractors walked off the job and ceased all work as a result of not being paid. After a somewhat extensive questioning, we learned that the City was late in paying the general contractor because the City claimed that the general contractor had not obtained all of the required paperwork which constitute lien waivers from the general contractor who is supposed to obtain them from the subcontractors. Of course, the cessation of work by the general contractor and the subcontractors further delayed the project. To me, this does not make sense. The general contractor for this construction project is the same general contractor that constructed fire station number 54. The general contractor is well aware of the requirements for obtaining release of liens from subcontractors, so I find it difficult to believe that all of a sudden the general contractor was unable to comply with City requirements.
The following is a response from Broward County to our President regarding the County's response to the sewage spills in Fort Lauderdale:
I will notify Commissioner Ryan of your request. Please keep in mind that the County has no direct involvement with the City of Fort Lauderdale’s water and wastewater infrastructure. And my understanding is as of now the city hasn’t requested any help from the County, be it supplies or people. The only role the County plays is one of oversight, delegated to the County from the state. Specifically, it is our Environmental Protection and Growth Management Division that takes the lead on oversight. Please see below for an update that they sent to me. Feel free to share this with your members. The FDEP referenced is the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.
The City of Fort Lauderdale (City) is under a September 2017 Consent Order from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) as a results of the numerous sewer spills in prior years. The 2017 Consent Order was done in collaboration with our agency, and it establishes the regulatory framework for handling current and future sewer spills in the City, including appropriate fine schedules based on specific volumes of sewage discharges. Pursuant to our Specific Operating Agreement (Delegation Agreement) with FDEP, the day following the first sewer break (12/10/2019) we reached out to the FDEP and they confirmed that they would be taking the lead on the compliance and enforcement.
The "AHF Project" Update Residents Requested from the RVCA Board
AGENT: KENDALL COFFEY
APPEALING: Sec. 47-24.12. B - Variances, special exceptions and interpretation of Unified Land Development Regulations. Appeal of interpretation or application of Unified Land Development Regulations (board of adjustment). Appealing the Zoning Administrators Interpretation of; Section 47-18.32(D)(5) - The Zoning Administrator has made the determination that the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) project is a Level V Social Service Residential Facility (SSRF). Whereas the applicant has stated the proposed use is a Mixed-use affordable workforce housing development and not an SSRF.
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