This presentation by a Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority (FKAA) staffer fell into my hands. This was actually shown to a room full of utility professionals at the January South Florida Utility Council (SFLUC) meeting. It’s a truly amazing document in a lot of ways.
For one thing, it’s a tacit admission of the obvious. The Cudjoe Regional wastewater project is a failure on many levels. It costs way too much. It was poorly handled from a public relations perspective which resulted in a multitude of lawsuits and unhappy customers. I’m astounded to see someone from the FKAA actually come right out and say so. If someone from the county actually admitted it, too, I’d probably die of shock. I don’t think that’ll ever happen though. The county is too committed to living in an alternate reality.
For another, there are some other incredibly forthright statements that pretty much blew my mind. Take this bullet point from slide 22, for instance.
The Design-Build Qualification Selection Committee had a “Ringer” that heavily favored a small local contractor.
No kidding! Are we thinking of the same “small local contractor”? Who’s the ringer? I assume it’s someone from the county – Kevin Wilson or Rhonda Haag. Who gave them their marching orders? The county is definitely all about steering taxpayer money to this project in a reckless, irrational fashion. Is the nonsense on the selection committee just another manifestation of that?
Here’s another truth bomb from slide 22.
The Staff-recommended “Progressive” Design/Build process was dismissed in favor of a “lowest price” which caused two of the most qualified D/B bidders to drop out.
Wow! More information needed. Ideally, the procurement process encourages as many qualified bidders as possible to submit. You certainly don’t want to scare bidders away. Unless…
There’s a lot more to unpack on this “wacky” presentation. I really dislike the attitude toward the citizens groups. I wholeheartedly agree with some of the comments about the county’s role in all this, but the FKAA certainly isn’t blameless either.
Stay tuned. It’ll take a while to process this whole thing.