Friday, December 16, 2016

The New Pier a Project out of control

According to public records,  the City spent $4.8 million on "vendors and miscellaneous" from October of 2015 through Sept of 2016 on the Pier project.

St. Petersburg, Fl
Opinion by: E. Eugene Webb PhD
Author: In Search of Robin

It is time to admit that the New Pier project is completely out of control.

In fact, it is time to admit that the Kriseman administration cannot control or manage any large-scale City project or problem.

The Pier Cost overrun problem began to become public about two months ago. See Mark Puente Tampa Bay Times Staff writer, Mayor Rick Kriseman may seek more Pinellas County dollars for St. Petersburg Pier.

According to public records obtained by Bay Post Internet The City spent $4,873,917.39 on "vendors and miscellaneous" from October of 2015 through Sept of 2016.

The money from the Pier Account went to:

ACSTAR Insurance Company
Associated Space Design Florida Inc
Bayside Building Services Inc
George F Young Inc
Greenfield Environmental Inc
Janus Research Inc
Landon Moree & Associates Inc
Lighthouse Advisors Inc
Moffatt & Nichol Inc
Pannier Graphics
Ringwald, Edward D
Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc
Skanska USA Building Inc
Southwest Florida Water Management District
Stantec Consulting Services Inc
Times Publishing Co

Many of these vendors and consultants received multiple payments throughout the fiscal year.

That is almost $5 million dollars with little physical progress beyond tearing down the old Pier.

"I'm looking at, if we invest some more money, we can have a world-class  Pier," Kriseman said. "It's more taking the elements that would exist in the current budget and taking them up another notch."

From $50 million to $80 million is a pretty big notch.

What Kriseman is really saying is this whole project is poorly planned and completely out of control.

Millions spent on consultants and promotion only to get to the point where the City cannot begin to build what was promised.

The County Commission needs to put a stop on any more public funds going into what is becoming a consultant's enrichment project.

This not the end.

Once construction starts, if it ever does, there will be change orders, scope creep and "undiscovered problems" that will continue to drive the cost up.

Just the fact that City Engineering department is managing the project should be cause for significant concern.

Kriseman and his team just do not have the ability to manage these large-scale projects. 

They spend way to much time painting a pretty picture,  We Are Going To Build a Pier, and not enough time with their nose in the details.

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