City memo reveals 14 million waste
Date: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 @ 23:52:10 EST
Topic: Geniuses at Work

City memo shows 14 million in taxpayer $$ just went down the drain on county water

"The memo makes it clear that all along, Lake Worth could have had equal or better quality water (compared to the county water) without investing 14 million [over three years] in county water... we wouldn't have to invest a cent in someone else's infrastructure. We would simply be paying for the water as we go." 


Few stories really qualify for our GENIUSES AT WORK award, but the recent majority decision by the mayor, and commissioners Retha Lowe and David Vespo qualifies for the GENIUS OF THE YEAR award.  Their decision which forced the city into an unfavorable 40 year water deal was based on a 10 to 12 million dollar error that finance director Mark Bates and city manager Robert Baldwin knew about but didn't reveal to the commission. 

But commissioner Golden told commissioners that the figures were wrong but neither the mayor, or commissioners Vespo and Lowe were concerned whatsoever and simply shrugged it off charging ahead with committing the people to investing 14 million in unneeded county infrastructure and a storage tank that Lake Worth doesn't need.  The memo confirms that neither the city manager Robert Baldwin, finance director Mark Bates, or the mayor, or commissioners Lowe and Vespo considered this or any other far less costly alternatives to blowing 14 million into something that has NO equity for taxpayers other than committing us to the most costly alternative for water supply for the next 40 years.  The decision flies in the face of environmentally responsible South Florida Water Management standards since they are seeking to reduce the dependency on surficial aquifers which LW would stand in compliance with... if they proceeded with the less expensive RO plant.  By obtaining water from another utility (county) that gets its water from surficial wells... Lake Worth is abbrogating its committment to the environment and abandoning a 14 or 15 million dollar investment already made in the environmentally compatible RO system.

City management withheld critical information from the commission... the very info they needed to make an accurate comparison between finishing our RO water plant and other alternatives.  As reported months ago by LWM, Lake Worth had already invested in a 16 inch line connected to WPB water which could easily supply equal or better quality 2 million gallons a day and not cost us a cent in infrastructure. 

This article comes from Lake Worth Media

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