GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Following a lengthy discussion at Tuesday night’s meeting, the Green Cove Springs City Council voted to stand their ground regarding the current contract after a Monday …
GREEN COVE SPRINGS – Following a lengthy discussion at Tuesday night’s meeting, the Green Cove Springs City Council voted to stand their ground regarding the current contract after a Monday morning visit to the Spring Park Pool jobsite and a recommendation from city staff.
The city will begin the imposition of the $500 per day damages, excluding Sundays, on Core Construction who failed to meet their April 14 extended deadline for the substantial completion of the Historic Spring Park Pool restoration project.
This doesn’t mean the city will begin sending daily or weekly invoices to the contractor, but the council wanted to state publicly that the terms agreed upon in the revised contract are still in effect, and since missing their deadline for final completion, the city will remove the sum total of damages from their final check after the project is complete.
“Rules without consequences are just conversation,” said Vice Mayor Mitch Timberlake. “We need to go forward with letting them know that we intend to pursue liquidated damages.”
The decision did not come without some disagreement among council members. Councilman Van Royal believed that the imposition of damages was redundant since it had already been mentioned in the contract that was hammered out in late Febraury, and that any seemingly aggressive action toward the contractors could delay the project further.
“A contract is a contract and no matter what we do tonight we’re not sending bills,” Royal said. “Understand that the substantial completion date was [April] 14th and here we are on the 18th and we’ll get to this matter when it comes time. Accept the report, not giving away any legal stance that we’ve got, and let’s get this project done.”
Royal made an initial motion to accept the staff’s report, but not to reiterate their position on the $500 per day damages in the interest of completing the project before getting into the financial details.
“My goal is to open up that pool at Spring Park,” Royal said. “I believe that I’ve seen Core working now, and I believe that there’s an end in sight.”
With an initial support from Council member Steven Kelley, following further discussion Kelley took back his second from Royal’s motion as he felt the motion would imply that the contract is not enforceable. Council member Constance Butler seconded Royal’s motion and a vote was taken.
Butler and Royal voted yes, Mayor Pam Lewis, Timberlake, and Kelley all voted no and the motion failed.
The discussion continued as Timberlake made a motion to accept the staff’s report and to publicly state that the city recognizes the imposition of damages to be paid out, showing that they will enforce what is written in the contract. Royal stated that he would not support this motion should it go to vote. Kelley seconded the motion, and it passed 4-1 with Royal dissenting.
The expected date for completion of the project is still up in the air. There are several items still unfinished, according to the staff report, though the report also noted a significant increase in the presence of workers on the jobsite following the February 28 council meeting.
The imposition of damages officially began on April 15 and will continue until the next deadline for completion, April 28, when the cost of liquidated damages will increase to $1,000 per day – excluding Sundays – until substantial completion is reached.
Core Construction did not have representation involved in the conversation at the meeting.
In a separate business item, the council voted unanimously to renovate the large pavilion that sits across the park from the pool project, with spending not exceeding $35,000 for the improvements.
The council agreed this fix is somewhat temporary, but could last several years before this or future councils vote to demolish the pavilion and rebuild that side of the park, a project that was bid at almost $500,000 to complete.
“I don’t see it as being a short-term fix, I’d like to wait a little while before we have to revisit it again because we’d be wasting that $30,000,” Kelley said.
The major work to be done is the installation of a metal roof, replacing the current fiberglass roof which has fallen in disrepair. In addition to the roofing the concrete will all be power washed, and structures including walls and tables will be repainted to match the color of the new pool facilities.
“If you put a decent roof on it and you do a good job it could last 10, 15, 20 years,” Timberlake said.
Funding for the project is expected to be paid by the surtax the city receives from Clay County, with a pending donation of up to $13,000 by the organization Friends of Spring Park.