Indian Trail Improvement District President Betty Argue reported last week on delays that have come about for the Acreage Community Park expansion project, including permitting from Palm Beach County on conditions for the park and change orders by the contractor that are being disputed by district staff.
Argue said at the Wednesday, Oct. 17 meeting that permits from the county had been approved by the Palm Beach County Zoning Commission and were scheduled to go before the Palm Beach County Commission at a zoning hearing on Thursday, Oct. 25. County staff has recommended approval of the permits, which include a development order amendment to reconfigure the site plans and engineering modifications.
Argue, who has volunteered to head up the expansion project, said she has heard false comments that she has been approving change orders and overspending without approval of the full board.
“I have never approved a change order request that did not come to this board,” she said. “Since I have been involved with this contract, I go through everything with a fine-toothed comb. More often than not, the change order requests are denied.”
She said that the park contract has become a monster that no one anticipated, mainly due to the addition of the amphitheater to the plans. “If I had the information then that I have now, I never would have approved it,” she said. “But we are where we are, and I’m looking forward to getting to completion.”
Argue said that she is not happy about additional delays. “It has been a humongous headache, and I have spent countless hours working on this,” she said.
She presented a list of change orders that have been presented since July. “If you will notice, all of them have been denied,” Argue said. “The latest one relates to water connections to building[s].”
Argue and ITID staff are having the contractor review the cost of several items that needed to be changed, including added costs for the amphitheater.
“There’s a change order on that, and we’re pushing back on the amount,” she said. “The amount there is $12,530. We don’t agree that it should be that amount, so we’ll see where we end up. I am not asking the board to approve this item. My intention is that we will have everything in the next two weeks, and we will bring it back to the board in November with a firmer schedule and a proposed change order completion date.”
Argue said that other than haggling with the contractors, progress is being made on the park expansion. Contractors are forming the roofing for the buildings, due to be completed by Nov. 2, as well as site work on drainage.
“They’re building the berm around the amphitheater right now, and the irrigation and electrical work is continuing,” she said.
The asphalt had been laid for the ring road, and road rock has been put on the trails in preparation for paving.
“They are working toward it, but I can’t give you a firm anything at the moment,” Argue said.
While ITID Manager Rob Robinson estimated completion by December, Argue was a bit more conservative. “Our estimation is that we should be looking at January or February,” she said.
Robinson said that his staff had noticed discrepancies from the original schedules.
“We’re going to be putting together a list with everything and sitting down with the contractor and asking why these items have been extended out,” he said. “Some we understand, but there’s a lot of fluff in that schedule, and we’re trying to tighten that up. This has gone on long enough, and we’re just trying to get it done.”
Supervisor Ralph Bair made a motion to receive and file Argue’s report, which carried 4-0 with Supervisor Carol Jacobs absent.