KEY LARGO -- A construction conflict with the state road agency could cost the Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District up to $120,000.
Plans the district submitted to the Florida Department of Transportation showing the location of its pipeline were incorrect, according to a memo by the district's operations manager Dan Saus.
The matter was to be discussed during the Key Largo Wastewater Board's meeting Tuesday, April 9. The meeting took place after the Free Press' deadline.
The district's error, according to FDOT, has forced the agency to redesign its drainage project along Overseas Highway because of many conflicts with the pipeline. In addition to footing the bill for FDOT's redesign, the district may have to dig up and move some of the pipe, Saus's memo states.
In March, the district sent FDOT officials drawings indicating the layout of its pipeline. According to Saus, after sending the drawings, his staff realized they were incorrect.
Richard Crow, who was the construction manager for Key Largo's pipeline project, would not discuss the matter with the district, the memo said. Crow is now the manager of Islamorada's sewer project.
"The construction plans were developed working in close cooperation with the FDOT's future drainage project," Saus wrote. "The design specifically routed the vacuum mains around the FDOT's proposed drainage piping and structures."
The area in conflict, at minimum, includes 2,000 feet of six-inch vacuum main pipeline. J.A. LaRocco is the construction company who Saus says deviated from the plans. A company foreman told Saus the changes came at the request of then-district inspector Chuck Grubb, his memo states. Saus said he was unable to confirm this.
Even if Grubb OK'd the actions, Saus said the change was big enough to require approval from the project's engineer, Ed Castle of Weiler Engineering. No such approval was given.
The district plans to ask its attorney to speak with J.A. LaRocco officials about the issue.
Also to be discussed at Tuesday meeting was hiring a public affairs officer to handle public information requests.
Board member Steve Gibbs has brought up adding the position, he wrote, in response to a small public outcry after the board voted recently to pay for Chief Information Officer Paul Christian's college courses.
That type of questioning could be handled by a public affairs officer, Gibbs wrote in the agenda.