At the November 10th regularly scheduled council meeting, Two representatives of Curt’s Construction were also present and reminded all concerned of the money which is still owed them. As you will recall Curt’s Construction, Inc. was the Low Bid at $310,350.43 and they completed.
Kellen Lindsey, of Mittauer and Associates advised us that they ran into another problem with the Kendrick Street Project. The Kendrick Street Project is at $250,000 and the low bid was $310,000 and two others were over $400,000. Mittauer reached out to the Florida Department of Transportation to get additional funding bare bones.
Mittauer spoke to Ken Evans of the Department of Transportation and managed to place together additional funding and timing of $46,000 and an additional $10,000 through Tallahassee.
Curt’s Construction began stripping the Asphalt on the 16th of march.
On July 14th, consultant /Town Manager Jones stated that Curt’s Construction 1011-11-1 regarding White Springs’ Kendrick Street must be paid $168,547.91. This amount has to be paid to the contractor before the Town will be reimbursed. There was enough in the general account but the balance would dwindle under $40,000 until the State reimburses us. The Council under Mayor Miller decided to forego paying Curt’s through the General Fund due to the problems incurred by paying the Boat Ramp Grant. The State takes a long time in reimbursing a Town under these grants. Instead Mayor Miller stated we needed to secure a line of Credit.
Curts Construction within a couple of weeks of this meeting had completed the entire project.
The proposal by First Federal for a Line of Credit was retracted based on the fact that Jones was a consultant not a town employee/manager; Also that Jones lied about the Town not being involved in litigation even though he and former Vice Mayor McKenzie were involved in the Preuter case.
After the line of credit was retracted by the bank, a check in the amount of $75,000 was issued to Curt’s Construction to at least give the Construction Company money in which to pay their subcontractors.
Vice Mayor Anita Rivers has since been working diligently with First Federal who stated they will reconsider looking at providing us with a line of Credit if the appropriate people are in place. We just hired Vanessa George who will begin working for the Town of White Springs as an EMPLOYEE Interim Town Manager for a period of ninety (90) days. Ms. George Along with Beverly Brazil and Cynthia Williams McKire will be filling out applications; have background checks and take drug tests per Vice Mayor Rivers.
It may be mentioned that our approximate 40 veterans may have met Ms. George today at the Veteran’s Celebration. She has a great resume, is poised and seems refreshing compared what we have had in previous administrations before Ms. Rivers has taken over the Mayor’s duties as Vice Mayor.
Vice Mayor Rivers is fully aware that we owe Curt’s Construction $235,350.43 and between her and Vanessa George’s efforts, we are hopeful that the Bank now will be satisfied and offer us another line of credit. This situation with Curt’s Construction is on everyone’s mind and until they are paid, we cannot get reimbursement from the Florida Department of Transportation.
This is the prior Council’s fault for not having started to secure funding earlier on after the contract was awarded and for retaining Jones in a position he should have never been as a consultant.
No government would have hired him to handle financials or have a position as he was given since he had multiple felonies for armed robbery and specifically theft. This was Helen Miller’s idea so he would escape his checkered background by making him a consultant, and unfortunately the Attorney who is as much at fault and is a definite unethical decision on the Town Attorney’s part, causing the council members not understanding the law to vote Mr. Jones in, out of the darkness of Helen Miller.