Billions on Sewage Pipes: Miami-Dade Incompetence Screws Taxpayers

Categories: El Jefe

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for eljefe.png
Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department Chief John Renfrow claimned yesterday that a new $77 million pipe under Government Cut set a standard by being done on time and on budget.

That is hogwash, if you believe what he is reported to have said a year ago. And it masks years of incompetence in dealing with Dade's sewer and water system, -- incompetence that has and will cost taxpayers more than any other charge they pay.

According to Miami Today, that recorder of all things governmental, this project grew hugely in cost without bidding and was promised in August.

Moreover, Renfrow's false claim masks the fact the county has paid huge civil fines for screwing up the water pipes and just this past May had to agree to a $1.6 billion consent decree with the federal government that required it to fix up pipes fast.

But to focus on the Government Cut work for a minute: the work was planned for $54 million, but then workers opened things up and found huge deterioration. Renfrow told the commission: "We can't afford any delay," and suggested adding $22 million to the contract back in July 2012.

Commissioners complained, but then approved the payment to a company called Ric-Man Construction, with offices in Deerfield Beach, without seeking new bids -- a couple were absent, but only Joe Martinez and Esteban Bovo Jr. had the good sense to vote no.

So just to review: This deal had all the makings of a scandal -- a no-bid contract, feds breathing down the county's neck, and even a wonderful threat from Renfrow about the pipe: "I don;t know when it is going to blow."

A model, indeed.

Follow Miami New Times on Facebook and Twitter @MiamiNewTimes.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

sewage has been ignored for 40 years.... and its coming home to roost.

Water suppy is next on the problem list... also being ignored for 40 years.

someday not too far away, we will just not have the water for the people to drink an bathe.

and where is this in the priority list?  

the solutions are all expensive...  desalinization, purification of above ground water, or better purification of underground sources.  

saltwater intrusion is another factor, but usage is the root of the problem.


Another false story by the New Times

Now Trending

Miami Concert Tickets

From the Vault