Escambia County Administrator Jack Brown sat down with Inweekly to explain the county’s role with the Government Street Stormwater Project.
“The County’s role was very similar to that of a subcontractor,” said Brown. “The County contributed two-thirds of the funding for filtration equipment to remove contaminants in the groundwater during the City’s dewatering phase of the western pond construction.”
The green containers shown in this photo are the filtration equipment provided by Cameron-Cole LLC under a county purchase order. The City Contractor, Radford & Mix Construction, attached them to the dewatering pump. It was the dewatering pump that was noisy and emitting diesel fumes, according to county staff. That pump is still onsite and operating.
No earthmoving or other heavy equipment that contributed to the roadway dust, erosion or other debris issues were mobilized by the County.
The filtration equipment was installed only along Coyle Street and only blocked one lane. On Dec. 14, the filtration ceased. There was a miscommunication between the City and County over who was to instruct Cameron-Cole to remove the green containers. City Engineer Derek Owens told Commissioner Lumon May and Brown that it would be removed by Friday, Dec. 18. However, Brown told Inweekly that his staff should have followed up with Owens and Cameron-Cole. The equipment was finally demobilized on Dec. 29.
In regards to the county purchase order, the total cost of filtration was $316,000. The Board agreed to pay $216,000. The City of Pensacola is to pay the balance, $100,000. The County will receive estimated tax credits on 75 percent of the cost. See PO 141429 Cameron Cole LLC for Corrine Jones.
Commissioner Doug Underhill was interviewed on “Pensacola Speaks” yesterday. He pointed out that the old Mosquito Control Facility has been under a remediation plan since 2010. The plan was dealing with the groundwater contamination.
When the City of Pensacola made the decision in 2014 to expand the size of the Government Street Stormwater Project, the new design changed the direction of the plume and drew it towards the holes being dug by the City’s contractor this spring.
Because the County was a subcontractor working under the City and its contractor, the proper chain-of-command would have been for City Engineer Derek Owens or City Administrator Eric Olson to contact the County and officially request the filtration equipment be removed back in mid-December. That did not happen.