Sarasota News Leader

05/23/2014

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OPINION EDITORIAL EDITORIAL It is a miracle that the city residents who live near Luke Wood Park have not resorted to wearing wigs. No one would have found it odd if all of them, to a person, had pulled out every strand of hair on their heads over the past three-plus years as the Lift Station 87 project started, sputtered, stopped, sat idle and remains a gigantic question mark at City Hall. The U.S. Marine Corps has a sobriquet appli- cable to the project, but, given our efforts to make the News Leader a "family publication," we have to substitute "boondoggle" for the Marines' word. The City of Sarasota easily could end up spending more than $50 million by some estimates to get rid of the remnants of the first incarnation of Lift Station 87 and complete construction of a theoretically much more reliable design. If that proves to be the case, the new facility had best earn Sarasota the sorts of engineering accolades that will wipe away all memories of this painful ordeal. The apparent hope at City Hall is that the city will win enough money in its lawsuit against the first project contractor — which seemed to have been glaringly inept, based on doc- umentation revealed over the past months by subsequent consultants — to be able to afford the final price tag. That is the type of "if" on which we would not bet even if we had a Back to the Future DeLorean that enabled us to watch City Manager Tom Barwin and the city commissioners doing a victory dance outside the courthouse. CALL THIS AN OUTRAGEOUSLY EXPENSIVE BOONDOGGLE THAT DEMANDS AN EXTRAORDINARILY POSITIVE CONCLUSION OPINION

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