We wrote the following email to the Lake County Commissioners regarding the Lake County Port Authority’s handling of the ‘Better Flip’ project. We will let our readers know when the Commissioners respond to us.
Since we have confirmed with the Lake County Prosecutor’s office that the Lake County Port Authority did NOT create a budget for the ‘Better Flip’ project, we wanted to ask each of you one last time if you are concerned about that fact?
Is it also a concern to each of you that the project is at least $149,000 over the $150,000 amount stated in the Port’s Board of Directors’ original resolution approving the project?
The Board President, Art Lindrose, stated in the Chairman’s Report section of the December 20, 2017 Board minutes [ 2017-12-20 Minutes ]that there should be a budget created before they proceed, so that everyone understands the costs that may be incurred before they accept the property from the Land Bank. Does the fact that the Board was negligent in their fiduciary duties to the Lake County taxpayers by not creating a budget for the ‘Better Flip’ project concern you?
Are you concerned that the $150,000 approved by their Board of Directors is also the maximum limit allowed by the ORC before competitive bidding is mandatory? Here is the ORC section in question.
“(2) Except as provided in division (C) of this section or except when the port authority elects to construct a building, structure, or other improvement pursuant to a contract made with a construction manager at risk under sections 9.33 to 9.335 of the Revised Code or with a design-build firm under sections 153.65 to 153.73 of the Revised Code, when the cost of a contract for the construction of any building, structure, or other improvement undertaken by a port authority involves an expenditure exceeding one hundred fifty thousand dollars and the port authority is the contracting entity, the port authority shall make a written contract after notice calling for bids for the award of the contract has been given by publication twice, with at least seven days between publications, in a newspaper of general circulation in the area of the jurisdiction of the port authority. Each such contract shall be let to the lowest responsive and responsible bidder in accordance with section 9.312 of the Revised Code. Every contract let shall be in writing and if the contract involves work or construction, it shall be accompanied by or shall refer to plans and specifications for the work to be done, prepared for and approved by the port authority, signed by an authorized officer of the port authority and by the contractor, and shall be executed in triplicate. ” (emphasis added)
Are you concerned that the Executive Director, Mark Rantala, stated to Commissioner Hamercheck that they did create a budget when, in fact, they did not?
If you are concerned, what are you going to do about it?
We would appreciate a written response from each of you within 7 days. If we receive no response for you, it will mean to us that you are in complete agreement with the handling of the ‘Better Flip’ project by the Lake County Port Authority Executive Director and the entire Board of Directors, who unanimously approved the two spending increases totaling $149,000 over the original $150,000 resolution amount.
We have every intention of continuing to inform the Lake County citizens and the appropriate State authorities about the handling of the ‘Better Flip’ project.
Lobbyists for Citizens
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