This report is given prior to the reading and approval of the minutes of the port commission meeting, and reflects an overview of the commission highlights. The order and events may vary from the actual minutes of the Port Commission meeting when finally approved.
THE FEBRUARY COMMISSION MEETING OF THE PORT OF PALM BEACH was opened in form on Feb. 21, 2013 at 4:05 PM with three stern raps of the gavel. Chairman George Mastics then lead the attendants in the pledge of allegiance to our flag, and then everyone was seated and roll call was taken. A quorum was present with all the Port’s board of directors present.
Next on the agenda was the readings and approval of the port meeting of January. This item was tabled until the next board meeting as the minutes were either incomplete or the commissioners had not had enough time to read them for approval. The consent agenda was then further modified and the meeting proceeded.
The floor was turned over to Carlton Cartwright of TCCI who made a request of the Commission for $2500.00 for the furtherance of the education of children of veterans of Palm Beach County. There was a brief discussion by the commissioners of this request, and then it was agreed that the Port would donate the maximum amount that they are allowed to donate for such causes which is $500.00.
The next item at hand was the re-approval of the ten year master plan which was returned to the port commission by the county commissioners for final approval by the port. There was some discussion of some of the modified verbiage and the master plan was then unanimously approved.
The meeting then moved to the report of the port statistics by Manuel Almira the Port’s Executive Director. The container traffic, tonnage, and passenger traffic were all up from this same time last year, a very optimistic sign in this fragile economy.
It was then reported that the Port had had business visitors from Yantai China. This group of business persons was mostly politicians, speaking of which, it was also reported that the port would be visited by Congresswoman Lowis Frankle, which did happen in February.
It was then reported that the Port dredging project would soon be complete as would the avenue E rail project. It was also reported that the Port had passed its’ Coast Guard inspection.
After Richard Pinsky finished his discussion of the slip #3 project the meeting moved to the parking lot feasibility study. Five presentations were given concerning the parking lot feasibility study by the five hopeful bidders. After the presentations were given the Port commissioners chose Song & Associates to take on the project of the parking lot feasibility study.
With more general business discussion the meeting then moved to the main topic of interest, the unacceptable concrete slabs that were poured by Rosso Paving. Commissioner Jean Enright strongly expressed her opinion of the poor job done by Russo Paving under contract with AECOM. and Commissioner Wayne Richards then commented about his disapproval, and gave some words of wisdom and support of the Port staff. Mr. Richards expressed that though there was certainly blame to be taken for the bad job done on this concrete work, that it was not the fault of the Port staff, and in paraphrase, the blame clearly lay at the feet of Rosso Paving and AECOM. With several minutes of discussion Commissioner Opel recommended that the rest of the money being held in escrow for the constructing of the concrete slabs be retained by the Port, and that the issue of final payment for the concrete work should fall on A. E. Com, Rosso Paving, and their bonding company. This idea was adopted by the commission and the money will remain with the port unless a judge or someone of higher authority says different.
The discussion then moved to the subject of the Black Diamond cruise ship, and it was suggested that that topic be tabled until the March Commission meeting. This was approved and the meeting turned to the subject of the Maritime Office Complex. It was brought to the commission’s attention that the Maritime Office Complex has suffered some serious water damage and is in need of repair. With this being brought up, and with an estimate of approximately $300,000.00 for repairs the commission decided to have EZRA the company that has already started the repair to continue with the repair, and that the money for this repair will come from the money that was to be spent on a new crane for the port. The commission decided that the crane replacement could wait for one more year as the building repairs are a more pressing issue.
After this decision and some further discussion comments were heard from the public, and the meeting was adjourned.