Americus Ditch ongoing problem for county

Published: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 11:40 AM.

Commissioners approved by a 4-1 vote, Bryan dissenting, to have county administrator Don Butler decide the legitimacy of requests for information; the jail and Americus Ditch were hot button topics as Bryan was seeking information on those two in addition to how road bond money had been spent in the past.

Commissioners also voted in the past two months to reaffirm that contract negotiations be overseen by Butler and county attorney Jeremy Novak.

But Bryan noted last week that the Americus Ditch project remains a problem, with constituents calling her about the ongoing issues with the project in St. Joe Beach.

Bryan said her original questions about the project were as much centered on Americus Ditch as county policy for bidding and letting contracts, particularly $1 million contracts.

“This is a poster child for the wrong way to do business,” Bryan said. “It concerns me about how many other projects have been done this way and the exposure for liability.”

Brad Bailey, whose company was the contractor on the project, and Ralph Rish from Preble Rish Engineers appeared before the BOCC to clarify what they said were false statements made about the project.

Rish acknowledged there were problems with the project and pledged that Preble Rish would assist the county in addressing those problems.

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