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Lake Worth approves another extension for casino ballroom repairs


A lawsuit over the structural problems with the Lake Worth Casino ballroom has been delayed … again.

City Commissioners at tonight’s meeting unanimously approved giving REG Architects and The Morganti Group until June 1 to come up with a solution to repair the leaks and drainage issues that have plagued the building since it reopened in 2013.

This is the fourth extension — called a tolling agreement — the city has given both companies. The agreement stops the clock on when the city can file a lawsuit, while preserving the city’s right to pursue legal action. The city has been threatening to do that for months against both companies as well as The Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, the company with which the city secured a public construction bond.

Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell, the most vocal commissioner on the constant delays, reiterated his “contempt” over how long it’s taken Morganti and REG to fix the problem.

“It really feels like we’re being jerked around on this project,” Maxwell said.

READ: Just over 100 Lake Worth residents lost power during weekend storm

The city hired REG in 2010 to design the new casino building and Morganti to construct it. The project’s price tag: $6 million.

The city has said it was seeking extending the tolling agreement because officials think a workable solution is within reach.

During a nearly three-hour meeting in November, REG and The Morganti Group made a presentation to commissioners on how the issues could be resolved, which included altering the floors to help with drainage and sealing the doors to prevent leaks.

Judy Wilcox, an engineer and one of the city’s experts, is expected to test the new flooring in the coming month, City Attorney Glen Torcivia told The Palm Beach Post.

Last year, Rick Gonzalez, REG’s president, acknowledged the building was in “horrible” condition when his company was awarded the contract. He said the best solution was to “bring back the essence” of the historical casino, adding how it sits in a harsh environment and is exposed to rain, sand and water.

Gonzalez said the building was an $8 million project done for $6 million.



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