LAKE WALES – The bills from damage suffered during Hurricane Irma last fall are coming due, with city commissioners approving more than $125,000 in repair work.
The five-member board unanimously approved a series of expenditures related to the destructive storm during a regular meeting held last week.
The measures included over $42,000 in additional work for the Larry Linton Little League complex, where initial repair work approved earlier this summer revealed more damage than first anticipated.
City officials said the press box and concessions building is now considered “completely unusable” The concession stand is considered the “main hub” of the youth baseball organization.
In addition to physical damage, the building now has mold issues. The building is currently boarded up to keep the public at bay. In early July, the commission approved spending $117,000 for repair work on the building, with the hopes of having it opened back up to league workers by the 2019 season.
Another $36,000 was authorized to replace shade structures over the shuffleboard courts at the city's tourist club building. City officials note that the courts are used “on a nearly daily basis” and the previous structures were “completely destroyed.”
Just over $23,000 was authorized for work at the city's wastewater treatment plant, where the administration building and several other structures receive primarily roof damage. Officials also said some related water damage was also present inside the buildings.
An additional $26,000 was green-lighted for repair work at other water department facilities, primarily the Sessoms Avenue water plant where there is also roof and leakage damage.
In all cases, the city will apply for Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursements, but it is unclear how much Lake Wales might be reimbursed.
“Grant award amounts and associated timelines are unknown at this time, but are expected to be relatively low,” city officials indicated in memos to the commissioners that covered the scope of the work.
All four contracts were awarded to SEMCO Construction. They were the only bidder on the first three projects, and was the low-bidder on the fourth project, city officials added. There was no discussion or questions from the commission on any of the costs.