BRADENTON BEACH – City officials expect Technomarine to miss its July 4 deadline to install a new floating dock next to the Bridge Street Pier.
On April 5, Technomarine President Jat Talton sent Pier Team facilitator Sam Speciale an email that said, “Technomarine’s plan is to have the day dock open prior to this Fourth of July weekend.”
The revised project schedule called for Technomarine to obtain city-issued building permits by May 11 and complete the project by June 29.
After the permitting deadline was missed, the Bradenton Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) convened on Monday, May 21 to discuss the CRA-funded project. CRA member John Horne was authorized to hand-deliver a letter to Technomarine’s North Palm Beach office.
Written by Horne and reviewed by City Attorney Ricinda Perry, the letter expressed a lack of confidence in Technomarine’s ability to meet its June 29 deadline, noted that a previous letter from CRA chair Ralph Cole went unanswered and acknowledged Horne’s dual interests as president of the Anna Maria Oyster Bar that leases pier-based restaurant space from the city.
“You, the CRA, local businesses and the city have every right to be both frustrated and disappointed with the lack of communication and our missed dates.” Ryan Miller, Technomarine Chief Operating Officer
On Thursday, May 24, Horne met with Technomarine Chief Operating Officer Ryan Miller and attorney Roger Stanton.
Horne received an email from Miller the following morning that said, “Attached you will find what will be the final, worst case, schedule. Our intention is to see this project through to its completion and deliver a docking system for the use of your residents and tourists by September 12.
“You, the CRA, local businesses and the city have every right to be both frustrated and disappointed with the lack of communication and our missed dates. Technomarine USA experienced a series of inexcusable delays in manufacturing which have now finally been resolved,” Miller’s email said.
Talton sent Speciale a similarly-worded email.
When contacted Monday, Horne said, “They hired Ryan Miller and he’s digging them out of a hole they got into. They’ve got two projects – one in Leesburg and ours – that are way behind. We actually have a mutual acquaintance who speaks very highly of Ryan and his ability to get things done. I feel a lot better.”
Last week, Cole asked the CRA members what they wanted to do if Technomarine missed its June 29 deadline.
“Are they in default of their contract?” Horne asked.
“Yes, they’re in breach because their delivery date was set forth in the contract which stated it had to be completed within six months from the date of full execution. However, given that the city has been attempting to work with Technomarine and has not objected to the extended deadlines, I think the city would be hard-pressed to state they are in full breach. To seek any kind of damages would be a challenge,” Perry said.
The CRA entered into its contract with Technomarine in April 2017 and has paid the company $53,990 of the $119,980 contract price. Per its agreement to provide matching funds, Manatee County has reimbursed the CRA for 50 percent of the amount paid.
“How’s this affect our agreement with the county if we were to pull the plug on this? Does the county come back and say we want that $27,000 back?” CRA member Jake Spooner asked.
“I believe they would have the right to request that,” Perry said.
“What do you think the chances are of us getting the $54,000 back,” Spooner asked.
“It never seems to work out that way,” Perry said.
Speciale read aloud a story from the Belle Glade Sun about the city of Pahokee’s decision to cancel a design/build contract with Technomarine due to delays encountered with the renovation of that city’s marina and campground.
During the April 24 Pahokee City Commission meeting, which is available online, City Attorney Gary Brandenburg was directed to relay the commission’s request that Technomarine refund within two weeks $125,000 of the $150,000 paid to the company.
“They have not agreed to repay the $$. I will be filing a lawsuit for the return of the $$ next week,” Brandenburg wrote in his May 26 email response to a Sun inquiry.
Horne said he and Miller discussed the Pahokee contract and Miller didn’t place much blame on Technomarine.