TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Tampa City Council member Mike Suarez is glad to hear that workers will finish drain repairs on the historic Cuscaden swimming pool in time for Memorial Day weekend, but questions remain regarding why taxpayers have to pay for that problem in the first place. He thinks contractors who renovated the pool in 2016 should be responsible.
“They should be able to pay us back through the insurance proceeds. Now whether or or not that’s in there, I don’t know, but I’ll tell you that’s part of the administration’s responsibility,” Suarez said.
Prior to last year’s $3.2 million renovation of Cuscaden, Suarez questioned whether the project would remedy all that was wrong with the 80-year-old, public pool. Suarez is now calling for a report to explain why the main drains are failing just nine months after completion of the multi-million dollar renovation.
“What we don’t want to see though, is for us to pay money we shouldn’t have to pay. When it’s someone else’s responsibility, they should guarantee their work,” Suarez said.
At that time, City of Tampa Contracts Administrator Michael Chucran told us that he estimated repairs on the faulty drain would cost between $20,000 and $50,000.
But, contractor estimates now put that cost at $8,140, according to Chucran, who hopes to complete that work before the upcoming holiday weekend. Chucran said work crews will begin rebuilding the faulty drain and relining two others that haven’t yet failed at 8 p.m. Monday, after the pool dries out.
He said a design team inspected the faulty drain back in 2015 and determined it was “sound and operational” back then. Chucran doesn’t believe contractors bear any responsibility for the current lean, because it was “beyond the scope” of the recent renovation.
Even so, critics like Suarez question why it should cost Tampa taxpayers anything to get Cuscaden back up and running again, after such a major investment less than a year ago. Suarez expects a report on the matter at a city council meeting next month.
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