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The Villages

Elected supervisor objects to contract with longtime Villages engineer

An elected supervisor objected to a contract with The Villages’ longtime engineer over lingering bitterness over the contentious issue of striping on multi-modal paths.

The Community Development District 8 Board of Supervisors had been asked Friday morning to sign off on a rather routine agreement for engineering services “on an as needed basis” with five firms.

One of those firms was Kimley-Horn & Associates Inc. which has been performing engineering services for many years in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown. Other CDDs have approved the same item with little or no discussion in the past week.

However, long-serving CDD 8 Supervisor Sal Torname objected to contracting with Kimley-Horn due to a 2015 pricetag of more than $300,000 for thermoplastic striping for 42 miles of multi-modal path in The Villages.

The discussion nearly six years ago of striping on the multi-modal paths was highly contentious. Kimley-Horn was at the center of the controversy and the $300,000 pricetag doomed the striping effort.

Torname on Friday repeated the charge originally made back in 2015 that Kimley-Horn deliberately delivered an inflated pricetag to drive a stake in the heart of the striping movement. Torname said he had done some research and found the striping could have been done at “a fraction of the cost” quoted by Kimley-Horn.

“I don’t think Kimley-Horn is acting in the best interest of the residents of Community Development District 8 and the residents of The Villages,” Torname said.

Kimley-Horn also has been criticized for sloughing at the embankment that supports the Morse Boulevard bridge. Residents have questioned how the firm involved in the design and construction of the bridge could propose a remedy. A supervisor at the time called for a forensic engineering audit of the bridge.

Torname said he wanted his objection to using the services of Kimley-Horn “on the record.” Despite his objection, the engineering agreement was approved by the board.

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