Port Orange residents furious at city for contractor debt

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PORT ORANGE, Fla. - Some furious residents are asking Port Orange leaders why they’re not fighting to recover money the city is owed from a contractor.

The contractor admits it owes a million dollars for a pile of missing dirt and an unfinished construction project at the intersection of Shunz and Tomoka Farms roads in Port Orange.

“It seems like the city is willing to settle for basically a mound of dirt that they claim to be worth a million dollars,” said resident Mike Gardner.

Some like Gardner have been doing some digging and said the city could be owed twice as much by Halifax Paving.

The company has been contracted since 2005 to dig two lakes for reclaimed water and stockpile dirt at the city’s well fields.

Gardner said the company is not being required to pay penalties for not completing the work on time and for expensive fill dirt missing from the site.

WFTV found out the work still isn’t finished.

“The city, I think, should be pushing a little harder for a better deal for the taxpayers,” Gardner said.

City leaders, like council member Bob Ford, are the ones who will be voting on the agreement with Halifax Paving, that would only require the company to pay the $1 million.

“It’s like a moving target to try to make a decision on it,” Ford said.

He said he won’t approve it until any concerns are addressed.

“There are some troubles aspects to this, I guess you would call it, dirt deal,” Ford said.