Sinkholes blamed for expensive problems during Lake Dora pavilion construction

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Construction of a city-owned wedding pavilion in Tavares is well under way, but Channel 9 found out taxpayers will have to come up with an extra $175,000 to finish the project, which already cost the city millions.

Officials broke ground on the pavilion in September. The $3.3.million facility is being built over Lake Dora, sitting atop concrete and steel pilings that are driven into the ground. 

But the bottom of Lake Dora wasn’t as rock solid as officials had hoped and some areas where concrete pilings were driven into were actually sinkholes, so crews needed to construct more of them. 

“Every so often, you run into a little sinkhole if you will,” said city administrator John Drury.

Contractors will need more pilings to safely hold up the building, which is expected to cost taxpayers an additional $175,000.

Drury said test pilings were driven, but the problem was not discovered.  But he said the city would have had to pay either way.

“Had you discovered it during the design, it would have been designed in,  and you would have paid for it,” he said.

Drury said the city had a reserve fund for the project. Because of the problem, they'll have to spend half of it.