Pinellas County sues contractors over Lake Seminole clean-up
By Anna M. Phillips
Pinellas County is suing the two companies it hired years ago to design and build several water treatment facilities for Lake Seminole as part of an attempt to reduce water pollution.
The lawsuit, filed Aug. 21, claims that Environmental Research and Design and Tampa Contracting Services failed to properly design the project that, once built, suffered structural problems and ultimately cost the county additional money to repair. The county is suing for damages and negligence.
The project was funded with money from Penny for Pinellas and also relied on grants from the Southwest Florida Water Management District, also known as Swiftmud, which is not involved in the suit.
Leaders of both companies said the lawsuit came as a surprise.
The Lake Seminole project ended in 2011, said Daniel Harte, founder and chief executive officer of Tampa Contracting Services, which is based in Palmetto.
"The project was done and substantially complete," he said. "This is news to me."
An attorney for the county declined to comment, citing the ongoing legal dispute.