MIAMI - A contractor working on several taxpayer-funded buildings in Miami-Dade County remains on one project despite being fired from two others for what the county called "lack of performance."
Miami Skyline Construction was fired from two multi-million dollar, taxpayer-funded projects -- a Head Start Center behind the Arcola Lakes Library and a Miami-Dade Police Department substation within one block of each other on Northwest 7th Avenue.
But the company remains as the head contractor on the Northeast Miami-Dade Library in Aventura.
"It's been one delay after another," said Miami-Dade County Commissioner Sally Heyman. "I raised the concern all along. We know who he is and we know the difficulty."
Heyman added the company appears to take on too much work and has a history of asking for more time and money.
"We are concerned to the point that we have taken an aggressive approach toward monitoring the project." said Lester Sola, director of Miami-Dade County Internal Services Department.
Work on the $6.5 million Head Start Center stopped about five months ago. The building is now surrounded by a fence and "No Trespassing" signs.
In January, work also stopped on the $9.6 million police substation, which is 85 percent complete.
"People not being there doing the work they were required to do to do to ultimately to finish that project." said Sola.
Sola added that Claudio Rodriguez, the owner of Miami Skyline Construction, wanted more tax dollars to finish because subcontractors were asking him for more money.
Since the projects are bonded and insured for the contracted price, the county refused to give more tax dollars toward the project.
"We took an aggressive approach, which is to terminate the contract with that contractor and ultimately engage someone else to finish that project," added Sola.
Rodriguez emailed a statement to Local 10's Jeff Weinsier saying: "The problems on the Head Start and the North Side Police Station projects were not of our making. If the building owner and its designer make delayed changes so that Miami Skyline cannot proceed as originally planned, it is not Miami Skyline's responsibility. There was no lack of performance caused by Miami Skyline."
Despite delays, Miami Skyline Construction remains as the lead contractor on the Northeast Miami-Dade Library project.
The insurance company brought in a new contractor to finish the Head Start Center and police substation.
The Head Start Center is about a year behind schedule. Work will begin again at the police substation in mid April.
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