By Steve Plunkett

A construction company that was given a temporary easement through Ocean Strand Park so its trucks and crews could reach a waterfront job site just north of the park is not living up to its part of the contract.

Georgia-based JJ Morley Enterprises Inc. paid $15,000 for the easement, which ran from December 2021 through February 2023, and promised to repave the park’s only road and restore vegetation and anything else it disturbed at Ocean Strand.

At an Oct. 2 meeting Jacob Horowitz, a lawyer for the Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District, told district commissioners that the company had offered to reimburse the district for the restoration instead of actually doing the work.

But two weeks later Horowitz recommended changing tactics.

“I’m reluctant and sad to report that the counsel for JJ Morley has been wholly non-responsive to all of our efforts. They’ve not returned phone calls. They have not responded to emails,” he said.

Commissioners authorized him to sue the company. They also told Briann Harms, their executive director, to give the remedial work to Maracore Builders LLC, the firm that cleared Ocean Strand of many of its invasive plants and installed an asphalt walkway, mulch path and picnic tables there.

Maracore suggested milling the existing road in addition to paving it, adding fresh mulch to the path and hiring an expediter for the permit process, for a total bill of $92,000.

But the agreement for the temporary construction easement noted only one dollar amount: $38,250 for repaving. It also said JJ Morley would be responsible for replanting vegetation and making other amends.

The construction company needed access through the park to build Manatee Pointe at Lago Mar, a three-unit condominium facing the Intracoastal Waterway. The multimillion-dollar project is at the west end of Lago Mar Lane, which has several homes along it and is too narrow for construction traffic.

Ocean Strand opened to the public as a pedestrian park in February.

In other business Oct. 16, beach and park commissioners got updates on plans for North Park from their consultants and from developer Malcolm Butters, whom they chose to build an indoor paddleball facility at the park.

“We’re in the very early stages. Obviously we’re going to get a lot of input from the board,” Butters said.

Mike Kroll of consultants Miller Legg told commissioners that the city had asked that an 8-foot-wide shared use path be added to the plan on Northwest Second Avenue from Jeffery Street north to 67th Street.

“Question: That’s not really on our property, right? So why are we responsible for widening that sidewalk?” District Chair Erin Wright asked.

“Our goal is to counter that with the city,” Harms said. “We’re certainly not just going to do it without questioning it more.”

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