Fruitland Park has money woes after library project runs $400,000 over budget

Fruitland Park commissioners are struggling with money woes after the library project came in $400,000 over budget.

The city had successfully landed more than $1 million in grant money for the construction of a new library.

But the project came in $400,000 over budget.

“I had a gut feeling this was going to happen. Every project that has taken place in my three years on the commission has gone over budget. I have to apologize to the residents,” said Commissioner Rick Ranize.

The commission agreed to table consideration of the library construction bids until January.

At the same time, the city is expecting a $365,000 bill for the cleanup from Hurricane Irma.

City Manager Gary La Venia indicated that the city will be applying for reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, but FEMA is famous for being slow to reimburse.