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ORLANDO-In a 3-2 vote, divided Sanford, FL commissioners have decided to find an extra $1 million to pay for the re-construction of a five-mile Downtown sea wall for Riverwalk, a landscaping project planned as the centerpiece for a proposed $18 million, 45,000-sf lakefront convention center and possibly a 200-room, seven-story, $55 million hotel.

The extra million will be paid to Orlando-based Wharton Smith whose second-ranked bid of $11.3 million was over the city’s budgeted $10.3 million figure.

The city selected Wharton Smith after Orlando-based Harbco Construction Inc., the winning bidder at $9.1 million, pulled out of the project after the city refused to approve an unlicensed Mexico-based subcontractor to work with Harbco on the job.

Harbco officials told the city Grupo Mora & SouthCees Group de Mexico was qualified to do the sea wall job and would have been licensed to work in the United States within 45 days. The 16-month construction phase won’t begin until the 30-day engineering phase is completed in October, city staffers tell GlobeSt.com.

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