MADEIRA BEACH – Work is starting on the long-awaited fix of the city of Madeira Beach’s stormwater system and related street repair and paving.
The City Commission approved a work order at the June 11 regular meeting that allows the engineering firm Deuel and Associates of Clearwater to begin designing the stormwater and street paving improvements.
Al Carrier of Deuel said the firm will use information gained from a videotaping of the outfall pipes, which will determine their condition, to propose a fix for the stormwater system.
The work will begin on Crystal Island, which was determined to be the area of greatest need. Boca Ciega Avenue and Boca Ciega Drive, which will be done in two segments, will come next.
City Manager Shane Crawford said fixing the stormwater system involves more than just cleaning the pipes of barnacles and debris, which is a separate project.
“We need to know what the issues are, what needs to be done, and go about it in an organized fashion,” he said.
Carrier said his firm would look at each outfall pipe individually from the videotapes.
“The pipe could be good but too small,” he said. “Or it could be the right size and need repair or replacement. If it is the right size (but needs work), there are a number of ways we could repair it.”
The city will get a full report on the fixes needed for the system.
“It’s a stepwise approach,” Carrier said. “We will let you know as we progress through the process.”
After the stormwater system is fixed, street repair and repaving will begin.
Work on the job will begin “within a week,” Carrier said after the commission unanimously approved the work order.
The Crystal Island portion of the project is due to be completed by late fall, and Boca Ciega will begin soon after, Carrier said in a comment following the meeting.
Commissioner Nancy Hodges, who represents the Crystal Island neighborhood, said getting the project underway “is going to make a lot of people happy.”
Groin restoration gets underway
The commission also approved a work order to begin restoration of the groins, which the city uses to control beach erosion. Crawford said the city is hopeful of getting grant money and cooperative funding from the Southwest Florida Water Management District to help with that project.
Commissioner Pat Shontz said the groins used by the city are more effective and far less costly than the periodic beach nourishments done by most other beach communities.
“They should certainly give us some dollars to help with this,” because the groins save a lot of money, she said.
Mayor Travis Palladeno said the city is “very optimistic” about getting some money from the state agency as they favor communities that have not gotten any funding from them for a while.
“That puts you at the top of the list,” he said.
About $250,000 will be needed for the groin restoration project, and $100,000 is budgeted. Additional money needed will be taken from a contingency fund for unanticipated issues, Crawford indicated.
Seawall repairs completed
“Every city-owned seawall has been replaced,” Palladeno announced, ending a project that had been pushed to be completed by the start of hurricane season (June 1). Palladeno said the company doing the work, Speeler Foundations of Clearwater, “did a fantastic job.”
“The seawalls look great,” he said, and are constructed to last for years.
Parks maintenance tasks contracted out
Grass cutting, weeding, trimming and mulching are among the parks maintenance jobs being assigned to an outside contractor. The one-year contract will cost the city around $60,000 and save the salaries of three maintenance worker positions that are currently vacant. No one will lose their job, Crawford said.
Crawford said parks personnel will be freed up for higher level projects and “not be tied to pushing a mower or running a trimmer all day long.”
The outsourcing of maintenance jobs formerly done by city workers is an experiment.
“We will know in a couple of months if this is successful,” Crawford said. He added that parks Director Deb Laramee has endorsed the effort.