REDINGTON SHORES – Upgrades to the sewer system are expected to be the town’s most costly capital improvements in the next three years.

Town commissioners approved annual amendments to their capital improvement budget at their Nov. 14 meeting.

The sewer budget is $500,000 for 2019 fiscal year, more than three times the money $150,000 set aside for parks, the next highest expense. Stormwater projects are the other major category, with $50,000 being spent each year for the next five years.

Commissioner Jeff Neal told the Beacon after the meeting that the Finance Committee decided to take the $1 million allocated to be used over five years for the sewer system upgrade and move the bulk of it “from the tail end of the budget to the front, to get the project done faster.” About $900,000 will be spent over the next three years alone for sewer system improvements.

The money will be used mostly to reline the sewers, which fixes cracks in the pipes and manholes that allow rainwater to infiltrate the system. The infiltration is causing the town to pay the county extra money to process the rainwater that has seeped into the system along with the sewage water.

“We still have a lot more water going out than coming in,” Neal said, “and that is costing us a lot of money.” Neal estimated the extra water is costing the town from $20,000 to $50,000 a month to process.

Moving up the money in the budget to get the relining done faster “will save a lot of extra expense,” Neal said.

Neal has also been working with county officials to verify faulty sewer meter readings, which caused sewer bill overcharges. As a result, the town was given a nearly $100,000 credit on a recent sewer fill.

Neal said the investigation into the meters and possible overcharges is continuing.

Sewer work is not the most glamorous job, Neal admitted, but he said fixing the sewers has a big payoff for the town.

Renourishment sand ‘the best ever’

Mayor Mary Beth Henderson said the sand put down in this year’s beach renourishment was “the fluffiest, whitest sand ever.” She urged residents to sign the property easements required to get future sand replacements when needed.

Henderson said the beach renourishment does not create dunes that block views, just slopes. The easement signoffs are essential to assure the town’s entire shoreline gets the sand needed for a wide sandy beach, she said. The sand protects the beachfront property owners as well as the entire town, Henderson said.

“It is imperative that we have this protection against the storms,” she said.

New park dedication next month

Veterans Park, the town’s new green space in front of the La Vistana condominiums, is finished and will be dedicated Friday, Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Day, Neal said.

The land, about 9,500 square feet, was donated to be used as park space by the developer of La Vistana, as a part of the development agreement.

Christmas holiday events

Other town happenings for the holiday season include the annual Christmas Tree Lighting on Sunday, Dec. 2, the Santa parade with treats for kid of all ages and pets on Dec. 8, and the Boat Parade on Dec. 16.