ST. PETE BEACH — The city moved a small step closer to alleviating street flooding with the hiring of an engineering contractor to provide a list of suggested projects that could be implemented in the Capital Improvement Program.

City commissioners on Feb. 11 allocated $158,446 for an in-depth study by consulting engineers at CPWG to suggest updates to the city’s Stormwater Master Plan.

The consultants advised their in-depth study will include a careful review of the 2012 Master Plan Update; flood abatement projects undertaken since 2012; along with flooding history and results of a 2019 Resiliency Study identifying the effects of sea level rise.

Their findings will refine and provide a list of flood abatement projects that not only require immediate attention, but can also benefit the most number of people and properties.

Public Works Director Mike Clarke advised commissioners CPWG findings will not only incorporate improvements suggested in the earlier 2012 report, but will also include projects which have not been completed.

The consultant will then propose methods of addressing street flooding as a result of rain events or when high tidal action causes intersections and roadways to be impassable.

“An updated 2020 Stormwater Master Plan will include a list of specific flood alleviation projects and adaptive strategies to cope with the sea water rise within flood-prone areas, as part of the city’s resiliency strategy,” Clarke explained in his report to commissioners.

CPWG noted the city began to formally address stormwater management in 1993 when a Master Drainage Plan was prepared. In 2012, the city selected CPWG to review and update the 1993 plan.

City commissioners unanimously approved the study as part of the consent agenda at their regular meeting.

Land development guides get review

In another major project, the city will spend $102,041 to make sure its Comprehensive Plan agrees with its Land Development Code and that neither run afoul of state statutes.

Kimley-Horn and Associates Inc. will provide an in-depth review of the development guides for completeness and consistency, City Manager Alex Rey told commissioners

“It’s part of our effort to clean up our Land Development Code for things that might not be consistent or that follows state statute,” he explained.

Mayor Al Johnson said he heard comments that there is “way too much detail in our Comp Plan that ought to be in the Land Development Code, so I think this is a necessary thing. It makes things a little cleaner.”

Rey noted that “we have found areas where we were not being consistent throughout.”

City commissioners unanimously approved the review.

City modernizes pothole resurfacing

City commissioners approved a contract with Asphalt Paving Systems to repave potholed streets using a newer method that lasts longer and provides a smoother ride.

Rather than fixing potholes in small patches with a hand compactor, the new method involves repaving a half-lane of road in order to properly compact the area. In the old process, months or even weeks later a depression could be created in the asphalt. With this new method, street repairs last much longer.

The city will piggyback on a city of Largo contract.

Commissioners unanimously approved the contract that will not exceed the city’s yearly street rehabilitation budget.