The Flagler County Board of County Commissioners unanimously approved Monday a $449,000 contract to for the design and permitting of stormwater improvements for Marineland Acres and the surrounding areas.
Marineland has long experienced problems with flooding during particularly heavy or extended rainfall because it was developed before there were construction mandates for stormwater management, so the area has no drainage system.
The study will not be funded by ad valorem taxes because it was deemed inappropriate for people who are unaffected by the area’s drainage problems, such as those in Palm Coast who already pay stormwater fees, said County Administrator Craig Coffey at the commission’s meeting.
Instead, the study will be funded by gas taxes and Disaster Recovery Initiative funding as a part of DRI obligations for improvements related to the Malacompra Canal.
England, Thims & Miller Inc. will conduct the study and propose a solution to Marineland Acres and the surrounding areas, bound by the Atlantic Ocean and Intracoastal Waterway to the east and west and Washington Oaks Gardens State Park and Malacompra Road to the north and south.
After paying for the study, the county will have about $150,000 left over to begin stormwater improvements. It also hopes to seek funding from the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and other grants, Coffey said.
Palm Coast City Councilman Frank Meeker, a former employee of ITT, said he predicts the area will need another outfall if the area is to be adequately drained.
“The soil there is saturated, and since there’s no drainage there, it’s going to stay saturated,” he said. “Coming up with a design for Marineland Acres is not difficult and getting the permits for it is not difficult. The difficult thing will be convincing whoever’s going to pay for it.”
Coffey said that although it’s impossible to predict the cost of any solution to Marineland’s problems before the study has been completed, current estimates are substantially lower than past proposals.
For the Marineland Acres subdivision specifically, the solution will likely look like Palm Coast's swales, Coffey said. For the rest of the areas, a backbone system will likely be used.
This might equate to an extra $50 to $100 each year for those outside Marineland Acres and an extra $300 or $400 more per year to those within it for a brief period of time, Coffey said, but it’s impossible to know until the study is completed.
The most recent proposal for a stormwater solution was presented and rejected in 2002 in wake of outrage from residents about its costs.
The proposal would have had Flagler County purchase around 20 lots and use them to build retaining ponds. Not only would this have cost around $22 million, equating to an additional $10,000 to $20,000 charge for every lot owner, but it also would not have rid the area of water; it would instead store it, Coffey said.
While some citizens and commissioners questioned the need for an entirely new study for this project, Coffey said the consultants will be looking for a more cost-effective solution to drainage in the northern portion of the barrier island.
And the landscape of the area has changed in recent years, Commissioner Milissa Holland said. Some of the lots identified for retaining ponds in the last study have since been developed, and this time, the county will seek a more comprehensive plan that relies on collaborations with parties like DOT to cut down costs.
The county approved the proposal unanimously. The results of the study do not require any action from Flagler County, so the commission will review its proposal and decide how to act when it is completed.
Currently 0 Responses
21 Stroke Support Group
21 Afro-American Caribbean Heritage Organization Meeting
21 Tea Party Meeting
21 Palm Coast Digital Society Meeting
Friends of A1A produce videos to promote cycling and safety along the coastal byway
The Friends of A1A has produced six new videos designed to attract more cycling visitors to the 72-mile Scenic & Historic A1A Coastal Byway that travels through St. Johns and Flagler counties. Also, AAUW awards scholarships and loggerheads have arrived.
Palm Coast offers summer recreation, tennis, golf camps for children, teens
The city of Palm Coast is planning a summer of fun and recreation for children and teens through its summer camp at Parks & Recreation, as well as summer golf and tennis camps.
Dunk tank at Arbor Day event to raise funds to end polio
The Flagler-Palm Coast High School Interact Club is hosting a celebrity dunk tank to raise awareness and donations to end polio worldwide during Palm Coast's Arbor Day event 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Central Park in Town Center.