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Opinion
Palm Coast Thursday, Aug. 25, 2011 8 years ago

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR 8.25.2011

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+ City’s swale-and-sod debacle poses hardship on residents
Dear Editor:
The city of Palm Coast performed swale maintenance on several properties, including ours, Thursday, Aug. 18. As a result, every property serviced required repairs from cable TV, phone or other service providers. This posed as a hardship (however minor) for many residents.

This morning, a door hanger was left at my residence, advising me on the watering procedures for sod that’s supposed to be delivered and installed in the next couple of days.

Suffice it to say, I cannot afford the watering schedule suggested by the city. As per the instructions, “Flooding amounts of water are required for the sod to root.”

The schedule goes on for approximately four weeks, with less water being applied weekly. While it is stated that this irrigation is exempt from watering restrictions, there are no mechanisms in place to install separate meters on residents’ outdoor spigots.

The swale in my yard usually percolates back into the groundwater system after about 24 hours — even after a 24-hour, 4-inch rain.

My suggestion would be that if a resident complains about swale conditions, deal with that complaint, and not the whole street.

Stan R. Sury
Palm Coast

Editor’s Note:
City Manager Jim Landon said in a phone interview that the city’s goal is to respond to every complaint about swales. Typically, the problem is not with the flooding swale itself, but with another swale down the street that disrupts the proper flow of stormwater.

“The only way you can get water to flow is to regrade the whole street to the outfall,” Landon said. “We have to regrade swales downstream. We ask for people’s cooperation in re-establishing the grass.”

In the process of grading the swales, city workers sometimes come across cable TV or phone lines that have been improperly buried. In fact, according to a City Council presentation in February, the lines are sometimes laid on the soil and then covered with sod, when code states they should be buried several inches below the surface.

“We try real hard to avoid other utilities in the city right of way, but it is difficult to avoid them,” Landon said. The cable and phone companies have been notified and have agreed to address the improperly buried lines.

+ Elected officials don’t protect Palm Coast’s environment
Dear Editor:
Is it just me, or has anyone else noted that there’s never a good time to protect natural beauty here?

When the economy is going well, land prices are too high for local and state governments to buy up parcels needed (badly) for conservation.

When the economy tanks (and land prices accordingly plummet), there’s supposedly not enough money in the coffers to make acquisitions.

Always an excuse. Meanwhile, trees are being felled everywhere — from Palm Coast Parkway to State Road 100. Often, it is for more strip malls (or hypothetical future medical and other developments). It’s illogical.

Bottom line: Natural beauty (the reason the vast majority of us are here) is at best a secondary concern — always. Anyone who thinks it’s a tree-hugging issue should go out to some of the “pristine” springs we once had and take a look at the thick globs of algae from overuse of lawn and farm fertilizers. Or simply note that, these days, the only wildlife you see is usually in the form of road kill.

All our City Council members are up for election soon. It is neither a liberal nor conservative issue. It’s one that has to do with rationality and concern for how this town will look in the near future. I urge that citizens inquire as to their views on the ecology, take a look at their records (in the case of incumbents) and vote accordingly.

Michael Brown
Palm Coast

+ Sawgrass Villas must not be allowed to harm Palm Coast
Dear Editor:
I am a native Floridian and retiree currently living in Palm Coast. My retirement funds have been severely impacted by economic conditions out of my control.

The value of my home and property are now being threatened with a significant devaluation due to plans under way by Putnam State Bank. In an effort to cover a loss due to foreclosure, Putnam State Bank has proposed a low-income subdivision in the Matanzas Woods section of Palm Coast.

This must not happen. The bank must not be allowed to mitigate its financial loss, due to its loan practices, at the expense of taxpaying Palm Coast residents.

Palm Coast politicians must commit, as representatives of the people of Palm Coast, to support the citizens, protect the value of Palm Coast and stop the Sawgrass development planned for the Matanzas Woods section.

Lawrence W. Cahill
Palm Coast

+ Matanzas Woods interchange not needed; evacuation an excuse
Dear Editor:
Although I would love to see so many jobs being created, I believe Palm Coast can put roughly $30 million to better use than widening Matanzas Parkway and/or constructing a partial clover leaf or diamond interchange with Interstate 95.

Palm Coast is not growing anymore, and if it ever does regain the momentum it once had, any growth that would necessitate a project of this magnitude wouldn’t be needed for a long, long time. The evacuation reasoning is an excuse, and not a reason. That part of town is relatively close to the Palm Coast Parkway ramps. I say wait for the need for such an expenditure.

Carl Marco
Palm Coast

Editor’s Note: The $30 million is in state and federal funds, not local tax dollars.

+ Palm Coast not what it used to be in the 1970s and ’80s
Dear Editor:
When you take the ramp at Exit 289, you drive straight into the lovely, large new liquor shop at the main intersection, in Palm Coast. After you have had your fill of the swill, head west to the new gun shop in St. Joe Plaza, where you can arm yourself to the teeth with semiautomatics.

With the new gun laws, you can now fulfill Archie Bunker’s philosophy on gun ownership.

I guess we are happy to see the Business Assistance Center up and running. Regrettably, this is not the Palm Coast ITT sold us in the 1970s and ’80s to encourage us to buy property in this development.

Phillip Khan
Palm Coast

CUNNANE DECLINES TO PARTICIPATE IN Q&A
Editor’s Note: The Palm Coast Observer will make a recommendation next week on whom to vote for in the Sept. 13 Palm Coast primary.

+ No thanks
Dear Editor:
The following are my reasons for declining your generous request for an interview and Q&A concerning the primary election Sept. 13.

I believe your recommendation on whom to vote for is unnecessary. I trust the good people of Palm Coast are intelligent enough to vote for the candidate they think will be the best individual to help manage the city.

I’m running because I believe I’m the best qualified candidate; I’m a seasoned businessman and not a long-term politician. I will protect the quality of life that brought me and my wife Alice here 15 years ago. I believe in small and efficient government with accountability to the taxpayer.

Joe Cunnane
Palm Coast
2011 mayoral candidate

 

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