Belle Glade Sun

City OKs stormwater, marina projects

PAHOKEE — The Pahokee City Commission at its regular meeting Tuesday night approved moving forward with two projects long anticipated by city residents at large, but especially by people living in and near Glades Citizens Villa.

That community will see the start of stormwater improvements that have been planned for years and were financed through a state legislative appropriation during lawmakers’ 2017 session. City commissioners unanimously passed a resolution authorizing the major to execute the stormwater improvement project agreement with Weekley Asphalt Paving Inc. of Southwest Ranches, at a cost of about $635,000, and issue the contractor a notice to proceed.

City Manager Chandler Williamson explained: “This particular project will provide some much-improved solutions to some of the stormwater issues over there and, in addition, repave all of the streets in this community. We’ve talked about it extensively here in this chamber and in the community; the residents have asked many times when the project will start; and this agreement now allows for … mobilization and the commencement of this project.”

He cautioned commissioners and the audience, however, that it “is not a long-term project, but it will take 60 to 90 days to get through this project before we see any real results for this community.” Mr. Williamson asked that residents of that area be patient.

“We have anticipated that weather will play a significant role. When it rains, there’s no construction work going on, so that day will be a missed day of construction,” he said, adding: “We have to continue educating our residents that even though projects will come off the shelf, there’s a timeline and a gap that we have to account for that’s unforeseen, and that’s for weather and other issues that may occur. And so there’s never an exact end date on a project.”

Mr. Williamson said that general contractors never give a finishing date but that issuing the notice to proceed “means they have a certain number of days, once you (commissioners) agree to this tonight, that they must begin mobilization. We are very excited to see this project begin in Glades Citizens Villa.”

Also, the City Commission unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute the campground and marina paving and parking lot reconstruction agreement between A. Genesis Construction LLC and the city.

Said Mr. Williamson: “This is an agreement … to provide them the commencement (notice to proceed) of the parking lot renovations at the entire marina area. That includes the public side where the marina is located, the restaurant, conference room, etc.”

He told commissioners that their agenda packet provided detailed definitions of what A. Genesis Construction will be doing. “Most of it will be restriping. They will be providing a new paved road on the public side where the public park is designated. They will be creating some additional parking in other areas of the marina as well, so overall they will be providing us a much-needed facelift for the parking improvements within this entire project for the marina.”

The striping, paving and gravel-laying work is part of the $1.2 million overall renovation project at the campground, marina and restaurant along the Lake Okeechobee waterfront, also financed by a state legislative appropriation. The work was to be completed by June 30, but several component projects will take longer, Mr. Williamson has said.