For 10 years until 2012, Palm Coast repaved its 550 miles of streets at a rate of 50 miles a year, and an average cost of close to $2.5 million a year. The program ended last year, when the city believed that continuing at that pace was unnecessary.
In 2013, the only resurfacing that’s taken place has been patchwork. Later this month—around Aug. 12—the city’s Public Works Department and P&S Paving of Daytona Beach will begin this year’s resurfacing projects—a $135,000 plan to resurface just four streets deep in the R Section, a Utility Drive entrance to the Utility Department, and a 600-foot section of Palm Harbor Parkway at the Tidelands.
The scaled-down program is a reflection of tighter budgets and streets in relatively healthy condition, but City Manager Jim Landon cautioned the city council in May, when the council approved the repaving contract, that this is an unusual year, and that heavier costs and resurfacing needs are ahead.
The city has completed a preliminary analysis for the 2014 budget and will be recommending in the neighborhood of 15 miles of resurfacing, Public Works Director Richard Adams said.
“I truly believe we were ahead of the game,” Landon said, “but just as a for the future, we have to do some overlay every year or else we’ll get behind, so we will at budget time start talking about what we need to make sure that we don’t get behind on street improvements, because at one time we were known for our really bad streets with grass growing out of them. We’re not any longer.”
“You don’t want to go back there,” Palm Coast Mayor Jon Netts said.
“As we move into budget season, I’m just trying to set the foundation that $100,000 is bare minimum for a community our size,” Landon said. He said cracks are already showing in certain areas. Small rashes of potholes are a sign that more maintenance is needed. Some of it is natural deterioration that creates cracks, enables the water to get in and corrode the asphalt. Some of it is the base failing, because when ITT built the roads in the early 1970s, it used a soil-cement base that is more susceptible to washing out much more easily than compacted rock. And ITT provided little or no maintenance.
When Palm Coast incorporated, its roads were in poor shape, with many stretches displaying the so-called “grassphalt” Landon referred to. The city and the county floated a joint half-cent sales tax surcharge that voters approved with a 62 percent majority in 2002. Ten years later the city’s portion had generated $23.4 million, all of it devoted to street resurfacing.
“To continue to resurface these streets isn’t necessary immediately, but there are other needs out there,” Landon said two years ago. In May, he said: “We used to have a long list but we’ve cut this back substantially as a result of budget cuts.”
P&S, the low bidder for this year’s repaving list came in at $135,000. The city had budgeted $100,000. The difference will be taken out of reserves.
“Jim, $35,000 over budget, you say take out of reserves, that’s a trend that I’m not real comfortable with, because I can actually run out of reserves,” Netts had said when the matter was facing council approval.
“Mayor, to be honest with you, we never spend our full budget. As soon as I say that we’ll have a storm this year and something will happen,” Landon said. “I’m very confident that even with this $35,000 we will actually add to our reserves probably this year.”
“Some day, when good times come back again,” City Council member Bill McGuire said, “I think we will be wise to consider doing road resurfacing with our own people, buying equipment necessary, because it’s an ongoing thing, it’s not going to ever go away, and like with the swale program, we’ve demonstrated with our own people that we do a better job for less money. The capital outlay would be significant.”
But Landon said he did not know of a municipality that does its own resurfacing, because it’s a very specialized job.
The resurfacing in the R Section will cover Roxanne Lane, Roxanne Place, Roxbury Lane and Roxland Lane. It will total 5,000 feet, or 12,000 square yards, with an estimated 900 tons of asphalt. The city is cautioning residents and pedestrians in the area that delays may be expected there, and that motorists should use caution as they drive by, for the safety of workers.
Door hangers have been left at customers’ houses affected by this project. Anyone who has questions or issues related to street resurfacing may call the city’s customer service line at 386/986-2360.
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A pioneer says
What about Frontier Drive near the convenience store? It looks like a tank drove on it. And Jim Landon thinks the streets are in good shape. He should get out of his office more often and drive around the city.
Florida Native says
How about some street lights in Indian Trail? It’s as dark as a cemetery at night.
Plants on median dividers take priority over prepaving of bad streets.
Where is all the red light camera fund money going? I thought that was for street improvement or is that just to repair guardrails?
I love it when Landon says”I truly believe that we were ahead of the game” he does not even know what game we are playing or even a clue as to the score !!
bob s. says
I Guess it’s more important to put in SIDEWALKS EVERY WHERE YOU DRIVE ARE NEW SIDEWALKS NEWEST ADDITION STATE ROAD 100 WEST FROM FLAGER BEACH LINE WEST TO AT LEAST OLD KINGS ROAD AS FAR AS I CAN SEE WHO ARE THEY FOR. Iguess maybe the TURTELS ,DEER ,HOGS,ARMADILLAS?
A Pioneer says
Right on Bob. What about all the renovations to Pine Lakes Parkway? Why was that done? Who was the contractor?
Florida Native says
Remember to vote in city elections people. Complaining doesn’t work.
bob s. says
PLEASE VOTE ALL INCUMBENTS OUT. REMEMBER THE FISH STINKS FROM THE HEAD DOWN.
This is what you get when only 10% of the people vote ! Complaining on this site won’t change anything. The city laughs.
We don’t need a city manager. The Mayor and City Council should be doing the work.
A Pioneer says
What is the city doing with all of the fuel tax revenue? Is that not supposed to go to repaving the streets? Or will that money be used to pay for the new City Hall? Just thinking out loud!!!!
Look at the cheap paving done in front of my house (2,900 real estate taxes a year) four years ago, is already all cracking and coming off. And yes I believe they are shuffling money from unfunded reserves to the general fund , just like they did with the utilities reserves about 9 million for the benefit of the landowner that sold to Walmart and also to benefit the Town Center. Then the money to be used for our old sewer utility and lift stations in Club House Drive built by ITT get overflowed after they added, Tidelands, The Reserve, The Conservatory etc. to it and overflows on rainy days so bad that they have to have a fleet of 12 tankers driving in and out, day and night with all the noise and smell, pumping it so the sewage do not overflow in our surrounding homes. Meanwhile we can’t hardly sleep in those noisy nights.
The latest for the residents is finding out that foul sewage smell indoor mainly in businesses and the library have to endure and that probably comes from the sewer treatment plant in PC Parkway…and for a long while now! Maybe a call to the EPA is due…because can business customers and library users get sick of those sewage gases? Of course no money to build the proper sewage treatment infrastructure also cited and demanded by EPA since 2007 from the city, as our reserves were illegally invested in the non intended Old Kings Road project and also over 5 millions of our hard earned taxes on the Town Center CRA.
No city hall!! Give us back our utility reserves funds and fix, enlarge our sewage treatment and lift stations.
Next time we have a hurricane here, we will have a big sewage problem, remember this one.