Palm Coast has never dredged its 26 miles of saltwater canals. Last year the city council agreed that it’s now a necessity: the canals are getting silted up, hampering boating.
It’ll be one of the more massive public works projects in the city’s history. It’s going to be expensive–likely in the tens of millions of dollars–and burdensome on city revenue. There is no revenue source, like the city’s stormwater fund, which handles 46 miles of freshwater canals.
Those two questions (how much it’ll cost and who will pay) remain unanswered. But last year the city selected Jacksonville-based Taylor Engineering to quarterback what’s ahead: define the scope of the work that needs to be done. Only then can a more solid cost of dredging be determined.
That initial assessment alone will cost the city $176,000 and will not be completed until early summer. (A similar assessment was done in 2005.) The Palm Coast City Council at a workshop this morning gave its nodding approval to move to that phase.
“I’m glad to see you guys here,” Council member Ed Danko told Taylor’s Ken Craig, a company vice president, and a project manager who appeared before the council. Danko spearheaded the effort to focus the city’s priorities on dredging. “I started pushing for this over a year and a half ago. And I’m looking forward to see what you come up with. I know the mayor would like to get an aircraft carrier down on one of our canals, but I don’t think that’s going to happen.”
Danko’s joking reference was to Mayor David Alfin’s newfound affection for the USS Gerald Ford, a newish aircraft carrier that took a decade to build and has a draft of 39 feet that Alfin roped into becoming Palm Coast’s sister city last year, fancying along the way that it could some day pay the Intracoastal a visit.
The company will conduct a cursory evaluation of 52miles of sea walls–analyzing if and where sections of sea wall are missing, were removed or should have been installed. But its scope of work specifies that the evaluation will be strictly “visual,” which pre-empts a more thorough analysis of the sea walls’ condition. It does not guarantee that it will look behind moored vessels. And it will conduct the assessment only on portions of seawall above the high waterline.
Taylor will also sample the material to be dredged, without coring, collecting up to six samples–but not for regulatory compliance. “This is important because,” Don Schrager, deputy director of stormwater and engineering, told the city council this morning, “what we dig out of there determines how we stockpile it, where we dispose of it, or if even if we can repurpose it,” that is, recycle it elsewhere. When the canals were dug out by ITT Levitt in the 1960s and 1970s, the fill was used to elevate the quarter-acre lots built around them.
The consultant will also issue options on whether and how to dredge in the future, if necessary. But nothing says–and Taylor does not guarantee–that regulatory agencies will permit all waterways for dredging.
Taylor will identify priority canals to dredge, and identify funding sources, eventually providing three options. “Other projects that we’ve had can be a very expensive process, so we’re trying to identify potential funding sources,” Schrager said.
There’s a political issue at the heart of the question: who’s responsible for the cost? The canals zebra only through Palm Coast’s C-Section and a spine’s worth of the F-Section. Nowhere else. ITT attracted residents to those neighborhoods by marketing the canals, with attendant higher home prices that reflected the amenity. Over time, many more sections of Palm Coast grew, without canals, without access to the Intracoastal (the canals provide three such access points).
Residents around the canal like to portray their neighborhood’s amenity as a citywide benefit, and argue, for clearly self-serving reasons, that they alone should not bear the cost of the amenity they alone benefit from: they want the cost to be spread citywide. That point of view loses adherents in concentric circles: the further you get away from the canals, the less support it has, for the seemingly obvious reason that residents of the W, R or P Sections, or residents of Quail Hollow and Seminole Woods, see no more benefit from canals, to their property values, than do, say, residents of Queens, N.Y., or Hill City, Kansas.
The city council is responsible for arbitrating that issue. So far, it has not done so, hoping perhaps to hide behind the cover provided by a consultant’s proposals. That would be Taylor Engineering. But the consultant is almost certainly going to provide a list of options, not a preferred option. Those would likely include both a citywide levy and a taxing-district approach, where only those who directly benefit from an amenity are taxed to repair or maintain it.
Clearly, some council members are eager to get to the heart of the matter: “What will you all consider or analyze in order to help us figure out where our funding sources will be for this?” asked Theresa Pontieri.
The consultant referred to the Florida Inland Navigation District’s models, and potential grants. The company’s proposal was more precise, referring to “existing available revenue earmarked by the City for this purpose” (which is to say: not much), “municipal service taxing units; municipal service benefit units; Florida Boater’s Improvement Fund; waterfront assessment programs; federal costshare opportunities; and state cost-share opportunities.”
Grants were not included, likely because the grant route would be like running water uphill: while state and federal government agencies are awash in grant dollars to address beach erosion and sea rise (both Washington and Tallahassee are making billions and millions, respectively, available to that end). But the dredging of canals to benefit more exclusive neighborhoods would run afoul of standard government grants that predicate a good part of their largesse on equity.
Nevertheless, funding models are not lacking.
One such model are the four, 15-year taxing districts county government created in parts of the Flagler shoreline–Painters Hill, Hammock Dunes–taxing residents an additional amount in exchange for providing some protection from rising seas and eroding dunes. The residents benefiting from the districts can easily argue that the beach is a universal amenity to residents of the entire county. But the county would have had a difficult time levying additional taxes on residents of Palm Coast’s canal-rich C-Section to underwrite protections for posh residents along the Painters Hill or Hammock Dunes shoreline. Those residents themselves did not object to the special assessments.
The entirety of Hammock Beach paid $7,300 for that assessment last year.
Taylor Engineering has been the engineering of record for the Florida Inland Navigation District for 35 years, and has done dredging projects in Longboat Key, for example. But Company officials did not provide any other example, when Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin asked for some.
“We’re finally taking steps to move forward,” Schrager said.
Romuald Flieger says
Hi before the city spends over hundred thousand dollars they should contact the regulatory agencies to see if they will allow the dredging before getting a engineering company to evaluate.
C section resident says
If the only people who have to fork over money for this project are residents of the c section, then I would recommend putting up a gate at the front of sailboat country and the marina to restrict access to anyone who isn’t a resident of the c section and did not contribute from using any of those waterways. This is a public waterway that all resident of the area have the right to use this shouldn’t even be a debate.. distribute the cost over the entire community not just individuals who live right there. There countless other examples of my tax dollars going to projects that don’t affect me.
Have you thought your idea through? says
Im sure the corner lot property owners are going to love your new “gate” spoiling their view, as will the Manatees and dolphin, and the thousands of residents your going to have to find and provide a key to and what happens if there is a power outage, or someone loses their key and how exactly are you supposed to open and shut and lock and unlock this “gate” from your boat I wonder? Also, The canals are not exactly paradise, full of storm torn un-maintained properties. collapsing docks, oil leaking derelict vessels that havent budged since 1995 encrusted in an ecosystem of barnacles and petroleum rainbows. The salt canals are simply a pathway for property owners to use their pleasure craft, Period. Conversely, The freshwater canal system keeps our low lying roads and infrastructure from flooding, with locks and dams to control flow and were never intended for pleasure boating purposes. If your canal drys up at low tide it does not affect anyone but you and your immediate neighbors’ sunset happy hour. Sorry, C section resident (and Dave!) you like to play you must pay. Palm Coast residents do not owe you a damn cent for guaranteed low tide ICW access privileges, maybe you can go buy a. electric boat with a shallower draft.
john stove says
Hey Professor…..you DO realize that a lot of the Fresh Water canals and storm sewers attached via outfalls drain INTO the salt water canals right? Go take a look at the large weir by Long Creek Nature Preserve or the large culvert at Palm Harbor Parkway and Curtis Ct that drain INTO THE SALT WATER CANALS.
Funny how the shallowest part of a major C-section canal is just east of the freshwater weir at Long Creek Preserve…..maybe stop dumping silt laden storm water from the freshwater canals into the salt water system.
I don’t have a freshwater canal anywhere near me and I shouldn’t have to use part of my taxes to maintain YOUR drainage canal so that YOUR property doesnt flood.
The dude says
MAGA and it’s “GET OFF MY LAWN!!!” cohort don’t recognize anything but their own personal feels…
Until the day arrives that I can run a fence out to the middle of the canal to keep folks away from my dock, that canal behind my house is public property, and needs to be maintained as such.
The GOML cohort can go pound sand for all I care, those canals were there long before the vast majority of them moved here, and will be there long after they’re gone. Maybe they should’ve done due diligence before relocating here.
Dennis C Rathsam says
Obviously, the folks that live the high life on the cannals, are on the hook for this. Its not the tax payers here in Palm Coast. We dont care if you cant get your cabin cruser out. Ya,ll enjoy the the cannals you pay for it! It benifits nobody but U. Maybe you should buy a row boat…..
John Stove says
With your warped logic, I dont use the pickleball courts, the splash pad at Holland Park or play Gold so why should my tax dollars go towards maintaining and operating them? Also, I have never driven down your street so why should my tax dollars go towards repaving your street?
Daniela T says
Thanks for clarifying the logic
W Behenna says
The canals are part of the storm water run off since we don’t have sewers in the C section, if we have to pay then I want a sewer system installed on every street in the C section.
Gary Lunnas says
The people living a long the canals in Palm Coast pay taxes on the docks and seawalls. A healthy tax. That money has never been used to maintain the canals. Always been spent elsewhere projects. By the time all the studies are done and planning the city should have 30 35 million from the canal tax payers. We all pay for the dredging of the fresh water canals in our water bills. Every year that increases. It’s time to clean out all the muck thrown into the canals by lawn cutters and shrub trimmers.
Daniela T says
Really? The houses in the C-section are assessed at twice the value of other homes in Palm Coast because they are on canals. Therefore those owners pay twice the taxes that all of Palm Coast benefits from. If something is not done about the canals the values of those homes will decline leaving all of Palm Coast to pay for the decline in tax dollars from C section owners. You think about that.
Loon bird says
Own waterfront prop ? Do you enjoy lt ? You should pay for it . Not the residents who live off the water lots ……
I would say that all property owners in Palm Coast pay the storm water fee no matter where they live so the salt water canals should not be treated any different as they are a major system of drainage as well. This is a citywide burden to solve. If it is determined that it is something that should be paid for by those living east of I-95 then I would propose that everyone in Palm Coast without the need for PEP tanks get rebates in their taxes as they have no use for them and charge those users a special assessment to make up the difference. The city will be opening up a massive Pandora’s Box if they attempt to make only a few citizens of the community face the burden of this bill instead of everyone absorbing it.
B. Kipnis says
I’m confused. The city has a “stormwater fund” which manages 46 miles of freshwater canals? What is the source of those funds? Am I, in the C section, being taxed to maintain freshwater canals on the west side of the city, when you are arguing that the west side should not pay for maintenance of the east side saltwater canals? Or am I not paying for that maintenance?
The costs of living on the water should be the homeowner’s responsibility. Some of those properties are rental units. Those folks need to pay for their canals.
Joseph Barand says
Talk about a waste of money. Seawall are clearly a responsibility of the homeowner, as a matter of fact there are homes built on these canals that do not have sea walls. I lived on a saltwater canal for over 20 years and the biggest problem has been individual “blowing” silt from under their docks because their boat lifts will not go down deep enough to get their boats on or off their lifts and the swale systems have contributed to the sifting from run off.. Over 50% of all docks are empty, the number of moored vessels has decreased significantly over the years. There is not a single large sailboat at any dock, 15 years ago there where dozens. While we may have an increase in the total number of boat registration, they are mostly small trailers boats stored in home garages or at the 20 + storage facilities the city has approved in recent years. The reasons for the changes is that there is no ocean access and people eventually get tired of running up and down the the ICW. I’ll bet there aren’t a dozen boats affected by the depth of any of the canals. The city should be concentrating on 4 lane improvements tol Old Kings Rod and Colbert Lane. Let’s do traffic counts and measure the difference in boat verses vehicle traffic. When was the last death or major accident on any canal and compare that to traffic accidents. These studies by the engineering crooks are a waste of money and political paybacks to campaign supporters. Get your heads out of your assets and start to address real problems rather than continuing to create new non existent ones.
The dude says
Let me get some popcorn.
A whole lot of “GET OFF MY LAWN!!!” is about to be all up in here.
Palm Coast needs to pay for it, as they are public waterways.
John Stove says
This is epic failure of a small town run by people who have no idea what PLAN FOR FUTURE MAINTENANCE NEEDS means! These canals (since they day they were excavated over 50 years ago) were eventually going to need to be dredged for maintenance purposes…..not to make them deeper, not to make them wider…..just to keep up and get rid of all the sediment that pours in to them.
Had they of started a Capitol Improvement Fund back then and contributed some dollars every year as part of a professional budget process, they would have a pot of money to partially offset this maintenance cost now. Passing it on to the homeowner is imbecilic as we are not the only ones who benefit from these canals.
Those of us who live on these canals already pay an exorbitant property tax rate compared to non-canal homes and now we have to have additional taxes added because the city didn’t plan for this?
You know what? I don’t use the Splash Pad at the Park, I don’t live next to it so use my tax money from fixing that sucking hole and apply it towards the canals.
Nanci WHITLEY says
There WAS a Capitol improvements fund. $25 a year for dredging. It stopped when P.C. became a city. I’ve often wondered where that money went to
While I can understand all sides of the argument of who should pay for this project and although those residents who do not live on a canal feel they do not benefit from it, the canal system is part of the overall storm water management system. The storm water fund should pay, at least in part, for the project. I don’t believe the residents on the canals have the ability to deny any storm water from other neighborhoods from entering the canals. That’s just silly. On the other hand, the value of a home on a canal is significantly higher than if it were not on a canal and those residents have been paying much higher taxes for it with no other benefit. So in theory, the additional taxes paid for the luxury of living on a canal should be put toward the maintenance of the canals as well. Every home on these canals pay between $6,000 at the very minimum to over $50,000 in taxes. Other neighbors mentioned in this article barely pay $1,000 per year. It will be interesting to see how the city handles this funding dilemma. As has been the practice in the past, I am sure they will muck it up. No pun intended.
Each individual homeowner should be assessed for the portion of dredging in the rear of their respective homes.
After this dredge is (ever) complete then those that use the canals from kayaks/canoes and on up should pay a yearly user fee with a sticker attached to either side of the operators front of craft. Cost could be $20 to $200 per year (based on footage of craft) with all money going for the upkeep of the canals in the future. Homeowners there should also be assessed something for upkeep but that is above my pay grade as to what. Why should the rest of the soon to be 100,000 residents pay for the enjoyment of a few with no real access for all.
Who should pay for the dredging???? How about all those that purchased the homes on the canals……..not right that people that don’t live there foot the bill.
Don't Live There says
I don’t live by the canals, nor get use of them, so why should I have to pay for them! I don’t live near them, didn’t want to and wasn’t going to pay to. Therefor I am not and will not pay extra taxes so others that do and don’t want to pay can keep enjoying them. Thats like me eating noodles so I can pay for a rich guys steak dinner, what the….. Nope!
You bought property there, you enjoy the water regardless of boating or just looking at it. Not you should pay the extra tax to fix it up!
What about the senior citizens that have no children or grandchildren in Flagler school system, but still have to pay school taxes?
I’m not sure what is the right answer, but it seems like were going into a slippery slope.
C. J. says
Cannot believe this issue is just arising now! Does no-one in Palm Coast plan ahead? The obvious question is who benefits from these canals? We residents who live elsewhere in Palm Coast do not unless you own the requisite boat to use those canals. Ergo, the possible answer? Tax Salt Water Canal property owners and boat licenses.
I own a house on the canal and another elsewhere in the city. From a tax standpoint, my taxes are almost twice on the canal home compared to the other home. They are almost exactly the same size in all aspects. The second house actually has a bigger lot. The canal house does have a pool where the other does not so I expect that to add value. That said, the only explanation I have for why my taxes are so high on the canal house is because it’s on the canal. So since the canals are getting silt filled I would fully expect the value of my home to drop significantly in value (i.e. tax value) since the so-called luxury of a canal is reduced. If canal home owners are expected to pay the full cost for dredging, then we should be getting a significant refund on our taxes. You can’t say these homes should be taxed higher and then say the same homes will have to pay for the maintenance of the city-owned canals. This seems like wanting your cake and eating it too! I hope the firm the city has contracted with is able to come up with some good sources for funding this project. We’ll see where this goes.
I already pay taxes for the city to do “wonderful” things that I neither agree with nor understand the benefit to the whole city – for example – golf courses and tennis courts. But I live in this city so I pay for the services provided regardless.
Perfect explanation. I’m on a canal as well and my taxes are double what a comparable non-canal home pays.
Do I use more city resources than the non-canal home? Am I twice the burden? No.
Either use my tax money to fix the canal or give me a tax refund.
you want to live on a boating canal with your dock you pay for the dredging.
This is an easy one. ITT did not build the canals for stormwater runoff, they built them for homes with docks and boats. The stormwater system came much later. When canals are maintained, they are maintained by government, for water flow only, not for boating entertainment. The government will come in and spray for aquatic weeds, and that’s it. If the canals were purposely built for recreational purposes, then each house on the canals should be assessed annually over a period of ten years. That is what happened recently in Treasure Beach. To assess anyone else, or close the canals off, is absurd.
Everyone is already assessed for stormwater, usually based on impervious area or single family residences. The benefit is equal to all, it’s never been planned for canal dredging, anywhere that I know of.
FIND is on everyone’s tax bill, and should not be involved. That would be an additional assessment for everyone in the county. For those who are whining about their higher tax bill, that is because the value of their home is higher. You know that you would get a much higher price selling your home on the saltwater canal, than a home on the freshwater canal or no canal. No surprise there. Silt build up should have been a given when you bought the home.
Looks like really bad planning on the part of the City of Palm Coast, and an unreasonable view from the saltwater canal homeowners’ part. No fore site.
Matanzas Resident says
So they pay extra taxes to live there? Where does that tax money go..?
Beside the view how about the extra property value they enjoy by living on that canal. I’m sorry you don’t use the dog park or have kids to go through school system. That’s what our taxes go to. Not the one benefit that only a few enjoy and benefit from.
Homeowners along the canal should be assessed not the entire town’s homeowners
Stone Cold says
I can end this debate for you by simply saying that we that live on the saltwater don’t own the canals. We have riparian rights to put docks and lifts on the water and have to go through the City to get that access. Why do we have to go through the City to do the permitting? Because they own the canals….not us. If the City thinks any other way they will be losing in court and paying our attorney fees. You haters don’t have to like it, but that’s the bottom line.
W Behenna says
Not exactly. Riparian rights are those of the property owner adjacent to the water, and the property owner’s alone. Someone in the W Section has no such rights: can’t plop a boat along the dock by the property, just by getting a permit from the city. That’s where the exclusivity of the right plays the sort of role that forecloses an easy or doctrinaire end to the debate.
Question, where does the home owners property line end? At the edge of the water or do they own the land out into the canal? Also if these canals are open for public use where are the entry/exit points or can someone just walk around your house to gain entry?
There’s access at Long’s Landing park.
Jay Tomm says
Other counties in SFL, handle this in 2 ways. 1st they get .gov grants to help defer costs. 2nd the residents of these areas are taxed at a higher rate to live there just for these things when they come up. You live in c sections, on the waterway, you pay higher taxes. You know before you buy there & choose to accept & or don’t.
After the fact is not a time to make everyone pay. PC knew this was needed for years & years. They had plenty of time to consider options.
Coastal Cat says
My property line ends at the seawall. Whatever the city may or may not do with the canals which is on their property is their burden to bear and not mine.
Where do you plan on Dumping the mud? says
Sorry but the C section homeowner’s theory that the canals are for “All to enjoy” does not hold water (Pardon the pun). Try driving into sailboat country, parking your car somewhere and launching a canoe. You will be towed and trespassed out of there. Try launching your boat somewhere else and motoring into the canals, there is not one place I know of where you can dock your boat to use a restroom, Not even longstreet preserve has facilities. These canals are clearly only for the rich, and the rich will pay to get that gas guzzling cabin cruiser out to the ICW. And y’all are vastly underestimating the cost of dredging, seeing as the canals are encircled almost 100% by developed private land and there is practically nowhere you can dump thousands of tons of muck. Too bad its not sand you could pipe it onto the beaches like they did in Ponce Inlet, sand was pumped onto rattlesnake island and later used to renourish New Smyrna Beach after the 2004 hurricanes Charly, Frances and Jean, but I just do not see where you can put a mountain of oily mud on a barge with out NIMBY coming into play, closest uninhabited area is across from Captains BBQ.
@Where do you plan on Dumping the mud?
The best question asked so far. Thank you.
@To Whom It May Concern
Most of the other comments appear to have about the same basis as comments on a EULA by people who don’t know what a “EULA” is. Moreover, those who do understand the abbreviation: have you ever actually read one?
FlaglerLive provides extensive reporting here (including a link to a 44 page pdf file: taylor-engineering-saltwater.pdf. Did anyone read it? I see little evidence that much beyond the title was read. Try perusing the legal memorandum that begins on page 13 of 44 of the aforementioned. And then try to persuade yourself that your “leaders” carefully read same–much less understood it.
Okay, y’all can go back to sleep. Jeopardy, the Wheel, and Tucker are counting on you.
Ray W. says
There are a significant number of spoil islands in Volusia County near the channel that was dredged deeper and wider in WWII to speed up barge traffic, and to protect the barges from German submarines, on the Florida intracoastal waterway.
As the News-Journal reported many decades ago, and my father also discussed on occasion, an enterprising young man bought two of the spoil islands for $1 each (he was the only bidder according to my father); he eventually developed both islands into waterfront mobile home parks linked to the Port Orange causeway. They are still in use today. Arguably one of the best returns on investment in this area, other than those with the foresight to buy ISC stock for $1 per share in the early 70’s.
Just dredge the canals and create spoil islands near the intracoastal channel, and make sure the islands are sufficiently above sea level to avoid flooding. Then sell the islands to the highest bidding developer. Thousands of citizens may protest, but that hasn’t stopped development of pristine land in Flagler County before.
First, regards, for your kind comment, elsewhere, on my comment about the dearth, locally, of bookstores.
A fair point, I suppose, about where to put the “spoils” of dredging. You’re of course aware that a lot of things have changed during our years here; myself, I have no nostalgia for the fragrance of the Halifax river at low tide — before it stopped receiving raw waste. And too, the small matter of environmental law, e.g.: https://www.google.com/search?q=Florida+environmental+disasters
To borrow a style, is it possible that the bottom of the canals might be viewed in a manner similar to how the soil where, e.g., leaking petroleum storage tanks were once buried? Do you recall the remediation of the sites of two gas stations (and the traffic circle, Buddy Baker’s garage, etc.) that made way for the west ramp of the current Seabreeze bridge?
Finally, a lot of long dead little guys put small contributions towards Big Bill’s dream — and never saw their, albeit small, investments appreciate at all. Not even a thank you. Yes, I know: the winners determine what becomes history, too bad about the losers. A Florida story — oft repeated.
Ray W. says
Thank you, Pogo.
This was a comment written solely to provoke a reply. I have to work on my snark skills.
I do not believe that creating a spoil island will solve anything, but who knows the boundaries on the creativity on the commercial mind, particularly when local governments fail to set boundaries.
I, too, remember the smell of the Halifax and the depth of the layer of muck covering the river bottom, which was only partially solved with better tidal flows when the old Port Orange bridge and causeway was replaced.
And thank you, for the clarification (totally agree about that thar commercial mind) — and your thoughtfulness.
@Ray W. “When life gives ya lemons… ” :-)
Ray W. and Pogo: Actually, next to the Port of Palm Beach entrance, there is what I believe to be such an island. The port was dredged deep for shipping, so without looking it up, I believe the island was created by dredging. I think this because the water drops off very deep in the ICW around it, and extending out to the ocean. On the south end of this island is a bunker built for President Kennedy, and an old Coast Guard station which are both now closed to the public.
This island is known as Peanut Island and is a major hangout for boaters, with docks, bathrooms, picnic areas, paved path and a snorkeling lagoon. The incoming tide is absolutely gorgeous, bringing in stingrays and beautiful fish.
We often miss our South Florida, and plan to visit more often. https://www.florida-guidebook.com/peanut-island-florida/
Well, well… and here I thought I was misjudging the “dredging issue.”
“… Does no-one in Palm Coast plan ahead?… ” – C. J.
@C. J. No, no one was thinking about the future here, since no one had one here… the proof is in the way they financed things here (and still do). Seems to me it was a “pay as you go” or “pay as you play” model… no mention of traditional methods of municipal finance (such as issuing bonds), for that would imply Palm Coast had a future. Did they really believe this? I now have my doubts. Once this mindset takes hold, it’s hard to change it (and isn’t this true of Florida as a whole, to some extent). So the answer was (is) raise taxes.
“… So they pay extra taxes to live there? Where does that tax money go..?…” – Matanzas Resident
@Matanzas Resident Not to where it should have been going. At least some of the money should have been placed into a special fund to finance just this problem… with what should have been any small short fall (or overruns) covered by municipal bonds. This is suppose to be a “city” right? But then you also must ask yourself, “where were all these canal home owners?” Didn’t these folks take an active role in how their “city” government was being run? Didn’t they ask “where that tax money was going…” their extra tax money? No, because I suspect many of them are/were part-time residents.
But of course, some of my comments presuppose one important thing… that canal dredging of THIS sort is something worthy of public finance (the issuing of bonds, etc.)… somehow I have my doubts in regard to that as well.
Grand Central Station in NYC was once headed for the wreaking ball until they started a campaign (and I think a foundation) to preserve it. If the “canal homes” are such an asset to Palm Coast, then perhaps they (the owners) should look to do the same. I said it before, I’ll say it again… form a group (if you know, or can even find out who your neighbors are, speak to them about it)… perhaps call it “The Palm Coast Society For The Preservation Of The Canal Homes.” Make up a cool logo, sell t-shirts, hats. Bake cookies, make salt-water canal taffy… sell them door to door. It’ll work… I know I’d buy a box (at least I’ll be getting something for my money).
Just my opinion.
I know this is going to be a tough pill to swallow for people but dredging the canals IS good EVERYONE.
Hear me out….
I don’t know how many canal homes there are… on my street there are around 25. I will do a SWAG and say there are 1000 total. My house is kinda middle of the road. Not the best on the street and not the worst so let’s use me as an example.
I looked at tax records for similar houses that are not on the water in Palm Coast and I am paying roughly $3,000 more per year due to my location. Simple math shows that brings an extra $3,000,000 in tax collections for the government. That’s $3 million extra PER YEAR.
If the canals are not maintained and therefore become non-navigable then property values will plummet and tax collections will as well.
Hey, I’m listening… and you have the right to be heard.
My statements are just reflective of my current opinion, not my future one.
If you have canals you should have a sub-department of the water department tasked with it’s upkeep… that’s what “cities” do. And why does a problem four decades in the making now need to be quickly addressed? Furthermore, apparently there WAS a fund set up years ago just for this purpose, what happened to it?
They should have established a sub-department within the water department when PC became a city unto itself. Hire two qualified people to go out in a row boat each year and assess the canals to determine which ones needed to be dredged that year… with department owned dredging equipment. If there were a year when no work was needed… rent out the barge and other equipment to another municipality. The problem would have remained small, something manageable… not something that requires a multi-million dollar fix. The cost would have been spread over the decades.
They can still do this in my opinion… it’s what “cities” do.
I’ll take my $100K consulting fee in cash please, thank you.
Dennis C Rathsam says
I read all these coments about the canals, I love the folks that live on these canals. But….They new what they were getting for. Everyone knows water front property cost more, ya,ll knew the taxes would be higher, yet you wanted to live on the water, you wanted that crisp salty air, you couldnt wait to get a boat and go fishing. Sorry my friends but this is all on the home owners, period! If you dont like paying for your waterfront view MOVE! There are plenty of people that will buy your home,high taxes & all. We tax payers get nothing out of you view. We dont fish. You all wanted the to live the good life on the water, thats great…Now you pay for your fun, not the tax payers!