homepage logo

Stormwater master plan unveiled

By Staff | Dec 4, 2012

The city’s Public Works Department gave a presentation to City Council on its stormwater master plan during the board’s workshop meeting Monday at City Hall, stressing goals that include capital improvement projects (CIP) that involve flooding and water quality treatment.

The study was done in the under-developed northwest corner, with the goal of finding improvements for the system that could be identified now and what to expect as the city develops in the north.

The city identified flooding concerns based on staff observations and input from the community, with issues ranging from handling offsite flows to the maintenance of failing pipes, which are undersized in that area.

The study also identified projects that will remove pollutants from water going through the system. It said they were expected to complete the required projects to comply with regulations in the near future.

Projects to improve water quality include nutrient removal such as nitrogen to reduce the concentration before stormwater is discharged.

The master plan said it will look at “taking these potential solutions and developing a design and plan to construct the improvements.”

The purchase of the Thieman properties, which was bought at auction over the spring, was targeted as being a site of interest once the current evaluation is completed.

The development of these CIPs puts the city in position for many funding opportunities, the report said, and that was what the council really wanted to know.

“Is there anything as far as federal funding?” Mayor John Sullivan asked. “We’re at the end of the stream. To be expected to fix the problem ourselves is unfair.”

Among the grants the city can apply for include Florida Section 319 Grants, TMDL Water Quality Restorations Grants and a state revolving fund water pollution control program.

Stephanie Smith, who designs the capital projects, assured Sullivan the city would apply for all the funding available.

On a night where the meeting took less than two hours, council also discussed amending the city’s code of ordinances to be consistent with the 2010 edition of the National Fire Codes and creating a Fire Code Board of Adjustment and Appeals.

In some instances, the city already has regulations that exceed the national standards. Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz brought up the one for high-rises that stipulates a hydrant be 50 feet away rather than 100 feet.

As for the board of appeals, its job would be to decide on cases where businesses are not to code and have to fix the problem, which could be expensive.

Councilmember Marty McClain was concerned that a nine-person board recommended by the city attorney would be hard to fill, given the rigid standards

“The credentials will be at the top-most of the profession. The application process will be interesting,” McClain said.

Another item was an ordinance to prohibit all accessory structures in residential areas except garages, carports, satellite antennas, sun shelters, gazebos, sheds, playhouses and recreational areas, like a tennis court, subject to city regulations.

Mike Struve said the ordinance is to eliminate confusion over what’s allowed.