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Here’s The Scoop … May 5, 2010 LBTS Master Plan Steering Committee Meeting … A1A Project … Do Not Pass Go …

LOOKS LIKE THE CONSENSUS IS …

Dear Readers …I caught the MPSC meeting last night in Jarvis Hall thanks to Co- Chair Edmund Malkoon…I was remiss in checking out the Town website to see it was called at 6:30 … OOPS!…

The topic was the A1A Project they were saddled with in the 11th hour …thanks to the former Town Manager and her trusty sidekick the former Asst. TM/Interim TM JohnO… Previously posted was the 1st MPSC where it was clear the committee and the contracted PBS&J/FDOT were purposely kept at an arms length…until Comm. Sasser directed they come together … the night TM Colon was ousted and Interim TM JohnO was balancing his hours old new position in Jarvis Hall and his keeping staff on overtime in Town Hall doing a swift payout for his former boss!…

Suddenly given the project to advise the Commission with no time to spare the committee made the decision at the “no speakers” first meeting to walk the area from Pine Ave. north to Town limits to get a good look at where the taxpayer’s big bucks would be going …and for what…

The ever changing amount has gone from an estimated matching funds of $600+ thou to 1/3 at $220,000 due from the Town…with 2/3 more coming from the state…(it’s a state road)… Why the north was the area chosen is still anyone’s guess as it is heads above the south end of A1A in LBTS… After the committee walked, and made their notes…. new member Helen Weatherington put together a powerpoint presentation for her fellow members that will be fine tuned to perhaps be shown to Commission at the end of the month… There was much discussion by the members with a list of wants, needs and must haves (thanks to Sandra Booth who made a 2nd “field trip” asking bike riders, walkers and baby brigaders what they thought was needed on this scenic highway)… that went like this…

1.Bus Shelters

BC- The former TM proposed in the 2010-11 budget Bus Shelters w/$85,000 …and a while back at the 1st meeting for the garbage contract former TM JohnO said we could have had some if we would have allowed some advertising…something I never heard before or since…and never had any corroboration that he was correct…

2. Landscaping -Ocean Entrances

BC- Landscaping – the east side is A-OK from the condos and a few bare spots on the west can be addressed from code..Ocean Entrances…thought there were was only Sea Watch that offered non-private access after Pine heading north?…

3. Crosswalks

BC- stamped concrete or asphalt (colored) to head to the “Portals”…what “portals” north of Pine?../ Also there was talk of coloring and repairing the sidewalks…Co-Chair Malkoon reminded all of the sidewalk repair program already in each years budget…

4. Signage-Entryway/streets…

BC- Entryway signs ( another year another entryway signage )..Last time around …we could not get easements for the entryways north/south from property owners…not allowed in the medians…by FDOT…

5. Street Lights..

BC- we have in the 2010-11 thru yrs 12-13-14  budget per the former TM a “Decorative street lighting  program for $200,00 north and $200,000 south..PBS&J thought the lights on A1A north were the upgraded allowed lights per the 1st MPSC meeting…

6. Ocean Portals…

BC- covered above

7.Water

BC- Helene mentioned the “waterspout”by the church …

8. Benches

BC- non-bus shelter benches …

There back and forth of what was envisioned and what would make A1A pop …..and eventually make it consistent with the south end and tie the two ends of town together to be cohesive in sidewalk color…lights…benches…bus shelters…signage…and landscaping…

But…just when it looked like the committee was going to give consensus to move forth Sandra Booth asked for the members to each give their opinion on whether this project should go forth…Chair Paul Novak asked this question at the start of the meeting … when he talked of what to advise the Commission..

They went around the table…and John Panitsas said it was not beneficial spending, not a priority… James Rogers stated they did not have enough info and it seemed as if the state was holding up a carrot, they (MPSC) were having a hard time coming up with things… Ken Kugler liked all the ideas but was in sync with Jim and John on the priority and spoke of Comm.Chris Vincent’s remarks as he too walked with the committee and asked if we really needed to put the money into this project at this time, he added that he felt the location was not correct, it should be the south end of A1A…Robert Eckblad repeated what he stated earlier when he wondered if we could limit more the cost and scope as he did not see what could possibly be done for the total amount put in by the Town and the state…He felt it would be of no benefit…Edmund Malkoon said no beautification project is a priority citing infrastructure projects but added that if we are going to get some additional dollars we should to try and unify the south and north as was discussed throughout their meeting… Sandra Booth said the “jury’s out”that she has been on the Master Plan Steering Committee the longest and had seen this many times before (amen!)…she was confident with this new Commission (& TM Hoffman- a Laura Ward buddy) would come up with grants…she was concerned about the lack of citizen input citing past problems when the citizens were overlooked and pointed out the lack of time afforded to them to get the job done…it is not a priority …and she said she didn’t feel good about it…Paul Novak agreed there was no time …and concurred with his Co-Chair that the money was already in the budget …but added it might make sense to put that $220,000 into El Mar..(see below)… Helene Wetherington said she was a little confuse…that the money was in the budget to use and it was agreed to..(see below)…Marjorie Evans was a no-show yet again..MIA for every meeting since she was appointed by Comm. Clottey and quite something when “as you will recall” Candidate Evans said she wanted to serve as both Comm. and MPSC member if it were allowed!…OUCH!…

Comm.Vincent stepped forward to say it was too bad the committee did not have the answers they needed tonight due to the transition and the departure of John Olinzock who was to provide them with it …He added he like Helene’s walkway idea…

Comm. Sasser earlier stated he would help get the item on the next agenda (Tues. May 11th) which closed on Mon. since there was no backup required by the Town and also offered to call a special meeting on Sat. if need be…He also put forth the idea of the committee having a liaison to the FDOT after asking if anyone received a card from the woman who came to the 1st meeting …he added that maybe they could “identify and run her down!”..Pun intended, Comm? (Just joshin’ you Comm. Sasser!)…

The questions that needed to be asked …by Co-Chair Malkoon…the elements allowed …crosswalks…the location on A1A…the amount of funds…could they be more limited and specific timing of the project if they go forward…Edmund will also go to the Town for added info including the ridership of county buses …He will present some info at comments to the Comm. next Tues and the MPSC will make their presentation at the May 25th meeting to advise …

BC- according to the Town Manager proposed budget 2010-11 $367,000 & 2011-12 proposed budget $280,100 was allocated for this project…

2010-11 TM proposed budget  $101,00 “Pine Ave from A1A to El Mar Streetscape”

2010-11 TM proposed budget “Streetscape resurfacing Flamingo to Terra Mar” $350,000 &  2011-12 proposed budget $200,000

So yes, WHOA!…put the money into El Mar Drive!…

OF NOTE- Co-Chair Edmund Malkoon spoke to the TM and Steve D’Oliveira and finally MPSC meetings will be recorded and archived online along with backup!…

NOTE to Town…need to do the same w/ P&Z and BOA!…

Also of note- was the final discussion of needing a budget for the committee …Comm. Sasser reminded the committee it was VM Dodd who was on it and to contact him..(prev. post)…along with the desire by members to have the consultants at the next meeting…

Sandra Booth is going to take a stab at updating and writing a new MPSC Mission Statement which will be brought to the group to have input…and due to the 2 hrs being used up…the El Mar Project was not addressed….

The members were reminded of the Sunshine Workshop they should attend (boards are under Sunshine) on Wed. May 12, 2010 in Jarvis Hall…

The meting was adjourned …

more to come….

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