Sebastian redevelopment roadwork hinges on updated plan

SEBASTIAN – Roads within Sebastian’s targeted redevelopment area could see some much-needed repairs sometime in the future, but that will depend on city leaders and residents updating the zone’s master plan.

In the meantime, other city roads have been identified for more immediate road reconstruction including Periwinkle, Laconia, South Easy and Schumann.

The city has a little more than $1 million set aside for road improvement projects, but had put the work on hold waiting to find out if the U.S. Congress would approve another round of stimulus funds to be used on road projects – such as Barber Street.

Congress removed that potential funding, “so we’re back where we started,” City Manager Al Minner told the Sebastian City Council this week.

During the discussion, the council briefly considered using redevelopment funds to pay for rebuilding the “President” streets within the city’s waterfront district.

In the end, however, the council elected to hold off on allocating redevelopment or other funds for those roads while the city prepares for updating the redevelopment area’s master plan.

“It would be foolish to spend CRA dollars at this time,” Vice Mayor Jim Hill said of improving roads in that area without having the plan updated.

He later added that two weeks ago, the council discussed bumpouts on US 1 – that the project might be good to do. Before that, they discussed gateways into the redevelopment area.

“You know what that means?” Hill rhetorically asked. “We don’t have a plan.”

He said that “clearer heads” should prevail and they should hold off on allocating funds to the CRA roads.

The city has a workshop scheduled for June 9 to discuss the redevelopment area, its needs and priorities. The public is invited to attend and share suggestions and comments.

“There might not be room for roadwork in that money,” Councilwoman Andrea Coy said.

The Sebastian City Council also expressed a renewed interest in establishing a road maintenance program to help extend the lives of the city’s current roads. Currently, city staff fills potholes and make other patches to the aging road system – a temporary fix, according to city officials.

As for the non-redevelopment area roads, the council unanimously voted in support of bidding out the work and get started on the improvements.

 ***

Roadwork at a glance

Roads identified for reconstruction*

Perwinkle Drive (Bridge to Laconia) – $294,632

Schumann Drive (Englar to County Line) – $292,065

Laconia Street (Tulip to Crystal Mist) – $287,998

S. Easy Street (CR 512 to Wimbrow) – $253,570

*Costs are estimates

Roads identified for rehabilitation*

Tulip

Englar

Main

Conchia

*Cost estimates not available

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