Work to begin on improving ‘Presidential’ streets in Sebastian

SEBASTIAN – The Sebastian City Council has approved paying $13,500 to have engineering work done on three “Presidential” streets to determine how the streets can be improved.

The City Council and members of the public have been pushing to get the streets repaved due to numerous pot holes and deteriorating conditions.

“We have a lot of work to do on this project,” City Manager Al Minner said of the plans to rehabilitate and beautify Washington, Cleveland and Martin streets.

Though the engineering work – to be done by Neel-Schaffer – is expected to generate a design concept, the city plans to hold public workshops and discussions before any final plans are created.

“This whole project has to tie in together,” Vice Mayor Don Wright said, explaining that he felt getting design concepts now was premature. “We don’t know what we want.”

Neel-Schaffer engineer Frank Watanabe told the council that before they could design what they want, they need to know what lies out there along the streets – what amount of right away is available, what permits might be needed, what possibilities could there be.

“Right now all we’re collecting are facts,” Watanabe said.

He also assured the council that whatever design comes out of the process, the targeted streets would blend with the overall community redevelopment area theme, which was established with the Main Street project.

Councilman Richard Gillmor told the council that he believes it would be possible for the city to break up the redevelopment area into pieces for design purposes, allowing the council to set the priorities for the work that needs to be done and yet still have a cohesive project once completed.

“We need to get them fixed, A-SAP,” he said of the Presidential streets.

One preliminary design concept placed before the City Council Wednesday evening was for making Washington and Cleveland one-way streets.

Once a proponent for one-way streets, Gillmor said he no longer wants one-way streets, explaining that he spent a couple days in Tallahassee navigating the one-way streets there and did not enjoy it.

Making the two streets one-way would free up space to allow for more on-street parking there, according to Neel-Schaffer.

Councilman Eugene Wolff asked what the plan was for the other Presidential street – Coolidge.

Minner told him that he believed Coolidge should be tied to the “Cavcorp” project – the boat-trailer parking north of Riverview Park between the Hess gas station and the river.

How Coolidge would be improved depends on what the council decides to do with the Cavcorp site.

Minner added that he has a few design concepts for Cavcorp he plans to show the council at its next meeting to get the discussion going on that project.

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