SEBASTIAN – Drivers of Sebastian roads can expect to have a smoother ride in the coming months as the city begins work on improving several of the major thoroughfares.
The Sebastian City Council voted unanimously Wednesday night to approve refinancing a bond that would be used to fund the $1.2 million worth of projects.
“The community needs it,” said Councilman Eugene Wolff in support of refinancing and getting started on the projects. Councilman Don Wright asked that the city catalogue its other streets and rank them in terms of the remaining lifespan for the road. Doing so would make it easier in the future to identify what roads needs fixing and to plan accordingly, he said.
Roads that can expect relief in the near future include:
Laconia Street from Tulip to Crystal Mist: $336,261
Schuman Drive from Englar Drive to City Limits: $287,085
Periwinkle Drive from Bridge to Laconia Street: $274,469
South Easy Street from Sebastian Blvd. to Wimbrow Drive: $222,920
The total for those streets is $1.12 million.
Later, the city plans to tackle the “President Streets,” as City Manager Al Minner called them Wednesday. The city could choose to fund those improvements through its Community Redevelopment Area funds instead of through the bond because the roads are located within the redevelopment zone:
The total for those streets is $76,706.
Other costs associated with the repaving work include $12,000 for curb, gutter and striping for all the targeted roads and $40,559 for construction contingencies.
City Manager Minner told the council that he would prefer to fund the CRA streets through the CRA fund for a couple reasons. One, because CRA funds can be used for such projects; and two, because doing so would free up the bond funds for other roads that have not yet been identified.
Minner said he included the CRA streets in order to get as much money as he could into the project’s fund, which then builds in flexibility.
Minner is expected to report back to the Sebastian City Council in February with a more detailed plan for funding the road improvement projects and justification for the selected roads.
He told the council that the roads he chose are major thoroughfares and crucial to improve.
“I think it’s critical that we move forward with these streets,” he said.
Minner was also tasked at the meeting to monitor the roads surrounding Barber Street as that project gets moving and diverts drivers from the main road to smaller side streets.
Mayor Richard Gillmor said that those roads could see more wear and tear due to the construction and might need repaving sooner than the city anticipated.
A public meeting will be held Feb. 1 at 5:30 p.m. at Sebastian City Hall in the Council Chambers to address the Barber Street project.