Sebastian’s Archie Smith Fish House to get new roof, coat of paint

SEBASTIAN – The Historic Archie Smith Fish House in Sebastian will be the recipient of an estimated $45,000 worth of fixing up, courtesy of Indian River County.

The Board of County Commissioners approved allocating the funds from environmental lands bonds.

“I owe them a big thank you,” Sebastian City Councilwoman Andrea Coy said when told about the funding. “I’m happy they’re putting some money in.”

The Sebastian City Council has been working with the county to get the dilapidated structures on the Indian River Drive site fixed up.

Public Works Director Chris Mora told commissioners that the work would improve the appearance of the site, but would not bring it into compliance with building code.

The work expected to be performed on the site includes temporary repairs of the roofs and patching of structural holes, removing the lead paint from the walls of the structures and repainting, and removing debris from the property.

The county also plans to put a barrier on the dock to prevent people from accidentally falling into the lagoon.

Mora told commissioners that these are only short-term fixes for the site. More intensive rehabilitation is needed to bring the site back to the way it once was.

To fund that, however, the county is seeking state and federal grants.

Coy approached Commission Chairman Peter O’Bryan Tuesday afternoon during an unrelated meeting and offered the city’s assistance in applying for grants and funds.

O’Bryan accepted, noting he would tell the county staff to coordinate with Sebastian. He explained that often grant applications have a better chance of approval the more government groups are involved.

Work on the Archie Smith Fish House could commence before the end of the year, once bids come back from certified painters who can handle the disposal of the lead paint.

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