SEBASTIAN – About $60,000 will be shifted from Sebastian’s Recreation Impact Fees to pay for the multi-use trail that will run beside Powerline Road’s extension.
The Sebastian City Council unanimously approved both using the fees for that portion of the work and hiring Timothy Rose Construction to perform all the work.
The project’s original budget had been approximately $1.6 million. However, with the addition of a 20 percent contingency that would only be spent if necessary, the project came in at $10,000 over, City Manager Al Minner told the Sebastian City Council Wednesday evening.
He recommended the council allocate funds from the Recreational Impact Fees to cover the sidewalk/bike path, which would bring the project’s cost back in line with the budget.
Sebastian resident and businessman Damien Gilliams questioned the use of the impact fees for the sidewalk, noting that there are other recreational needs those funds could be used for.
Minner responded that the argument could be made not to use the impact fees – assessed to new development to offset its impact on the existing community – and told council that, if it so directed, he could shift funds from other sources.
“I do think it does fit in,” Minner said of using the recreation fees for the path. I think it’s a doable thing.”
Councilman Eugene Wolff agreed.
“We know walking, exercising is recreation,” Wolff said.
City Attorney Robert Ginsburg told the council he, too, believes using the fees is acceptable.
“I am very, very comfortable,” Councilwoman Andrea Coy said of moving forward with the impact fees. “We are in dire straits” financially.
She commended staff for being creative in funding the project.
Work on extending Powerline Road to connect Main Street with County Road 512/Sebastian Boulevard is expected to get underway shortly and could take six months to complete. The plans call for working south to north to get the work near Sebastian Elementary School done before the school opens in the fall.