Fellsmere again seeks $700k grant for road projects

FELLSMERE — The Fellsmere City Council Thursday evening unanimously approved moving forward with a neighborhood revitalization grant that could bring $700,000 to the city for road improvements.

The application is for a Community Development Block Grant through the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity and would be used to make improvements to Wyoming, N. Hickory and Pine. This is the second time the Fellsmere City Council has applied for the grant for this project.

“We expect to be as competitive as we can be,” City Manager Jason Nunemaker said of the application process.

With assistance from consultant Kathy Baker, executive director of Jordan & Associates Municipal Consultants, the Fellsmere staff has worked to increase its chances of winning the grant by maximizing key areas where possible.

For example, Baker has recommended the city consider adding a back-up generator for a lift station to the project, which would increase the number of very low income residents who would benefit from the project.

Nunemaker said the project would complete the Wyoming loop and would pave and resolve flooding and drainage issues along Hickory and Pine. If awarded, the road work would be designed in such a way as to minimize impacts to the tree canopy along Hickory.

“These are real soggy areas,” Nunemaker said of Hickory and Pine.

Baker told the Fellsmere City Council that there would be approximately $21 million up for grabs in four categories for the Community Development Block Grant cycle, which opens Jan. 27 and closes in March.

It will be much later this year before Fellsmere finds out if it will receive any funding through the program.

A second public hearing will be held at a later date before the application is filed. No one from the public spoke during Thursday’s public hearing.

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