Submitted by Suanne Z. Thamm
Reporter – News Analyst
January 24, 2019 9:55 a.m.
The question of waterfront development in downtown Fernandina Beach is inextricably tied to the provision of adequate infrastructure. The city’s position for the much of the last 20 years or so has been that infrastructure improvement costs should be borne by property developers, not the city. This has proven to be an insurmountable barrier for potential developers, who would also be expected to pay high water and sewer impact fees.
During the January 22, 2019 workshop on waterfront development, Vice Mayor Len Kreger responded to some of the criticisms that have been leveled against the city with regard to its alleged failure to contribute to infrastructure improvements downtown. Much of the work has been devoted to solving stormwater problems and stabilizing the shoreline, in addition to repairing and improving the city marina. He provided the information below during the workshop:
Waterfront Infrastructure Planning (6 Jan 2019)
Projects in Progress
- South Attenuator
- Realignment of south basin
- Demolition Wade Vuturo Building (Complete)
Approved Projects Pending
- Sea wall repair (to be completed in conjunction with 2 and 3 above)
- North Attenuator and fuel dock (Pending USACE permit)
- Parking Lot “B” improvements
Project Pending design/approval
- Northern Marina Big P Expansion
- Alachua Railroad Crossing
- Removal of piles on City Property
- State Funded A-5 Storm water 2017 ($500,000) extended; Design and Permitting to 1 Oct 2019, Construction 31 June 2019. This project timeline was extended to include approved HMGP funding in the planning. (HMGP funding Phase I $103,000, Phase II $700,000) CPH is presently being contract for consolidation of this project.
- State Funded Shoreline Stabilization 2018 ($450,000). Budged and Detail submitted to State 4 January 2019.
- Resiliency Grant of $37,000 Project Time Line and Budget detail being completed.
- LMS Shoreline Stabilization HMGP Grant Pending. “Flood Risk reduction Project” $2,624,600. At this point the confidence level in getting this project is low.
- 2019 State Funding Requests related to Downtown Shoreline; A-6 Stormwater and additional Shoreline Stabilization.
Editor’s Note: Suanne Z. Thamm is a native of Chautauqua County, NY, who moved to Fernandina Beach from Alexandria,VA, in 1994. As a long time city resident and city watcher, she provides interesting insight into the many issues that impact our city. We are grateful for Suanne’s many contributions to the Fernandina Observer.