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CRA finalizes Streets and Utilities plans

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By Kellie Parkin

The Cedar Key Community Redevelopment Agency, along with the Cedar Water and Sewer District, is performing the final review for the Phase II Streets and Utilities project. Permits have been applied for and final plans will be completed by the end of the month. The CRA will advertise for bids in February, Director Greg Lang said.  Phase II Streets and Utilities is the largest construction project in the history of Cedar Key and will take approximately 10-12 months to complete. The construction zone will extend from the school area on Whiddon Avenue to City Park, and will include repairing water and sewer infrastructure and streets resurfacing and rebuilding. Fire hydrants, sidewalks and storm water protections will also be added in some areas.   All of the work will be done in the City’s right-of-way. Many homes sit close to the right of way, Lang said, but special precautions will be taken for the least amount of disruption. “There are a few houses in town that are actually built right in the right-of-way – but those, luckily, are not part of this project,” Lang said.  In late January or early February, the CRA will hold a special meeting to provide an overview of the project and address residents’ questions and concerns. “I want to make sure we have a really strong educational program in place,” said Commissioner Scott Dennison. “This is going to be a real disruption. It’s going to be rough.” After much discussion during the course of the Phase II planning stage, Lang said the city decided against placing electrical lines underground, even though there would already be work underneath many streets. “The reason was strictly cost – and actually a number a residents said they prefer them up there,” Lang said.  In other business, the CRA will also be applying for a grant that would provide energy efficiency improvements to city buildings, and would also create a small fleet of 3-4 alternative transportation units – or bicycles – for city employee use.   The grant will be highly competitive, Lang said, but he is hopeful that Cedar Key will get it.