Disgusting view of sewer to be improved

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CRA approves utility, road project

By Lou Elliott Jones

                  Greg Lang has seen Cedar Key at its worst: the miles of pipes running under this little village are not a pretty sight.

                  Anyone who wants to see it can ask Lang to whip out one of several dozen DVDs made when a video camera rolled through every inch of pipe in the city to document where repairs and replacements need to be made.

                  As a result, the Cedar Key Community Development Agency agreed in Tuesday’s meeting to proceed with Phase II of its plan — streets and utilities work.

                  The plan, which will be presented to the Cedar Key Water and Sewer District board at its Monday meeting, will cost about $3.1 million and be paid from the CRA’s $4.4 million bond fund.

                  Lang did not show the CRA the DVDs but CRA Chair and Cedar Key Mayor Sue Colson said she has seen some of them.

                  “I love it, it’s got the roaches and all,” she said. “They have everything, including the giant roach. You could do a movie.”

                  “Well it’s not going to be a movie in the park,” Councilman Scott Dennison added.

                  Lang noted in his presentation, “Everything is in such a state of disrepair,” that a lot of work will be done.

                  The good news he said is that in repairing the utility lines, the city will also be repairing streets. As a sideline to the street repair, Lang is looking for street repairs that will divert storm water to a more positive purpose than eroding the sides of the roadway.

                  Lang said when storm water drains off the road it comes with such velocity that the erodes the land at the edge of the road, undermining the road and eventually eroding the roadway.

                  Under the proposed schedule, approved by the CRA, the scope of work to be done will be competed this month, the engineering design will be done from July to September, permitting should be done by October and advertising for bids will be in November and awarded in December.

                  Construction is expected to begin in January 2010 and is expected to end in October 2010.

                  Councilman Heath Davis observed the project could cause some stress for residents. “We might like this down stream, but while it’s underway we’re not going to like it very much.”

                  Davis also asked Lang to ensure the project “preserves the character of the area.”

                  Lang assured that the project would preserve the character of the village and that he is aware there are heritage trees in the project area that will be affected by the construction. Lang said the engineers would be looking at innovative ways to do the work and preserve the trees, which have been mapped for the project.