At this Monday’s Ponte Vedra Beach Municipal Service District (MSD) meeting, Trustee Brad Wester said the county’s parks and recreation department is aiming to start construction on the new Mickler’s Landing Beach walkover and other improvements in the winter and complete that construction in spring 2018.
Wester added at the Aug. 14 meeting at the Ponte Vedra Beach Branch Library that the county is hoping to “go out to bid” for the project within the next three to four weeks.
In other news, Trustee Kitty Switkes said a beach renourishment project will start at St. Augustine Beach this fall. Switkes noted that the project is part of a 50-year federal plan and not related to Hurricane Matthew recovery. 780 cubic yards of sand will be taken from the St. Augustine Inlet, she said, to replenish the beaches. Switkes added that the project will cost $10-15 million and will mostly be paid by federal dollars and bed tax dollars. The last beach renourishment project at St. Augustine Beach was in 2012.
Also at the MSD meeting, Ponte Vedra resident Carl Blesing asked the board to address yard trash and debris that he says is piling up in his neighborhood.
“It really gets to be unsightly at times,” he said. “I’d like to request that the MSD do some type of research as to how we can eliminate this problem if we possibly can.”
MSD Chairman John Wegl said the homeowners are responsible for instructing contractors to haul these piles away. He further explained that yard debris pickup is controlled by the county. Wegl said the county has implemented rules directing Republic Services not to pick up anything on vacant lots or anything that exceeds the normal crew pickup size.
Trustee John Cellucci, who is responsible for managing the district’s relationship with Republic, said the MSD’s contract with the company states that when a property owner’s yard waste is out of compliance, Republic must tag it and tell the property owner why they didn’t pick it up, as well as what can be done to correct the problem. Cellucci added that he recently met with Republic representatives to clarify these policies, as well as to ask to make the tags more legible and put them in plastic sleeves so that they’re protected from the weather. Cellucci said information regarding the MSD’s yard waste policies can be found on the district’s website (http://www.pvmsd.org/).
During Wegl’s update, he said he recently received a letter from County Administrator Michael Wanchick, asking the MSD for input on the county’s legislative action plan that it submits to Tallahassee for funding. The MSD board concluded that support is needed for water drainage improvement throughout the district, as well as for the replacement of the Miranda Road bridge.
In addition, Wegl reported that the final Ponte Vedra/Palm Valley traffic study is currently sitting with the county for approval. Following the county’s approval and the release of the document to the public, Wegl said a survey will be sent to residents to gain their input regarding the final suggested improvements.
Wegl also said he recently spoke with county representatives regarding code enforcement and discovered that the county is “swamped” with code enforcement complaints from the MSD. As a result, he said they discussed setting priorities to mitigate the situation moving forward.
“The most important issues to us would be addressed as soon as they’re identified, and the lesser issues will be pushed off to the side to be addressed when time permits,” he said. “I think we’re in a situation now when we’re 'crying wolf' too many times.”
At the conclusion of the meeting, the board decided not to implement a roll back rate following its decision last month to maintain the MSD’s millage rate at .375.
At the next MSD meeting Sept. 11, the board will vote on its final budget for fiscal year 2017-2018.