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City asks to speed up waterfront park buildout

Don’t hold your breath to see a waterfront park emerge on Palmetto Park Road at the Intracoastal. City consultant EDSA asked for nearly two years to wrap up designs and permitting for the combined Wildflower and Silver Palm parks. And that’s even before construction.

“Twenty months of work before shovels in the ground? Is there anything we can do to speed up the process?” Councilwoman Andrea O’Rourke asked at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

“I share you concern,” said Mayor Scott Singer. Twenty-five weeks are built in for approvals and nine months for design, said city manager Leif Ahnell. State and federal permits are “outside the consultant’s control,” he added, especially the Army Corps of Engineers. The city has assigned a project manager, “But we can certainly talk to them about speed it up,” Ahnell said.

“This is an expensive endeavor, close to $500,000,” O’Rourke said about combining the two sites under the Intracoastal bridge. “Let’s ask them at least when we can expect the designs back.”

Feedback from residents added 12 new design elements to the design EDSA presented Council unanimously approved EDSA’s requests despite the timeline. To vote no would have added three weeks to the process, Singer said. “If it takes the absolute most time possible it will take 20 months,” Ahnell said.

By Marci Shatzman


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