Lehigh Acres City Council Members Meet to Discuss Storm Water Master Plan

During the Lehigh Acres board’s workshop meeting at the City Hall, the Public Works Department gave a presentation stressing the goals of the capital improvement projects (CIP), which involve flooding and water quality treatment. With the aim of improving the system, a study was conducted in the under-developed northwest corner. The study’s goal is to identify issues in water quality especially now that the city is developing up north.Lehigh Acres project management team was able to identify flooding concerns based on staff observations and input from the community. The issues range from handling offsite flows to the maintenance of failing pipes, which are undersized in that area. Moreover, the researchers were able to identify ways on how to remove pollutants from water going through the system. Researchers were able to determine specific projects to improve water quality, which include nutrient removal such as nitrogen to decrease the concentration before storm water is discharged.

According to the report of lehighacrescitizen.com, the purchase of the Thieman properties, which was bought at an auction, was targeted as being a site of interest as soon as the evaluation is finished. Project development puts the city in position for many funding opportunities.

Mayor John Sullivan asked, “Is there anything as far as federal funding?” He added, “We’re at the end of the stream. To be expected to fix the problem ourselves is unfair.” There are several grants that can be applied for the said project. These include Florida Section 319 Grants, TMDL Water Quality Restorations Grants and a state revolving fund water pollution control program.

According to Stephanie Smith, the city would apply for all the funding available. Smith is responsible for designing the capital projects.

During the said meeting, the council also discussed about adjusting the city’s code of ordinances to be consistent with the 2010 edition of the National Fire Codes and forming a Fire Code Board of Adjustment and Appeals.

There are circumstances when the city already has regulations that go beyond the national standards. Chris Chulakes-Leetz, belongs to the member of the council and he brought up the one for high-rises that stipulates a hydrant be 50 feet away rather than 100 feet. As for the board of appeals, its responsibilities would be to decide on cases where businesses are not to code and have to fix the problem, which could be expensive. Marty McClain, another member of the council is worried that a nine-person board recommended by the city attorney would be hard to fill, given the strict standards.
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