News-Sun photo by CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY Lake Placid Councilor Steve Bastardi talks about the danger of flooding on U. S. 27. ÔIt's a flume ride,' he said.
published: Friday, August 17, 2012
Lake projects in Lake Placid continue
By CHRISTOPHER TUFFLEY
LAKE PLACID -- Three of Lake Placid's lakes -- Clay, McCoy and June -- were chosen by then Gov. Charlie Crist to receive grants for water reclamation. They are among the 64 Florida lakes judged the most in environmental decline and in need of urgent attention
Work on Lake Clay has been under way for months, although a utility pole is causing delays because it stands right at the spot where three storm drains converge and has to be moved.
The issues in Lake Placid are largely due to direct road and roof runoff into the lakes.
For example, Lake Clay is inundated with oily water-carried debris from the Tower Plaza parking lot, as well as Tower Road and U.S. 27. Among other improvements, French drains are being added for water absorption and percolation.
The county appeared before the town council Monday asking for its support in keeping the five-year work program moving.
Support can come in different forms, the council was told. For example, the town paid no money into the Lake Clay project, but was instrumental in gaining the needed easements.
Councilor Debbie Worley passionately argued about the need to clean up the lakes. She said she was one of the people who attained the easements for Lake Clay.
Work on Lake June is scheduled to begin early next year.
Worley mentioned that the Lake Clay project came in under budget, saving $45,000. She hoped the Southwest Florida Water Management District would apply those savings toward the 25 percent matching portion of the Lake June grant, which will come to $110,000 for Lake June. The $45,000 would go a long way in meeting the matching requirement, Worley said.
Clell Ford is the county lakes manager and is in charge the projects. He explained to the News-Sun that grant money is not transferred from one project to another. Instead it goes back into a general fund.
The Lake June project is already budgeted in full and would proceed as planned, he said. The leftover funds from Lake Clay would be used later on another lake.
Councilor Steve Bustard called the Lake June project "a very worthy project." He mentioned how U.S. 27 flooded when drains got blocked in the area of the railroad overpass, and how the water became a serious danger. "It's like a flume ride," he said. He wanted to find practical ways of showing support.
Councilor Ray Royce was somewhat more cautious. He wondered exactly what support entailed. "I'd just like see it in writing," he said.
Members of the council expressed some impatience with the state Department of Transportation. The FDOT is largely responsible for runoff into the lake, and yet contributes nothing, Bastardi said.
Our Lakes (by: John Ruggiero - 8/17/2012)
It's wonderful to see the projects being started to help protect our lakes. My thanks to the Water Management District, Highlands County Board of County Commissioneers, Town of Lake Placid and all those who have given their time to make these projects happen. Where would we be without our beautiful lakes?
Small Banner Ads