We have come a long way since hurricane Irma and thanks to you, Sunset Park is now open! We’re planning to bring it back to pre-storm condition and add bathrooms that will be funded by a Tourist Development Council (TDC) grant.
There is much going on behind the scenes as the City staff has inputted all our recovery costs, work hours and damage assessments into FEMA’s online system. They are also busy filing insurance claims and requesting funding from our State.
I am receiving many questions on the fate of our City Hall. There are many decisions your Commission must make in the coming months regarding our hall, but here is where we stand now.
- The consulting firm we hired to help us file and receive the funds we are entitled to from insurance and FEMA has determined through a licensed Florida engineer that our building received “substantial damage…and is no longer fit to be occupied. The building has sustained critical washout of the sand cushion that the structural slab is resting on.”
- The consultant’s report must be reviewed by our Building Official and recommendations from him and our City Administrator will be made to the Commission at our February 22 meeting. Repair or replace the building are of course the alternatives.
- Funding is of greatest concern and we are working many avenues for money. FEMA, insurance, State grants/appropriations and State low interest loans are all being investigated. I will be in Tallahassee on Wednesday February 7th to solicit the support of our representatives and cabinet officials for recovery funding.
- There are many moving parts to these decisions and I have asked our City Administrator to ensure public workshops are scheduled to provide information and hear your ideas and concerns as we proceed with whatever path we take with City Hall. As I said at the last Commission meeting, “we do not want to get the cart ahead of the horse,” as we align available funding with recovery projects.
Please stay tuned, your support and ideas are always welcomed by your City.