I have to admit I was a bit shocked to see that the councilwoman was willing to help, albeit a one line email to a city employee. I have been somewhat vociferous in my opposition to many of the councilwomans past fiscal deicisons, particularly those regarding our districts bond money
, and didnt really think she would support anything attached to my name.
I was wrong.
So, the email from Mr Williams asked me to call his "point man" on irrigation issues, Steve McyIntyre. I recieved a phone call back from Steve today, where he told me the cost of installing irrigation in Klutho park for two small youth soccer fields could be as much as TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.
I wont even bother expounding on that. One can only assume that the city is using golden PVC for thier irrigation piping.FINALLY!
From another email I sent out regarding developing a comprehensive plan for Hogans Creek, I got a reply from Ed Hall, who is the Director of Jacksonvilles Public works dept.
Here is what mr Hall had to say in regards to my rant.
Flood Reduction: A project to reduce flooding along Hogan Creek has been underway for several years. The initial study identified contamination issues in the creek that would have made channel dredging too costly for the flood reduction benefit gained. However, flood reduction was gained by constructing stormwater treatment ponds upstream within the watershed. Flood reduction will also be gained with the replacement of the Bay Street Bridge and channel widening at the mouth of the creek and the river. This project is scheduled to commence construction in January 2007.
Eco-Restoration: The USACOE project will be a good first at restoring Hogan Creek. The city as a funding partner has committed to pay all costs associated with required contamination remediation/removal in the project footprint. We look forward to this project being reactivated by the corps in the future.
Hogan Creek Greenway: Walking Path along the creek including greening landscape—Design is underway with estimated bid letting in May 2007.
St. Johns River and Tributary TMDL Cleanup: The city is obligated to reduce pollutants entering the main stem of the St. Johns River and several tributaries, including Hogan Creek. Development of a Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) is underway now. Funding for this project is forecast in the proposed 2006-2011 Capital Improvement Plan. We are currently grading proposals form consultants to provide professional service associated with this work including, updating the master stormwater management plan, updating the flood insurance rate maps, and performing water quality modeling to identify cost effective solutions to meet our TMDL (pollutant reduction) allocation for urban stormwater runoff entering the St. Johns River.
River Accord: Recently, the mayor, together with partners who will invest in the future health of the river, announced the formation of the River Accord, a 10-year, $700 million program to begin restoring the health of the Lower St. Johns River Basin. Details can be found at: http://www.coj.net/Mayor/River+Accord/default.htm
A project to address the specific cleanup issues throughout the reaches of Hogan Creek, or any other similarly contaminated creek, is not underway. However, through our current NPDES permit activities, we are aggressively identifying and causing removal of point sources of pollution entering our drainage system and ultimately the St. Johns River and its tributaries. The City committed over $75 million of BJP funding for phasing out failed septic tanks throughout the city. JEA is also executing an aggressive program to rehabilitate aging sewer lines.
I have since replied to Mr Hall stating to following:
Thank you Mr Hall,
Its good to hear so many different items are being looked at. I still think that downtown and Historic Springfield would benefit from a master plan for the creek and its parks. Yes, it may only be one small creek, but its one small creek in the middle of an area that is in the throws of revitalization, and just a few blocks from city hall. Its also the single largest parcel of developed parkland downtown (37+ acres not including undeveloped land) and Jacksonvilles best opportunity for an urban central park-like system.
My first question would be about the Army Corp plan. Just to clarify, are you saying that the city will be cleaning up industrial waste along with the Army Corps plan? I have met with the Army Corp, and while their plan is a good one it does not address industrial contamination.
Furthermore, neither their plan, nor any of the info you just provided addresses the land surrounding the creek.
In some cases you have a site like Confederate Park thats already being addressed by the city and FDEP. IFor other sites, like Kluhto Park, there is no plan, and to my knowledge, no known study to determine the best path to remediating the area.
While I think that examining the aquatic health of the creek is important, I think it is secondary to cleaning up the industrial contaminants both in the creek and nearby land.
As to the flooding, can we look at excavating the Hogans Creek ponds at 4th and Pearl and 5th and Broad? At the very least, can we start to examine what those ponds were filled in with?