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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing accessibility to all and provides for handicapped accessible parking in the city. For a map of accessible parking locations, Click Here To notify the city regarding accessibility concerns contact: Will Franke, Building Official, Phn: 904.825.1065, Fax: 904.209.4335, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or Todd Grant, Public Works Deputy Director, Phn: 904.825.1040, Fax: 904.209.4286, Email: email@example.com. You may also write either of these contacts at City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
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The City of St. Augustine remains committed to providing clean and safe drinking water. For the previous year's sampling results please click here. To notify the city regarding water treatment concerns contact: Patrick Timoney, Water Treatment Plant Supervisor, Phn: 904.825.1044, Fax: 904.823-2280, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; or email@example.com, or write the City of St. Augustine, P.O. Box 210, St. Augustine, FL 32085-0210.
The city's ground breaking ceremony for the Seawall Rehabilitation Project held on February 13 served to mark both a commencement and a culmination. It signified both the start of a multifaceted, multimillion dollar project, and it marked the culmination of more than a decade of work by many people to make the project a reality.
Over a hundred members of the public and governmental officials gathered for the ground breaking ceremony which was held on Monday, February 13, 2012 at 10:00am at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina, 111 Avenida Menendez.(Click here for a map.)
The yearlong project in the area south of the St. Augustine Municipal Marina extending to St. Francis Street will include construction of a new barrier twelve feet into the bay from the current seawall. This will encapsulate the historic structure, protecting it, but leaving it partially exposed so it becomes a significant part of the new waterfront park.
The $6.325 million project is funded on a 75%-25% grant with the city providing the smaller amount. The larger amount, $4,743,750 to be exact, came from a Florida Division of Emergency Management grant funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Flood Mitigation Assistance Program and awarded by Congressional Appropriation in fiscal year 2010.
A detailed presentation by the Public Works Department on the project as well as before and after construction views is available here on the city's web site.
The ceremony included remarks from U.S. Congressman John Mica, 7th District of Florida; Bryan Koon, Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management; and Major General Emmett R. Titshaw, Jr., The Adjutant General of Florida. Congressman Mica has been critical in the process to ensure funding for the project which was authorized through Mr. Koon's office, thus both have been instrumental in bringing the project to fruition. Major General Titshaw's remarks recognized the Army and Florida National Guard's long association with the seawall starting with its construction supervised by four West Point graduate officers between 1833 and 1844.
"This day has been a long time coming with many, many hands hard at work to bring us to the point when other hands really can start to do the heaving lifting," said Mayor Boles in remarks at the start of the ceremony. "When complete, this project will boast three distinct but complementary accomplishments:
• We will have contributed greatly to the pedestrian friendly environment of our community by enhancing one of our community’s most scenic areas.
• We will have constructed a new and vital piece of our city’s infrastructure that will contribute to the community’s public safety for generations to come by offering protection from flood tides and storms of at least a category one hurricane; and
• We will have preserved an important part of our city’s rich history, a public works project that has defended the city’s public for over 170 years.
"In a way," said Boles, "these three accomplishments illustrate the primary responsibilities our municipality strives to fulfill everyday for its constituents: to enhance the environment and quality of life; to ensure public safety; and to maintain respect for our history."
The seawall, blocks of coquina capped by slabs of granite, separates Avenida Menendez and Matanzas Bay and has protected the downtown from flooding for nearly 170 years. The portion of the original seawall north of the Bridge of Lions was lost to the widening of state Highway A1A in the 1950s, but the section south of the municipal marina remains intact. Its preservation and rehabilitation will ensure that it continues to function as a flood prevention device and that its historical significance is preserved.
While construction is scheduled for approximately one year, getting to the ground breaking ceremony started over a decade ago when city officials first sought funds to repair the seawall following damage resulting from Hurricane Floyd in 1999. Funding from the Florida Inland Navigation District (FIND) provided conceptual designs in 2002 followed by reviews from a number of state and local preservation monitoring boards.
It was another storm, Tropical Storm Faye in 2008, whose additional damage opened the door for qualification for the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant program a process that allowed the agency to award a grant for the project to the Florida Department of Emergency Management (FDEM) who in turn made the funding available to the city in 2011.
For more information about the seawall project, contact the Public Works Department at 904.825.1040.