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Date of Issue: November 01, 2007

Crews work on HB stormwater system

Water from rainfall four days earlier pooled near the intersection of Gulf Drive and 29th Street.

The standing water was about 4 inches deep, enough to draw insects, but not enough to attract skim boarders, who have been known to ride pooled stormwater in the streets in the past.

“There’s a house nearby with a ‘No Wake’ sign posted,” said Holmes Beach City Commissioner David Zaccagnino as he walked along 29th Street.

Zaccagnino, who lives in the vicinity, hopes that an effort to improve stormwater drainage in the nearby will eliminate the standing water.

“Hopefully, the project will alleviate some of the problems,” Zaccagnino said. “I think people are happy to see something going on to improve the situation. This has been a major complaint ever since I’ve been here.”

The city of Holmes Beach contracted this year with Woodruff and Sons to work on two drainage basins - “Basin 1” in the south end of Holmes Beach and “Basin 10” in the central section of the city.

While the streetscape on Marina Drive might be the most visible project under way in the city, public works superintendent Joe Duennes characterized the stormwater work as the most significant capital improvements campaign.

“Drainage,” he said, “reigns supreme on the Island.”

And the key to good stormwater drainage, is “having a good out-pull,” something not necessarily simple to accomplish on a relatively flat Island, especially at high tide.

The city’s 2006-07 budget contained $100,000 for the work on the central basin and $190,000 for the repairs to the south Holmes Beach basin. The 2007-08 budget contains funding for work on two more basins - the Manatee Beach basin and the basin at 34th Street and Sunbow Bay.

“Each area gets its turn,” Zaccagnino said. “And some areas are worse than others.”

Last week, work crews moved a lot of dirt on 29th Street for placement of pipes and drains.

“Avenue C and 29th Street, it’s miserable,” Duennes said.

Resident Mary Caldwell agreed. “Sometimes the water, it stinks. It makes the no-see-ums unbearable and it makes it hard to walk the dog,” she said.

Zaccagnino, surveying the neighborhood, observed that in recent years, a lot of construction has taken place. Long vacant lots now contain homes. Former dirt parking lots contain pavement. Development has exacerbated the problem.

“The rain, it has nowhere to go,” Zaccagnino said, looking into a small, waterlogged ditch along 29th Street.

Walking on, the commissioner came to a pool of standing water at 30th Street and Avenue C. “This intersection floods pretty bad,” he said, pointing toward cracking in asphalt that may have been caused by standing water.

Duennes estimated the work at the south basin would take another month to six weeks. The Woodruff and Sons team then would move to the central basin.

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