LETTERS: Fix infrastructure before adding more homes

Also in Letters to the Editor: Road condition report is no surprise.

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  • | 2:00 p.m. May 4, 2023
  • Palm Coast Observer
  • Opinion
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Fix infrastructure before adding more homes

Dear Editor:

The April 27 issue of the Observer has a very interesting front page. I hope everyone saw what I mean. 

The top headline concerns the approval of literally thousands of additional houses, added to the thousands already approved. Directly under that headline was another article about how the roads in Palm Coast are falling apart. 

Does anyone see the problem here? Our roads and other infrastructure are at a "critical point," as the article says. So here's a good idea: Let's add upward of 10,000 new dwellings (which means about 20,000 new vehicles) and not do much to maintain and repair our roads. 

Anyone who attempts to travel in or around the city early in the morning or in the late afternoon hours already experiences the vastly increased amount of traffic. 

The article says that Palm Coast has 542 miles of roadways. In reality, Palm Coast has basically two main roads, Palm Coast Parkway and Belle Terre Parkway/Boulevard. The remainder are neighborhood streets. 

Trying to funnel all those vehicles onto two roads is a foolish idea and very poor planning. If it is going to cost $12 million per year just to maintain, and the city only has $2 million budgeted for it per year, we will never get caught up.

Adding salt to the wound, they figure that five years from now it will cost $50 million to repair the roads. But, hey, here's another great idea: Let's put up $50 million for a new arts center.

It seems like anytime a developer wants to build here, the Planning Board approves it, whether or not it is a good thing for the city. The builders build, then they can move away and not have to live in the mess they created, and the city and residents suffer. 

It's our own fault though. We are the ones who continually put real estate agents and developers on the City Council and planning boards. Building and developing is what they do. 

Whatever happened to the idea that Palm Coast was a nice small retirement community? The City Council and planning boards obviously want this city to become a sprawling, blighted major urban area, and our voice be damned. 

Ed Mummert

Palm Coast

Road condition report is no surprise

Dear Editor:

After experiencing for the last few year the ever-increasing numbers of cars, trucks, and heavy equipment on Palm Coast roads, it was no surprise but very disappointing that the city road engineer needed a consultant’s report to tell him that the roads are “at a critical point.” Hearing this made me wonder, “Who’s minding the store?”

This situation didn’t happen overnight. A consultant’s report should have been done years ago because projections at that time would have shown we were headed right where we are now. This high-priced analysis only told us what anyone and everyone had been seeing for years — huge increases in traffic and crumbling roadways. The same goes for stormwater. Anyone could have seen this coming.

Now they want to pay for the massive stormwater and road repairs in the fee environment. It’s government by fees. This isn’t like the entry fee at Washington Oaks Park; big fee increases are completely inappropriate for the utility bill.

These issues require immediate attention by the City Council and city manager. The city has a Planning, Landscape Architecture, Stormwater, and Road Departments, all with highly paid employees. If the stormwater and road repair needs are indeed the fiasco that we are seeing, then somebody has not been doing their job.

Any type of city expansion plans should be put on hold immediately and indefinitely for at least two years so city resources can be focused on doing the best job possible to remedy this problem and get our roads, our drainage, our sense of well-being, and our city back in order.

Jeffery C. Seib

Palm Coast


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