City says it's 'not the right time' for Ormond MainStreet overnight docking proposal

Also in City Watch: Ormond airport obstruction survey moves forward.

The floating dock at Cassen Park was completed in 2020, during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo
The floating dock at Cassen Park was completed in 2020, during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy photo
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When it comes to a six-month trial period to allow overnight docking at Cassen Park, the Ormond Beach City Commission isn’t saying no.

It’s saying, “Not yet.”

The commission discussed Ormond MainStreet’s proposal during a workshop on Tuesday, April 2. In early February, MainStreet’s Cassen Park City Docks Committee chair approached the commission to ask members to consider allowing overnight docking at the park, saying the city’s choice to align the floating dock’s operating hours with the rest of its city parks hampered its potential for visiting boaters.

And while there was interest expressed in the idea, the upcoming Cassen Park redesign had commissioners thinking now was not the right time to implement an overnight docking trial. Commissioners were informed at the workshop that plans for the park’s redesign are set to be completed in May, with construction to begin in September. If all stays on schedule, the city hopes to complete construction on Cassen Park in June 2025.

“I think this is definitely something I’m in favor of, but I just don’t think the timing is right,” City Commissioner Susan Persis said. “... There’s too much going on. We’ve got to really research it and do it right.”

 Deputy City Attorney Ann-Margret Emery cited two concerns to the commission regarding MainStreet’s proposal: Safety and liability.

“There’s no lighting on the docks,” Emery said. “There’s no security there whatsoever.”

There’s also no access to the bathrooms past the park’s closure, and Emery said keeping the bathrooms open would invite further safety and security issues. 

She added that derelict boats or longterm docking could pose further problems. 

Mayor Bill Partington said Emery could present those concerns to MainStreet to give the board a chance to brainstorm ideas to solve them.

“The good news is we have a professional staff to point out what the issues are,” he said. “They also as a professional staff can help us overcome those.”

Airport to be surveyed for obstructions

The Ormond Beach City Commission is moving forward with an aeronautical survey and obstacle action plan for the Ormond Beach Municipal Airport.

On Tuesday, April 2, the commission approved a work authorization with AVCON, an Orlando-based aviation engineering consultant, for the survey and plan. 

According to the city, obstructions were identified on the airport’s two runways, all on airport property, during the annual airport licensing inspection by the Florida Department of Transportation. Residents at the meeting questioned if the survey was restricted to only airport property. When the commission opted to wait on a work authorization for the survey last September, engineering consultant firm Hoyle, Tanner and Associates did include off-airport property in its proposal.

An AVCON representative said the airspace analysis would extend beyond the airport’s boundary.

“I think everyone’s concern is safety,” Commissioner Travis Sargent said. “... I just want to make sure that we do what’s right.”

Andy Romano repairs coming

The city of Ormond Beach hopes to begin construction of its repairs to Andy Romano Beachfront Park in August.

The park, which was damaged during the 2022 hurricane season, will get a new seawall and a new concrete ramp. The city hopes the new ramp will be more durable.

“This is phase two of Andy Romao park,” Public Works Director Shawn Finley said during the April 2 workshop. “Phase one was the park 10 years ago. We got it open. Now, we’re replacing [the seawall] with the new wall that’s going to bring it through the next 40-50 years.”

Finley said he hopes construction at the park will be completed in December.

Electric vehicle charging stations at City Hall?

Four electric vehicle charging stations are coming to the City Hall parking lot.

The City Commission approved a 10-year agreement with Florida Power and Light to add the stations, which are proposed to be located on the south side of the parking lot, next to Tomoka Avenue.


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