Dear editor,

Concerning the red clay runoff into Indian Bayou, I’d have to agree with our county administrator, Tony Gomillion. The [Florida Department of Transportation] is primarily responsible for the I-10 work near Avalon Boulevard. Indian Bayou never experienced the magnitude of red clay contamination before 2015 when the state started this I-10 project.

Gomillion further lists the county’s ongoing efforts to mitigate the bayou’s secondary contamination from county unpaved roads like San Juan Street, north of and parallel to I-10. Public Works stated once that it would cost $127,000 to pave San Juan Street. Every time the county dirt roads are graded, in this area, the grading loosens up the dirt and exacerbates the erosion with subsequent rains. To the south of I-10 and west of Avalon Boulevard, there are parallel dirt roads which add to the contamination of Indian Bayou.

Gomillion says the county is looking for funding to pave San Juan Street, parallel to I-10 and west of Avalon Boulevard. Paving would not only help the red clay runoff but also increase the county’s property tax base in the low-lying Avalon area. Regrettably, many years ago, I did purchase several lots in this low lying area. Santa Monica Street, a block to the north of San Juan, also needs paving.

It occurred to me that the Board of County Commissioners may potentially be forking out some $850,000 to buy the JDL land site for the new courthouse. If the BOCC chooses the Old Bagdad Highway and Pine Forest site (land they already own) and not the JDL site (which could cost taxpayers some $800,000-plus more), they could save enough tax dollars on this decision alone to pave all the roads in and around the Avalon and I-10 area!

Is this a possibility or are the funding sources segregated by law so as not to allow the use of these tax dollars to solve two different problems?

Anyway, these are just some things to consider to help ameliorate the Indian Bayou contamination situation and to provide a conservative, common-sense and judicious approach when spending taxpayer dollars.

BILL CALFEE

Milton

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