FELLSMERE - The Fellsmere City Council has voted to apply for a $600,000 grant from the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection for improvements to the North Broadway median.

The grant would cover most of an anticipated $700,000 cost to reconstruct a median along N. Broadway to accommodate water runoff. The City Council also voted to authorize the use of up to $100,000 in matching funds for the project.

According to City Manager Mark Mathes, the grant would cover construction costs to widen the median for stormwater purposes, taking the burden off the adjacent private landowners.

Mr. Mathes told the council that the Florida DEP is offering the grant program for green stormwater infrastructure. The city council had previously expressed an interest in utilizing a bio-swale within a reconstructed median along N. Broadway to accommodate runoff from the corridor.

According to Mr. Mathes, a conceptual plan is being developed that will serve as the basis of design if the grant is awarded. The $700,000 project anticipates $100,000 in local funds for design, permitting, and construction engineering inspection.

The city manager said he wasn’t certain that $600,000 would be enough, but he did his own conceptual estimate and thinks it will be sufficient.

As the median reconstruction is a stormwater project, Mr. Mathes said the $100,000 local match could be completely funded through the stormwater utility.

The motion to apply for the grant and authorize the local match passed 5-0.

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