BRADENTON -- A much-anticipated drainage project in the Village of the Arts overcame its final obstacle Wednesday with Bradenton City Council approving a $340,616 bid submitted by Woodruff & Sons of Bradenton.
The project includes construction of a new stormwater drainage system on 10th Avenue West and a new 6-inch water main on 10th Street West to address long-standing flooding issues.
The project was to begin in August, but an effort to save a 150-year-old oak tree in its path could delay the start until September. It is expected to take about four months to complete.
The city opened three sealed bids June 6. Woodruff & Sons bid $19,000 less than the second-lowest bid submitted. The bid includes a 10-percent contingency fund for any unexpected costs.
Public Works Director Claude Tankersley said water mains in that area of the city are between 75 and 85 years old "and the cast-iron ones are in pretty bad shape."
He said the drains were designed to last 50 years.
"We are fortunate they lasted this long, but it's time to replace them," he said.
Tankersley said some streets associated with the project will be torn up, but
roads being disrupted needed repairs anyway.
He said the city anticipates spending up to $3 million in stormwater funding annually over the next 10 years to address infrastructure needs and "a lot of the ones happen to fall in the (Central Community Redevelopment Agency) area, so you'll see a lot of city work going on in the CCRA district that includes repaving, which will help the neighborhoods."
Drainage is one of many goals envisioned in the overall plan to improve the 14th Street CCRA District and the Village of the Arts Tapestry Plan, a multi-layered outline consisting of short- and long-term goals to enhance village appeal and attract more artists to build or renovate art gallery homes.
In other matters, the four councilmen present unanimously approved a special-use permit for construction of a 7,000-square-foot day care and preschool at 5201 Fourth Ave. Circle E. Architect Jerry Zoller presented plans for the owner of Smarty Pants Preschool, calling it a "simple project" because all utilities and roads are in place.
Staff approved the application with several stipulations, including installation of a 6-foot privacy fence at the rear of the property, no structures allowed on easements and additional inspections and permitting from the Bradenton Fire Department for the commercial kitchen.
Owner Anthony Serra said the lease at his current location, 832 E. State Road 70, expires in 18 months and he and his wife, Pauline, want a new facility. Serra said he hopes the construction timetable will coincide with when his current lease ends.
"We are basically shifting our operation to a new location," he said.
Mark Young, Herald urban affairs reporter can be reached at 941-745-7041 or follow him on Twitter @urbanmark2014