After considerable discussion Tuesday night Port St. Joe city commissioners approved a final scope of work for the project manager on the Cape San Blas Lighthouse location.


After considerable discussion Tuesday night Port St. Joe city commissioners approved a final scope of work for the project manager on the Cape San Blas Lighthouse location.



There will be a joint workshop at noon ET today, weather permitting, on the grounds south of Baltzell Avenue to examine potential sites for the relocated lighthouse.



The workshop will be moved to the same time on Friday if rain interferes.



Commissioners approved the scope of work for Preble Rish, Engineers which has agreed to serve as project manager for the relocation.



Last week commissioners sought a clearer and more palatable timeline for paying milestones in the work, given that the initial architectural and design work to be done by subcontractors for the new site was pegged at just over $49,000, more than has been banked in the relocation fundraising effort to date.



Commissioners were presented with another proposal for that work at Tuesday’s regular bi-monthly meeting, a proposal to perform that work for $20,000 less.



Commissioner Rex Buzzett said that the city put its engineers of record over the project and any proposal for a portion of the work – the latest from the design firm that performed under the planning grant for a new waterfront park- and Preble Rish, not commissioners, should consider the proposal.



“We put Preble Rish in charge of the project and we should let them manage it,” Buzzett said.



Resident Lorinda Gingell said commissioners pledged to hold Preble Rish to the city’s bid policies – any task over $5,000 requiring a bid – in piecing out the work and wondered why the architectural and design work was not bid.



Clay Smallwood of Preble Rish said that under the company’s continuing contract with the city, it was not required to bid the work.



Further, the company had tapped the same firm that had undertaken renovation work on the lighthouse and keepers’ quarters on two previous occasions based on the firm’s knowledge and background with the structures.



Several commissioners said their memory of what had been promised in reference to bidding was focused on construction costs associated with the relocation, not the architectural or design elements.



Smallwood assured Mayor Mel Magidson the company would bid out any construction component that exceeded $5,000.



The site for the relocated lighthouse also sparked considerable discussion.



Magidson said he and Smallwood walked the property last week and determined the likely best spot and highest ground to be west of Miss Zola drive and along the axis of the Third Street turnaround on Baltzell.



That would put the two keepers’ quarters and oil house just south, near and partially on the historic Maddox property.



That is a bit west of the site proposed under the waterfront park plans.



However, after input from members of the Port St. Joe Redevelopment Agency, which spearheaded the waterfront park plans, members of the design team noted that the Magidson’s proposed location was one it had originally identified before being warned off due to potential impact on underground utilities.



Smallwood and Magidson suggested that the site was preferred, was likely the highest on the property and would require minimal permitting for “low quality” wetlands on the Maddox property.



Stakeholders in the project will meet on the property today for a workshop to identify the site. The next major steps in the relocation is identifying a site and performing soil borings in anticipation of foundation construction.



“We have to nail down the site and get the soil borings,” Magidson said. “It’s really time to move or cut bait.”



Water study



Dave Kozan of CDM Smith, the company that designed the city’s surface water treatment plant, said preliminary data analysis has been completed and profile testing of the plant and distribution system would begin in the next two weeks.



That testing will continue for roughly three weeks, Kozan said, and at that juncture the information collected should be sufficient to provide the city with possible short-term chemical treatment options to address water discoloration and prepare a report on options for a longer-term study of the system.



“We are behind schedule due to the analysis of all the data we were provided,” Kozan said, noting that the amount of data on the where, how, what and when of water problems was more voluminous that anticipated. “The profile testing will bring us back on schedule because there will be less information needed” on the back end.