BOCC approves MOU for Americus Ditch repairs

Published: Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 03:07 PM.

After talking about it for months, county commissioners finally acted to address chronic problems with the Americus Ditch in St. Joe Beach.

Commissioners, by a 3-1 vote, approved a memorandum of understanding with Preble Rish Engineers to undertake repairs in selected areas to create a methodology for fixing the entire length so the project.

Commissioner Warren Yeager, an employee of Preble Rish abstained, and Commissioner Joanna Bryan, saying she would like to see public input on the MOU and raising questions about fixing only select sections, voted no.

The Americus Ditch has been a headache for the county almost since installation of the $1 million project more than five years ago.

County employees – and, Bryan noted, county taxpayers – have completed more than 120 fixes of the pipe since installation and there are at least 25 remaining areas that require attention, Bryan said.

 Preble Rish is agreeing to address five of those areas almost as a pilot project to understand what will be needed to fix the entire project.

A section of a letter from Rish which was codified as the MOU, which would have released the engineering firm of record from future responsibility was removed, Rish noted.

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