The city of Port St. Joe has its documentary filmmaker; now commissioners need a path forward on saving the Cape San Blas Lighthouse.
Commissioners on Tuesday approved a recommendation from the Port St. Joe Redevelopment Agency to award a contract to create a documentary film on the relocation of the Cape San Blas Lighthouse to Lisa Curry, a Port St. Joe native living in Los Angeles.
There were five bids to fill the bill on a $125,000 grant the city was awarded by BP to create a documentary on the saving of the lighthouse. Curry, PSJRA executive director Gail Alsobrook said, was selected based on several factors.
One, was the “wealth of experience” Curry and partner Clayton Long brought to the project, Alsobrook said.
“I have seen her credentials and they are quite impressive,” said Mayor Mel Magidson.
In addition, Curry was born and raised in Port St. Joe, the oldest child of Drs. Tom and Betty Curry of Shoreline Medical.
She was a stellar student at Port St. Joe High School and while a senior wrote an award-winning essay about her community and the symbolism of the railroad tracks that at the time still divided the north and south sides of the city.
“They have a passion for this project,” Alsobrook said. “They really want it to be great.”
Alsobrook added that Curry and Long recognized the depth of the local talent that would be at their disposal and the value those individuals and businesses – several of whom also bid on the project – could bring to the project.
“They see that we have a great deal of local talent and intend to use that talent as much as possible,” Alsobrook said.
On another aspect of the relocation of the lighthouse, Preble Ris Engineers, which has offered to serve as project manager free of charge, will provide a full scope of work to commissioners at their next meeting, said Clay Smallwood, III.
Smallwood said the company undertook considerable research to put together a proper scope of work to bring to commissioners and the work had not yet been completed.
The first phase to replace some 20 miles of aging pipe should be fully completed in the next two weeks, Smallwood said.
The pipe, eight miles in the initial phase, is in the ground and patching of roadways should be completed this week with preparation for grassing next week.
The city is examining – right now materials for a section of Marvin Avenue to be replaced by Public Works staff is being bid – ways to reduce the cost of subsequent phases of the project by performing the work in-house.
The Marvin Avenue section is a test project to examine whether the city could perform major portions of phase two work in-house to save significant money in contracting costs.
Meanwhile, Public Works director John Grantland said the year’s first round of uni-directional flushing was moving to St. Joe Beach and onto Overstreet, which would complete the cycle.
City staff will move back into the city proper to begin the next round later this year.
An eight-month water study aimed at pinpointing the cause of water discoloration plaguing the city the past few years is nearing the first major milestone, Smallwood said, the creation of a gap analysis identifying areas for collecting samples.