Landscaping of bulb-outs to begin

Lazaro Aleman
ECB Publishing, Inc.

Mayor Julie Conley will not let the grass grow under her feet when it comes to winning the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for their bid to design the lightbulbs on Washington Street.
In other words, she wants to strike while the iron is hot.
Conley announced to Monticello City Council on Tuesday evening, Feb.2, that she reached out to Jason Peters in an earlier workshop shortly after he made comments to the city council. Peters is FDOT District 3 Director of Operations
She was referring to the workshop on January 19 when the Council was ready to pass a resolution calling on the FDOT to reduce the size of lightbulbs for traffic safety reasons.
Peters was able to convince the council to leave the lightbulbs as they were for pedestrian safety reasons. As an additional incentive, he also offered to let his agency support the landscaping of the light bulbs.
Conley said when she contacted Peters he immediately put her in touch with the District 3 landscape project manager, who has proven extremely cooperative.
“There isn’t a big application process,” said Conley. “The FDOT pays for the plant materials and the irrigation system. What they don’t pay for is the design. “
Conley added that she had since contacted Josh Baxley of Dewberry Engineering and asked if he would do the landscaping design. She wanted to know if she had council approval to instruct Baxley to proceed with the draft, she said.
The reason for the apparent onslaught, Conley explained, was that FDOT funds were currently available and she didn’t know how long it could be, given the state’s projected deficit due to the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic.
The council gave Dewberry its approval to proceed with the design and produce an estimate of the project cost. The council also requested that regardless of the vegetation chosen for the bulbs, both the height and the maintenance work should be low.
Dewberry is expected to present the lightbulb landscaping design and associated costs to the council at its next workshop, which will take place on Monday, February 15th at 6:00 p.m.

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