June 21, 2017 noon —
An outpouring of citizen emails, texts, and phone calls resulted in the temporary halting of excavation in the 3900 block of Bute Street this morning. Numerous FMC residents contacted CM Cohen’s office, as well as the Supervising Engineer, the Urban Forestry Dept., and even Mayor Turner’s Office as the backhoe continued excavating to place a sanitary sewer near Historic Tree 871. Emails continued even after the Senior Project Manager for the COH, Jody Craze, sent out a notice to the contractor not to impact the area around the tree. Around 10:30 am the contractor stopped excavation and began backfilling the hole after placing the sanitary line. In response to neighborhood concerns about the tree roots, the contractor spread an 18″ layer of clay dirt over the roots while the excavator was working to provide a cushion. This cushion was removed as soon as the excavation was stopped.
Contractors are now working (as of noon 6-21-2017) to remove as much waste dirt as possible, clear drains and streets, and assure storm water runoff in anticipation of the tropical rains expected later this evening.
As of August 3, 2017, the proposed curb bump out plan – which would save the City a substantial amount of money if implemented- remains mired in Public Works awaiting approval so that contractors can resume work on the site.
FMC continues to request updates on the progress of this proposed change, but thus far none have been met with any authoritative response. More than 100 residents have signed a petition asking the City to approve our plan and get on with the project and no opposition to the proposal has been seen in the neighborhood.
The project delay is NOT the fault of FMC – the blame for the delay rests squarely with PUBLIC WORKS.