Sunday, August 13, 2017

Just in case you missed this from yesterday.

More information about the Blueway Trail
meeting at SFWMD headquarters last Friday.
Stay tuned for videos.

WPTV reporter Alanna Quillen is the go-to-news-source for news about the Blueway Trail project which is good news; she is doing a good job. The Palm Beach Post continues their news blackout which actually serves a public purpose: the editors at the Post can’t be objective or open-minded to report this story accurately and maybe that’s why they’re avoiding this story.

Tomorrow will provide excerpts from Quillen’s latest (second) news report and more information about the Blueway Trail project. Thus far Quillen has not reported on one significant part of this story: the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) right-of-way, also called an “easement”.

Many property owners along the C-51 Canal think they ‘own’ the land up to the C-51 Canal water line. That is not true at all:

SFWMD “has an easement on both sides of the canal. An easement is a right held by one property owner to make use of the land of another for a limited purpose”.
Whilst the videos from the presentation at SFWMD are being edited and then uploaded, I thought it would be good to share some information that clears up some misconceptions about the Blueway Trail project (see bullet list below).

If one is worried about things such as marine life, remember, this is what’s called the “Design” phase. Your concerns are being addressed. However, if one is truly concerned about wildlife in the C-51 Canal, as reported by Quillen, why hasn’t there been any concern for all these years past about propeller-driven boats used by residents along the canal?

Or are these concerns about wildlife really just about having a personal waterway for ones own enjoyment in the backyard, not for use by other County residents with watercraft, kayaks and canoes?

Click on image to enlarge:
Graphic from 28-page report prepared by
Taylor Engineering, Inc. and presented at
the SFWMD meeting.

Things to take note:

  • This is not a “City of Lake Worth” project. It will have a regional impact, particularly for the cities of West Palm Beach, Lake Clark Shores, Palm Springs, the Great Walled City of Atlantis, and cities such as Greenacres as well. It will also benefit Palm Beach County through increased public access to the water for recreation and the very popular eco-tourism aspect.
  • Since the benefit will be spread among many entities, its financing will not be the responsibility of any one. As far as the initial capital cost, sources may be grant funds from the Florida Inland Navigation District, Palm Beach County, as well as possible State and Federal sources. Representatives from all of those levels of government attended the SFWMD meeting yesterday.
  • Likewise, while operating revenue and costs need to be determined, it is again unlikely that any one entity will be responsible for operating the facility.
  • It’s also important to note this project lends itself to phasing. Perhaps the concrete fishing piers will be constructed first to replace the wooden ones (the West Palm Beach piers have already been removed) and the Lake Worth pier which is now condemned but still in place (a huge safety issue). The proposed design of a kayak/canoe area uses a natural beach with a less steep grade for easier access. People are actually using steep paths referred to as “goat trails” for access now (another safety issue). The addition of the kayak/canoe feature would be a relatively low-cost portion of the project in comparison to the more complicated, mechanical boat function.
  • When the boat lift portion is built, whether all at the same time or phased in (as explained above), it will have the ability to move 4–5 boats/hr. There would also be a license, registration, user fee and/or payment kiosk to collect revenue to offset the cost of the boat lift tender. So, in many ways, the motorized boat traffic will “self-metered” and defray the costs of operation.
  • As time goes on, more and more specificity will be given operational issues and solutions. In time, most or all of the public concerns will be addressed and answered. With the involvement of many government agencies, especially so of SFWMD, we can be sure the pace will be deliberate. This project is foreseeable to completion within a five year time frame.
Stay tuned for more details to come. And once again, Thank You for visiting today.