Dredging is in process on Millers Creek

Dredging is in process on Millers Creek
DredgIt began mobilizing its equipment on property owned by Korean First Baptist Church at the corner of Gay Avenue and Atlantic Boulevard.

The long-discussed Millers Creek dredging project became a reality in early October, when DredgIt, a fully integrated sediment management company from Houston, Texas, set up shop on land owned by Korean First Baptist Church adjacent to the creek.

DredgIt started mobilizing its equipment on Sept. 30, a task that took two weeks, said Michelle Wright, president of the Millers Creek Special Tax District. After mobilization, the actual dredging of the creek began two weeks ago, she said, noting that the contractor sends her daily updates about the project including how many truckloads of soil has been removed. “Everything has been moving along very smoothly so far,” she said.

Michelle Wright, president of the Millers Creek Special Tax District, stands in front of the de-watering equipment used by DredgIt, the contractor Millers Creek residents have hired to dredge the creek.
Michelle Wright, president of the Millers Creek Special Tax District, stands in front of the de-watering equipment used by DredgIt, the contractor Millers Creek residents have hired to dredge the creek.

Most of DredgIt’s equipment remains safe behind temporary fencing, however one of the company’s trailers, which was parked outside of the fence, was stolen, she said. “It was kind of like someone breaking into your car. No major equipment was stolen,” she said, noting the company filed a police report with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. “It hasn’t set back the project at all,” she said.

The Millers Creek board is still working with District 5 Councilwoman LeAnna Cumber to receive the full $275,000 set aside by the Jacksonville City Council to assist in paying for the dredging project.  A mix-up occurred when the paperwork went through the General Counsel’s office, stating that the board would only have 12.5% of its expenses reimbursed up to $275,000. In order not to delay the project, the board kept its financial expectations lower, and is currently submitting invoices to the city to cover its engineering fees, attorney fees, the cost of an audit, and any fees from contractors to be reimbursed up to $12.5%, until it works out the arrangement with City Council to get the full amount as was originally discussed by District 5 former Councilwoman Lori Boyer.

The board expects to receive a $50,000 grant in December, which was promised by the Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board to help cover the removal of benzo (a) pyrene from a small section of the creek. The board had expected to only remove 2,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil from the creek, but will be able to double the amount of soil with benzo (a) pyrene to 4,000 cubic yards, thanks to the additional grant money, Wright said.

“I don’t want us to think that we are done once the dredge is finished,” she said. “Moving forward we are kind of brainstorming to see what can be done to protect our investment. We want to work on ways we can slow down the silting back into the creek. Whether it is working with the city to have the storm drains cleaned more frequently or other things to prevent the creek from getting filled up again, we have to protect our investment. Thankfully, we are at the point now that we have been working hard for three years to get to.”

By Marcia Hodgson
Resident Community News

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

You must be logged in to post a comment Login