Palm Coast - Visitors to the Lehigh Trail Trailhead off of Belle Terre Parkway can look forward to several enhancements at one of the city's popular paths.
Thanks to a direct result of great partnerships and inter-agency collaboration by the City of Palm Coast, the Florida Department of Transportation and the River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization, the City recently received notice that FDOT had secured $1.58 million in funding for the much-needed project.
City planners worked with staff from both organizations to amend FDOT's 5-year Work Program and the River to Sea TPO's 5-year Transportation Improvement Plan to be able to get working on the project now. The project is planned to add ADA compliant paved parking with more than 60 parking spaces, a restroom, and water fountain.
Residents and visitors to Palm Coast also help contribute to improvements at city amenities through spending locally, which is highlighted in the city's Be Local Buy Local campaign. A portion generated through the small county surtax and the local government half-cent sales tax comes back to the community to pay for capital improvement projects. In general, having these funds available also keeps the city project-ready to be able to match for grant funding. This is another example of how shopping local helps not just the businesses, but also the community you live in.
In addition to sales tax, recreation impact fees are also utilized; this means every new dwelling unit constructed pays this impact fee that is used to pay a portion of recreation capacity improvement projects.
"Our parks, trails and amenities are integral to the high quality of life our residents have come to cherish and expect," said Mayor Holland. "Adding these enhancements to this amenity will significantly improve the safety, security and user experience for trail users, walkers and cyclists right here in Palm Coast."
The trailhead improvements are just one of several capital projects the City will plan for this year. Each year, capital projects like this are completed aimed at building on the quality of life for residents in Palm Coast, including the work on the youth ball fields at the Indian Trails Sports Complex, the renovations at Holland Park and future improvements Waterfront Park and the Palm Coast Tennis Center.
The City is expected to put the project out for bid and begin construction this year.