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City Beach renovation project completed early

By Jeff Bryan

The wait might have been worth the wait, at least Councilman Chuck Dillon believes so when it comes to the much-need renovations at City Beach.

Marline Marine Construction, tasked with the $93,477 project, completed the project more than two weeks ahead of the Aug. 31 deadline.

“I think it’s beyond my expectations,” said Councilman Chuck Dillon, who visited the site Monday with Anthony Santacross, the city’s Roads & Streets Department supervisor and Renee Gualeni, a citizen who has passed along several designs for other projects to the city, including expanding what is now in place at City Beach.

Dillon would like to see the city reopen the beach this weekend, if plausible. The park has been closed intermittently for approximately a year-and-a-half because of a sizeable deterioration of the beach area causing safety concerns, according to City Administrator Dawn Bowne.

But reopening City Beach this week isn’t feasible, Bowne said, adding Santacross has “approximately 30 days of post construction grounds and facility maintenance that must be completed prior to reopening the park.” Staff will develop a timeline and plan to reopen City Beach and address any remaining post construction improvements or facility maintenance items that need to be completed prior to reopening.

“They did a fantastic, fantastic job,” Dillon said. “It was an economic answer to a major problem. I couldn’t be more proud of it. I’d love to see more areas have walkways like that. Anthony did a fantastic job supervising the project, like he always does.”

Dillon believes there are improvements that could be done in the coming years to enhance the recently completed project. To do that, Dillon feels the city could target state grants, if available.

“It’s the best it’s ever looked,” said Dillon, who took over spearheading the renovations former Mayor Nathan Whitt had called for during his lone term in office.

It’s certainly better than the mud bank that it’s been for the past decade or so and at least can be open again for the public to enjoy, Whitt said.

“But disappointing that we can’t just have a sandy beach for kids to play on,” he lamented. “I’m conservation-minded and understand all our water issues, but I think some sand and hydro-web to prevent erosion would have sufficed and been more cost-effective.”