City projects seek $9.8 million in federal funds

When the regular St. Augustine City Commission meeting begins at 5:00 p.m. in the Alcazar Room at City Hall tonight, commissioners will be briefed on federal funding requests totaling $9.8 million, according to the agenda received by Historic City News.

Projects range from the King Street corridor to the North City Historic Rail Station.

The funding requests top an agenda which also includes a parking lot agreement signaling the start of Aviles Street renovation, copyright and trademark policies for 450th Commemoration products, agreements with the Florida Department of Transportation for city maintenance of the west entry and East Park of the Bridge of Lions, and grant requests for dredging the Salt Run and San Sebastian River channels.

Chief Operations Officer John Regan will outline a $9.8 million package submitted to Congressman John Mica and Senators Bill Nelson and George LeMieux for projects including the King Street entrance corridor $1,760,000, historic district street improvements $3,710,000, West King Street sewage force main $1,400,000, and restoration of the North City Historic Rail Station, $3 million.

The King Street and historic district projects are part of preparations for our 450th Commemoration, while the West King Street force main is another step toward infrastructure improvements along that corridor.

The North City Historic Rail Station, opened as a rail station in the 1800s, used as a water treatment plant in the early 1900s and Garden Club Center in later years, was closed when structural weaknesses were found. A restoration proposal by Historic Architect Dave Mancino proposes its future use a civic center.

Commemoration Executive Director Dana Ste. Claire will outline to commissioners “copyright and trademark policies used by Jamestown for their 400th anniversary and how we might employ similar policies.”

Ste. Claire says, “Community organizations have expressed interest in developing official City of Augustine merchandise and products, including those related to the 450th Commemoration.”

He’ll also present a request to add Mayor Pilar Varela of Aviles, Spain, or her representative, to the 450th Commemoration Commission Steering Committee.

The request was made during last week’s city-to-city meeting with Aviles’ Aviles Vice Mayor José Fernando Díaz Rañón and Councilman Roman Antonio Alvarez, visiting for the Menendez birthday celebration.

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