Why the Scare Tactics?
Dear Manager Harden,
At last Tuesday’s workshop, discussion regarding removal of the berm from the Dunlawton Avenue Drainage Project continued on the rather bizarre path it has taken lately. I’m referring to the quasi-legal advice being given by engineers in support of the berm removal. Andrew Giannini, PE with Quentin L Hampton Associates cautioned that “public perception” of an increase in flooding upstream of the berm could cause problems for the City–regardless of any real impact of the berm. His comments built upon those of David Hamstra, PE with Pegasus Engineering who said in his earlier report that construction of the berm “would possibly increase claims by property owners both opposite and upstream” of the berm.
Why the scare tactics guys? Why the diversion of attention from the very real rather than perceived consequences of not building the berm? I’m referring here, of course, to the fact that Dunlawton Avenue will flood next time the Halifax Canal significantly overtops its banks without the berm in place. This fact has been agreed to by all the engineers involved and is no longer in the debate.
At this point a few simple questions come to mind.
- Did the City of Port Orange accept any legal obligation to build the berm when it applied for, and was granted, a permit to construct the project with the berm?
- Did the City of Port Orange accept any legal obligation to build the berm when it took taxpayer dollars earmarked for flood control to construct the project with the berm?
- Is failure by the City of Port Orange to build the berm a negligent act on the part of the City?
The really scarey situation is the one in which the City could find itself if it does not build the berm. When Dunlawton Avenue floods and is closed to traffic the main east-west evacuation and emergency route in the area is lost. The possibility for personal injury, property loss and monetary damage claims in such an event seem to far outweigh those being used to justify deleting the berm.
618 Ruth St
Port Orange, FL 32127