When envisioning ways to create jobs and revitalize business in a community, stormwater and sewer projects might not typically be at the top of the list. But one county in Florida showed that with some creative thinking and a resourceful application of funds, projects that might otherwise seem one-dimensional can go a long way toward building stronger communities.
Planners in Martin County, Florida realized that a stormwater and sewer project on a neglected commercial corridor in the Golden Gate neighborhood of Stuart, FL, was an opportunity not just to provide vital infrastructure, but to spur private investment that would create jobs and help revitalize the neighborhood.
In 2012, the Martin County Redevelopment Agency (CRA) completed the ‘BCD Sewer Project’ referring to Bonita, Clayton and Delmar Streets that were part of the reconstruction. The aim of the project was to increase the availability of basic sewer services in the Golden Gate neighborhood, which relies heavily on septic tanks. The construction would require a near complete replacement of the area roads, so the CRA conducted extensive public outreach to find out what improvements residents would want to see incorporated into a new design.