US 98 (Gulf Breeze Parkway) Repaving Update

The City has been receiving numerous complaints about the status of the US 98 (Gulf Breeze Parkway) paving project. The callers believe that this is a City project. While City crews have made interim repairs, this project is being managed by FDOT and their consulting engineers, since US 98 is under FDOT’s jurisdictional control. Most complaints center on the lack of progress and the condition of portions of the work, primarily pot holes in the aprons, shoulders, and driveway entrances along US 98. We understand this frustration and have communicated our dissatisfaction to FDOT and their consulting engineer.

This contract has a current completion date of July 2015 since the contractor has been given credit for weather days. In terms of the delay, weather has played a significant role. This contract is a “Night Work” project that only allows lane restrictions between 7:00 PM to 7:00 AM. The contract specifications require that all concrete work on the project be placed when the temperature is above 45°. This temperature restriction has delayed this element of the work. This delay in turn has delayed the paving schedule since the concrete work must be completed prior to paving. The contract also requires that the final friction course be installed when the temperature is above 50°. Thus, the current seasonal lows are restricting the contractor from returning to complete this phase of the work.

FDOT’s engineers have indicated that they will review the status of the work on a daily basis to address any needed repairs. To assist them in this effort, the City plans on performing a weekly inspection of US 98 to identify any deficiencies needing repair.

The completion of this project is a major priority for City officials and our attention will remain focused on the on-going progress. We encourage you to visit the project’s Facebook page at https://facebook.com/US98GBP or visit http://www.nwflroads.com for more information or to express your concerns. FDOT District 3 can also be reached by telephone at 850-330-1250.

AARP Tax Return Assistance

The City has been notified by AARP that they will be offering assistance to low and moderate income taxpayers, especially those 60 and older, with the electronic filing of federal income tax returns. AARP membership is not required to take advantage of their service. The service is completely free of charge. The program is jointly sponsored by the IRS and the AARP Foundation. All of their counselors and client facilitators are volunteers who are trained in tax law and the use of the computer return preparation software that they use to prepare tax returns.

They have four sites in Santa Rosa County, to wit: Milton Library, Navarre Library, Avalon Fire Department, and Gulf Breeze Library. The Gulf Breeze Library is located at 1060 Shoreline Drive next to City Hall. Tax Aides will start preparing returns on February 1st and run through April 15th. A Tax Aide will be at the Library on the following days and times: Mondays (9:00AM-1:00PM), Tuesdays (9:00AM-1:00PM) and Fridays (9:00AM-1:00PM).

Their services are on a first come first serve basis. Please bring picture id, social security cards for everyone on the return, a copy of last year’s return, and all tax forms and information for this year. If you have numerous receipts, they ask that you prepare a schedule of your deductions. If you have questions, you may call or email, District Coordinator for the AARP Tax Aide Program, Stephen Takeuchi, at (850) 994-8103 or srtake@bellsouth.net.

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January 2015
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