By Margie Plunkett
A long-awaited drainage and pavement project on Hypoluxo Island is taking shape with a newly awarded contract for design and construction assistance for paving improvements.
Council approved at its Nov. 14 meeting a $26,623 contract with Kimley-Horn and Associates for engineering services on the project, which is to resurface North Atlantic Drive from Ocean Avenue north and Beach Curve Road from Southeast Atlantic Drive to Barefoot Lane.
Earlier this year, the project to correct the decades-old drainage problems got the go-ahead, with the award of a $711,765 contract to Intercounty Engineering Inc. of Pompano Beach.
The area has been plagued with flooding for 30 or 40 years, according to Town Manager Michael Bornstein.
Neighbors have been frustrated by the long-standing problem, which has caused rising waters that threaten vehicles and enable boat traffic. But they got some hope during budget discussion this year, when they learned funding had been designated for the project.
In other business: Bornstein received a glowing evaluation from council members, who approved his contract for another year.
The tight budget meant no raise for Bornstein, but he was awarded a one-time $1,000 bonus, as were other town employees earlier this year.
“I think Michael’s the best thing that’s happened to us,” said council member Lynn Moorhouse.
Bornstein drew kudos for projects such as the effort to save the post office by mailing coconuts to Washington, the attention he brings to Lantana by portraying the Barefoot Mailman and his work redistributing budget resources as they have grown ever scarcer.
He was also commended for negotiating a $674,000 lease payment to Lantana for the use of parts of Sportsman’s and Bicentennial parks for staging equipment, vehicles and materials during the construction of the Ocean Avenue Bridge.
Four residents offered their comments, thanking him for his responsiveness to issues brought by members of the community.
“Local government is a tough business,” Bornstein told council and residents at the meeting. “You’re in the public spotlight. But it’s one of the most rewarding to be involved with. You don’t do it to get wealthy.
“Anything that’s been accomplished has been a team effort. We’re very much like a family,” Bornstein said. “It’s very rewarding. I enjoy working with everyone, citizens, volunteers and my bosses. I can’t think of a better place to be.”