Drainage issues in MSD are ‘solvable,’ but challenging


Finding a solution to the drainage issues facing many residents in the Ponte Vedra Municipal Service District remains in the process of being figured out, but it is moving along according to MSD trustee Mickey White.

According to White, the engineering firm Eisman & Russo, Inc. have been tasked with developing a proposal and are amid that process.

“They are writing a proposal to expand the footprint of the county’s drainage study to include Solana Road and San Juan Drive,” White said.

The firm is waiting on information from JEA, but once it is finished they will send a copy of the proposal to White to bring toward the MSD board at their next meeting on Feb. 12.

“As it relates to advancing design of the sidewalks, I think we need to release a survey company to go out to do a full right of way/corridor survey throughout the phase 1 area as soon as we get the county’s study,” White said.

Although that is part of the process and a survey that will need to be done prior to construction of the sidewalk project, White wants to see the board push for that survey to take place as soon as possible in hopes of expediting the process.   

“We need to push for the advancement of that, because the quicker we can get them to do that, the better,” White said. “It’s valuable information for the sidewalks as well for the drainage, and we can use it for both.”

Chairman Al Hollon asked if the study will help the board determine which stormwater drains are private and which ones belong to the county.

“From 1930-whatever to 1970-whatever, I’ve read the plats and they’re different throughout the whole thing, so from a title standpoint it’s a mess,” White said. “Each one of these things is kind of unique, so I think that what we need to do when we do the feasibility studies is also explain in each one which have a real bad property rights situation.”

According to White, a bad property rights situation, would just mean more process involved with it prior to getting the solution in place, because consent would have to be received from the private property owners involved with the property in question to fix that certain segment of drainage issue.

“It’s just not as simple as going to one place and having it fixed, because of the way they did the property rights for years,” White said.

An easy situation would be the ones where the drainage system in question sits on county property, so the path to digging up dirt and installing new pipes would be much quicker to take place.

“Everybody has to work within the limits of what they can do,” White said. “It’s a solvable problem, but the challenge is that we’re going to have the county and the (Ponte Vedra Inn & Club) staffs will all have to be involved to figure out how we’re going to address this issue.”

The Ponte Vedra Inn & Club is one of the many private property owners where drainage infrastructure exists.