By Chip Skambis
Summer is coming to a close, and Poe Springs still does not have its steps. Delays resulted after water levels rose too high for construction to continue.
Bob Barnas, the vice mayor of High Springs , said the delays in constructing a concrete staircase resulted after Tropical Storm Debby and other storms caused the water to rise. The steps were supposed to be completed by the end of May.
There had been an agreement that High Springs would take over control of Poe Springs. Barnas said that High Springs backed out of the agreement because it was revealed that the steps would be under construction after the budget had already been approved.
High Springs asked Alachua County for a delay in taking over until the steps were completed.
Robert Avery, the parks superintendent for Alachua County, said they are currently at a standstill of how to move forward with the steps.
“Analyzing whether we want to do another series of pre-fabricated steps and, or take a little more time and see if the water is going to recede,” Avery said.
The high water levels do not allow for concrete to be poured at the site. Pre-fabricated stairs would require a large crane for placement in the area.
A decision about another agreement is likely to be made after the November election, according to Barnas. Three votes are needed for approval.
“Depending on the makeup of the new commission, that’s what will dictate whether we go forward,” Barnas said.
However, Barnas said that the commission has recently finished budget talks. All the line items for Poe Springs are still in the budget, but there are no dollar amounts associated with the items at this time.
Barnas also made it clear that the park is still open, even though the springs are not.
Cassandra Vangellow edited this story online.