Volusia County spending $107K to plan parking lot

Volusia County is continuing it's push to add off beach parking.  County Chairman Jason Davis says they are moving forward with putting parking at 650 South Atlantic Avenue in Ormond Beach

"Granted, you may have to park across the street, or maybe next to the beach, but you will have free access to the beach as guaranteed by the county charter."

Before the county can build parking there, they will spend $107,000 on planning that parking lot. There are buildings that have to be demolished.   Davis says there are so many federal, state, and local regulations that Volusia has little choice but to pay the money. It doesn't mean he is happy about it.

"That's a lot of money. It almost seems like whenever we put out for a bid, the companies go, 'Oh, let me add an extra zero on the back,' and there you go."

The county selected the lowest bidder for the project.  For the $107,000, Davis knows they will get architects, civil engineers, landscape architects, structural engineers, surveyors, plumbing, HVAC, and electrical engineers, plus a geo-technical engineer.

"Not happy. I mean I am trying to get our spending under control. I am one person looking to try and cut the costs..  Sometimes, it is a losing battle, sometimes I win."

All to plan a few parking spaces. These type of pre-construction plans usually run about 10 percent of the total cost. Here was the reaction when I told Davis the parking lot is likely to cost more than a million dollars.

"I've seen it so many times. We pay a lot of money. We paid a lot of money and I believe overpaid for the property for the beach parking."

The County paid $2.1 million for the land. The money comes partly from a trust fund Volusia swept to buy beach parking, and ECHO funds voters approved to be spent on land conservation, recreation, and cultural improvements.