Residents of the Spanish Main Yacht Club celebrated the official completion of the $1 million potable water pipe replacement project on Feb. 7 after years of frustrations with the old system.
About 50 attendees enjoyed the afternoon celebration, led by Spanish Main Yacht Club President Joan Sherry. Mayor Ken Schneier, District 1 Commissioner Gary Coffin and Director of Public Works Isaac Brownman were also in attendance.
“As many of you know and have lived here for a long time and know the woes we have had with our water project, it was critically important that we undertook this,” Sherry said.
During her presentation, Sherry thanked the residents for their support.
“This has been a long trek, and you guys have been patient, and we appreciate all your support throughout this project,” Sherry said.
She also thanked town staff for working well alongside the project and the project team for getting the job done.
Before she even said his name, the residents knew Daniel Dyer deserved a special thank you, and the crowd applauded him as he stood up.
Dyer was the project supervisor under Florida Piping Solutions. Sherry and others noted how closely he worked with the community during the yearlong project, and how attentive he was to the community’s needs.
“The people overall were fantastic and really understanding,” Dyer said. “I really did enjoy working with them. That really makes doing the work a lot better when the people understand.”
After her speech, Sherry continued the celebration by cutting the ribbon on the water valve system, located near the entrance of the community.
With the ribbon cut, she turned the valve and started the water. Sherry popped a bottle of Champagne in front of the crowd to round out the celebration, and everyone moved to the clubhouse for some refreshments.
The project’s full timeline was about 10 years, which included three years of acquiring funds, delays due to the Florida Power & Light undergrounding project and one year of construction.
Funding was collected through increases in condominium owner’s monthly dues and money from their reserves. No taxpayer money was used for the $1 million project.
The old potable water pipes were installed when the condominium was built in the 1960s and were an early form of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC.
For years, residents experienced issues stemming from frequent failures and breaks in the system.
Now, the new water lines are made from high-density polyethylene in a loop system with 24 valves, which makes addressing issues more efficient.
Sherry said the community’s next project to begin in 2025 will address more than a mile of lining in the sanitary sewer system. The goal, again, is to avoid a special assessment and not use taxpayer dollars.
Carter Weinhofer is the Longboat Key news reporter for the Observer. Originally from a small town in Pennsylvania, he moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College until graduating in 2023. During his entire undergraduate career, he worked at the student newspaper, The Current, holding positions from science reporter to editor-in-chief.