NEW: Boynton fixes sidewalks, roads with $638,000 in sales tax money


When Gary Dunmyer began working for Boynton Beach as its city engineer about a year ago, he drove around to gauge the conditions of the community’s roads and sidewalks.

He saw a lot that needed to be changed.

Cracks. Bumps. Pot holes. Sidewalks that in some areas didn’t even exist.

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Fast forward to now, and Dunmyer has already completed four big improvement jobs and four more aren’t far behind, totaling about $638,000.

Dunmyer has about $2.2 million left on the to-do list.

Where is all this money coming from? The penny sales tax surcharge that voters approved in 2016. And at the locations where work is done, the city puts up signs reminding residents that’s how Boynton paid for the improvements.

Boynton has put an emphasis on hiring local companies for these jobs.

The city passed an ordinance that says it can choose a Boynton business, as long as it has a business tax receipt in the city valid for at least one year, and if it comes within five percent of the company with the lowest bid or $5,000, whichever is less.

That came into play for the Northwest 17th Avenue project. Saffold Paving out of Riviera Beach came in as the low bidder with $12,100. The Paving Lady, in Boynton, came in at $12,108. Even though more expensive, the city could choose The Paving Lady because it fell within the five percent.

So far the sidewalk or road has been improved at locations including Northeast Seventh Avenue, the Tennis Center and Gateway Boulevard from Congress Avenue to High Ridge Road.

A church on Northeast Seventh complained to the city about the cracked sidewalk that posed a hazard to school children after getting off the bus. Crews raised the sidewalk three or four inches and made the sidewalk about two inches thicker than it was.

Construction on Commerce Avenue near Copperpoint Brewing Company, about $89,285, is ongoing and so are 11 other sidewalk projects worth about $154,608.

“Of all the roads I drove that was probably in the worst condition,” Dunmyer said of Commerce, which is expected to be finished soon. “When you go out there you’re going to lay on the road and celebrate.”

A typical road’s lifespan is about 20 years. Commerce’s was more than 20. Semi trucks had been cutting the corner short at High Ridge Road onto Commerce. The rock base under the road was failing and created cracks.

The Tennis Center on Congress Avenue wasn’t much better, Dunmyer said.

Roots grew under the sidewalk causing it to crack.

“There was so much damage out there,” he said.

There has been a small setback in some of these projects, however. Some youngsters etch their names on the wet sidewalks, eager to make their mark for years to come.

At least that’s what they think.

Dunmyer says those pieces actually get replaced.



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