Ruby Street Stormwater Improvement and Beautification Plan


Construction Updates and Road Closures
                                        Frequently Asked Questions

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Please note that the Ruby Street businesses will remain open and be accessible  throughout the construction process.

Ruby Street Stormwater and Beautification Construction Video's
(The subtitles/closed caption feature is available in each video settings.)

August 2016 Video
September 2016 Video

November 2016 Video
December 2016 Video

March 2017 Video
April 2017 Video
June 2017 Video
July 2017 Video
September 2017 Video
October 2017 Video
December 2017 Video
May 2018 Video

What is a Beemat?

March 16, 2017 Press Release - Ruby Street Stormwater Project Brings Conservation Easement to the Dora Canal

February 2, 2017 Press Release - Ruby Street Stormwater & Beautification Project will Enhance Local Bee Population

Project Objectives

  • Reduce pollutants flowing into Lake Dora.
  • Use an innovative, yet sustainable treatment approach.
  • Provide public education on stormwater pollution issues.
  • Enhance the quality of life, community vibrancy, and economic development in the City of Tavares.

Project Overview:

The Ruby Street Stormwater Improvement and Beautification Plan is the next step in implementing the City of Tavares master plan for economic development in the Downtown Community Redevelopment Area (CRA), which was created with cooperation from our local community.  The plan is designed to entice businesses, residents, and visitors into the heart of our City, attracted by retail, the arts, and festivals, and brought to us through improved infrastructure for air, water, and rail transport.

The Ruby Street project is designed first and foremost to improve and protect the water quality of Lake Dora, which has been designated as an impaired lake by the EPA. Because the City of Tavares is committed to taking the lead on reducing the flow of pollutants into Lake Dora, an innovative and aesthetically pleasing stormwater treatment plan was created, many aspects of which will be the first in State of Florida to be utilized. The project will also be used to inform and educate the public about stormwater pollution issues.

An 8-acre walkable park will be created, which will consist of a series of beautiful “ponds” and wooden bridges, which will actually serve as sustainable stormwater treatment area. Floating flower and fauna mats (Bee Mats) will fill the ponds, which will also contribute to removing pollutants. This cutting-edge stormwater treatment “park” will create a scenic green space addition to downtown.

In addition to the implementation of this innovative stormwater technology, the City of Tavares will be replacing 50-year old drainage pipes and outfalls, which will resolve the flooding issues that currently plague Ruby Street during heavy rains. These heavy rains flood the roadways, spill over to the park and then flow into the lake, carrying the pollutants. These flooded roads make it difficult for residents to walk to the local businesses

The conclusion of the project will include a complete beautification and streetscape of Ruby Street, including hand-laid Ruby red brick, and comprehensive landscaping and planting of trees. The finished Ruby Street project will be among the most inviting downtown locations in Florida.

Project Funding:

The City of Tavares sought funding for this project from various sources to support the construction of the system wide utility improvements, and minimize cost to city taxpayers.  To date, the City has received funding from the following sources:

State of Florida Funding:  Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)

  • TMDL - Water Quality Restoration Program for the implementation of best management practices to reduce pollutant loads to impaired waters from urban stormwater discharges.
  • 319 / LP - grant thru Florida Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Section for implementation of projects or programs that will help to reduce nonpoint sources of pollutions. This grant also includes funds from the Florida Legislature known as Legislative ProjectsThe funds are used for wastewater, stormwater, surface water improvement, drinking water, and other water-related projects.
  • SRF – State Revolving Fund loan program SRF programs provide financial savings for projects that benefit the environment, including protection of public health and conservation of local watersheds.  On an annual basis, the US EPA provides an allocation of federal funding into each SRF program nationwide.  With EPA’s allocation and the repayments made on existing loans make revolve this program.  Loans provided at a low-interest make this program the most widely used financing mechanism in the state.  The City was able to obtain a loan at .37% interest payable over 20 years.

Local County Funding:  Lake County Water Authority (LCWA)

  • LCWA – a local with a mission to conserve and protect freshwater resources and provide recreational facilities and education, foster tourism, through more efficient use of resources to better the aquatic ecosystems, and environment in Lake County and improve the community as a whole.

The combined CRA  grants, that the City has received, for the stormwater, water, wastewater and reclaimed water improvements totals almost $2.603 million

Projected Timeframes

The project launch is slated for May 15, 2016 and will take approximately 18 months to complete.

The construction of the stormwater park will commence first, while the first block of Ruby Street through Joanna Street will undergo improvements simultaneously. The drain pipe replacement will proceed block-by-block until completion, ending at Diston and St. Clair Streets.

During construction, it is important to note, and collectively promote, that all businesses will be open and welcoming of community patronage. Parking and accessibility directions and signage will be visible in order to provide as little disruption to economic activity as possible.

In addition, the City of Tavares and local businesses will be providing ongoing communication and updates as the Ruby Street project progresses. Updated information on the project will also be shared on the City of Tavares Facebook page.

For more information on this project contact Mandy Wettstein, Ruby Street Project Communications, at 352.406.0422 or