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West Orange Times & Observer Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2021 9 months ago

Oakland considers legislative priorities

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The town is seeking government funds for two projects dealing with wastewater and alternative water.
by: Amy Quesinberry Community Editor

The town of Oakland has two major projects looming and is hoping to receive legislative funds for both.

Oakland Town Manager Steve Koontz updated the Town Commission in a presentation at its Oct. 12 meeting.

The town has received close to $7 million in legislative support in the seven years it has been working on the wastewater system, and the main east-west spine is now through the town. The next request, Koontz said, is for funds to build a lift station that will be part of the town’s commercial segment.

“It is very much a high-priority project,” he said.

The other request is for the town’s alternative water project “to take some of the pressure off our potable water … and use (the alternative water) for irrigation purposes,” Koontz said.

Several of the newer subdivisions — which includes about 600 homes — already have separate lines for this.

“That one has some sense of urgency,” he said. “We have a consumptive-use permit that dictates how much water we can use daily.”

The issue is that the town has a better chance of obtaining funds if it focuses on a single project; Koontz said he will work with consultants to determine the best direction staff will take by Nov. 17.

“One project has the momentum, the other has the urgency,” he said. “Both projects are important.”

“I think the win-win is that they’re both good for the environment,” Mayor Kathy Stark said. “But I think we have to lean on our … experts as far as … what we can benefit the most from.”

A case can be made for either project, commissioners agreed.

“The alternative water project is very important because if we’re going to continue to have the growth we have, we’re going to max out of our consumptive-use permit,” Commissioner Rick Polland said.

“I think … we need to recognize that we’ve gotten farther than we expected we would from septic to sewer, and we want to keep going,” Stark said.

Koontz will share the consultants’ findings at the Nov. 9 meeting.

 

IN OTHER NEWS

• The commission passed an ordinance that allows the town to collect building permit consultant fees up front, reduces administration time and makes the process more customer friendly.

• Commissioners approved the final plat and agreement with Oakland Presbyterian Church for an additional 10 feet of right of way on Starr Street. The Tractor Supply and Lakeside Church projects have provided right of way between Sadler Avenue and West Colonial Drive, and this transaction will allow completion of the road as a north-south connector. In return for the land, the town will provide, among other things, sewer service for the property at an estimated cost of $75,000.

• The commission approved a Transportation Impact Fee credit of $124,544.93 for Lakeside Church. The total amount in fees is $184,400,19, leaving the church with a balance of $59,855.26 to be paid within 60 days. The church is building a campus on Starr Street and has provided 40 feet of right of way for the extension of Starr.

• Due to the upcoming holidays, the Oakland Town Commission will meet just once each in November and December: Nov. 9 and Dec. 14.

• The town proclaimed Oct. 18-24 Florida City Government Week.

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Amy Quesinberry is the community editor of the West Orange Times & Observer and the Windermere Observer. She was born and raised in Winter Garden, grew up reading the community newspaper and has been employed there as a writer, photographer and editor since 1990....

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