WINDERMERE Fellow council members and Mayor Gary Bruhn congratulated Councilwoman Molly Rose for realizing a small yet significant goal on an issue she has championed for almost as long as she has been part of the Windermere Town Council.
A crosswalk at 10th Avenue and Main Street.
The council voted 5-0 in favor of a crosswalk for that location instead of at Eighth Avenue and Main Street during its Jan. 12 meeting, on the basis of Rose's argument as a resident who lives in that vicinity.
"I live between Ninth and 10th (avenues)," Rose said. "(A crosswalk) at Eighth (Avenue) would be a waste of our money. The only thing that crosses at Eighth are the carts that aren't allowed to, so I would really prefer to see it down to 10th, so that there's something halfway between here and Chase (Road)."
A maximum allotment of $8,410.05 will go toward this project, but Town Manager Robert Smith said he expected the price to be thousands of dollars less.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars could be what Windermere must ultimately pay to reimburse the Federal Emergency Management Association, stemming from funds that went toward storm damages in 2004.
Like other municipalities, Windermere will appeal a request for more than $483,000 in reimbursement, based on a unanimous council vote. This appeal would include a forensic audit, which Smith received council authorization for at a total not to exceed $20,000, including attorney fees and other costs.
Councilman John Armstrong said he had compared the town's payments for grinding stumps of fallen trees with those of a friend he referred to as the most reputable stump-grinder to be found, and the prices Windermere had payed were outrageous. FEMA therefore might have a case, he said.
WINDSONG BURN UPDATE
Councilman Robert McKinley said he had continued correspondence with Windermere residents who had persisted in expressing dissatisfaction with Taylor Morrison's tree burn on its Windsong at Windermere property, just north of the intersection of Windermere and Maguire roads.
McKinley reported he had told residents there had been no violations by Taylor Morrison in his view, and Bruhn agreed.
McKinley said the timing of the burn permit in terms of a day limit had not been violated, and that the ordinance dealing with air pollution had referred to personal garbage burning, not development.
Jane Guida, a resident of The Willows, disagreed. In her view, pollution is pollution regardless of its source, and this burning has caused air pollution leading to health concerns, she said. Moreover, she said the burning was not approved by the council but at the directive of Smith.
Council members and Smith maintained a stance of lacking illegality in this process.
IN OTHER NEWS
- By a 4-1 vote, the council approved right-of-way use agreements with Orlando Telephone Company and CenturyLink, both to install underground cables in the town -- OTC for cell towers and CenturyLink for Windermere Baptist Church telephone fiber optics. Councilman Richard Gonzalez dissented.
- Armstrong announced the Windermere Art Affair, a new event he said could be the best of its kind in West Orange County. It will start at 11 a.m. Feb. 20 in Town Square.
- Smith said he had been talking with county and school officials about improvements to the roundabout and other features near Windermere Elementary School, with the possibility of a project occurring this summer.
- Since a change in recycling bins, recycling has increased twofold to threefold in Windermere, to the point recycling trucks are too small to carry the loads, leaving garbage trucks to the task, Bruhn said.
- Bruhn said he had been discussing with various agency officials a westward extension of Old Winter Garden Road, beyond Maguire Road. The idea would be for it to ultimately meet Florida's Turnpike.
Contact Zak Kerr at [email protected].