Town leaders held a special meeting Nov. 1 regarding an agreement with Orange County Public Schools necessary to complete transportation improvements near Windermere Elementary School.
Windermere council members approved to move forward with the agreement, but it must now be approved by the OCPS board in its December meeting. Final approval of the interlocal agreement will give the town the ability to use the school’s stormwater reservoir for drainage and dedicate right-of-way property to the town so an additional lane can be constructed on Park Avenue, including sidewalks and expanding the roundabout.
“We’re adding an extra lane in front of Windermere Elementary school so that the traffic can queue without disrupting the traffic flow and blocking the roundabout,” Windermere Mayor Gary Bruhn said. “With that extra lane, the roundabout has got to be modified obviously because you’ll have an extra lane coming out of there. It adds sidewalks to it, and it also improves repaving all the way down Park Avenue to our town limits.”
Traffic has created an issue for the town because the traffic backs up during student drop-off and pick-up times into the roundabout, creating a dangerous situation that blocks emergency vehicles from reaching the town.
The project will begin June 2017 and be completed by the end of July 2017. Windermere council members wanted to have the project done last summer, but their plans were delayed because of financial negotiations with Orange County.
Bruhn believed a contribution would have been appropriate, because about 90% of the kids who go to Windermere Elementary live in unincorporated Orange County. But in the end, Orange County decided not to contribute to the project’s total cost of $840,000. The project will be funded by $200,000 collected in roadway fees from the developers of the new Estancia community and the town’s general funds.
Contact Gabby Baquero at [email protected].