Plans progress for Oakland roundabout

The Town Commission received the latest information on the pending road construction in its first virtual meeting since the coronavirus pandemic began.

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The Oakland Town Commission received an update at its Tuesday, April 14, virtual meeting on the much-anticipated roundabout on the west end of Oakland Avenue. The meeting was held via the Zoom virtual conferencing platform.

The town continues to work with Orange County, consultant firm CPH and MetroPlan Orlando in the planning and the facilitating of the project.

The county is working on obtaining a consultant for construction engineering and inspection, which will be paid for by the county and the town. Orange County is in the process of drafting the interlocal agreement.

Meritage Homes is building the Oakland Trails subdivision off J.W. Jones Road — just off the proposed roundabout — and the developer gave a substantial piece of property for the road improvements plus funding. The funding from Meritage is through the transportation impact fees that are being collected as each house is permitted.

The roundabout accomplishes two things for the development, Town Manager Steve Koontz said.

“The first would be better traffic management out of the development especially during peak times when traffic backs up due to the current intersection configuration,” he said. “It will also give residents of Oakland Trails safe pedestrian and bike access to the West Orange Trail that they do not have now. I believe proximity to the trail was a big selling point.”

Land-acquisition documents are being finalized, according to the town.

The town and CPH submitted the 90% construction plans and bid documents to the county in February. The county replied with comments to the town earlier this month.

The state of Florida is providing $1.2 million in funding through MetroPlan, and this is in the Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget. The town budgeted $500,000 in impact fee funds for the roundabout, as well.

Any construction costs over the grant funding will be shared equally between the town and the county.

The timeline for the bidding and construction of the project have not been determined, according to the town.

Once the project is finished, Oakland will take over maintenance of the roundabout.

The town pursued the idea of a roundabout several years ago, deeming it necessary because of the amount of traffic in that area. J.W. Jones, Old State Road 50, Oakland Avenue, the West Orange Trail and the driveways of two busy commercial properties intersect just north of West Colonial Drive.



• The St. Johns River Water Management District has granted the town $429,800 to be used for the Oakland Hull Avenue Septic to Sewer project. The funds are contingent upon the district’s finalization of the Fiscal Year 2020-21 budget. The project includes converting septic tanks to sanitary sewer service and constructing an eight-inch gravity sewer measuring about 3,800 feet in length, manholes and sewer connections for about 50 lots.

• The town authorized a permissive use agreement with SJRWMD that allows the district to place a data-collecting device on the Jake Voss Fishing Pier on Lake Apopka. The device uses telemetry-driven technology to gather data used in the regulation of Florida’s waters.

• The town’s water system was deemed out of compliance with its backflow program, according to Public Director Mike Parker, so the town has updated its code on the issue. An inspection and testing portion of the backflow program should begin in May for the Johns Landing, Johns Cove, Winters Landing and Trailside Station neighborhoods, as well as commercial businesses. The town will pay for this work to be done.

• Work has begun on Speer Park, Koontz announced. Stakes and center lines have been placed to mark future sidewalks, benches are being repaired or replaced, and plans are being worked on for the bike paths and butterfly garden. The town has budgeted $50,000 for the park this year.

“We will do incremental work as the funds come available,” Koontz said.

• The Oakland Police Department has received a few shipments of personal protection equipment, and a donation from the nonprofit Committee of 101 will allow the department to purchase ballistics shielding and vests.

• Mayor Kathy Stark proclaimed April 14 National Arbor Day in the town.

• The Tuesday, April 28, meeting will be held virtually on Zoom at 7 p.m. For instructions on how to join in the meeting, visit



Amy Quesinberry

Community Editor Amy Quesinberry was born at the old West Orange Memorial Hospital and raised in Winter Garden. Aside from earning her journalism degree from the University of Georgia, she hasn’t strayed too far from her hometown and her three-mile bubble. She grew up reading The Winter Garden Times and knew in the eighth grade she wanted to write for her community newspaper. She has been part of the writing and editing team since 1990.