Oakland progresses with roundabout plan

The town approved interlocal agreements pertaining to the jurisdiction of Oakland Avenue and Old County Road 50, and the roundabout slated for that intersection.

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The Oakland Town Commission approved at the Aug. 25 meeting two interlocal agreements with Orange County Government — one that transfers the jurisdiction of Oakland Avenue and Old County Road to the town; and another that deals with the construction of a roundabout planned on the west end of Oakland Avenue.

Town Manager Steve Koontz gave presentations on both agreements.

Oakland Avenue/County Road 438 is classified as a county road, but the road together with a small segment of Old Highway 50 function as a town road. The county asked to transfer jurisdiction of the road to the town, and the town has agreed because it will allow Oakland to control future improvements to the road.

“While we (the current commission) are in place … this will allow us to maintain the quaint small-town feel of this road,” Mayor Kathy Stark said. “I know residents are concerned about that.”

The second agreement was regarding the future roundabout at the intersection of Old Highway 50, Oakland Avenue and J.W. Jones Road north of West Colonial Drive. The roundabout will alleviate some of the traffic constraints and enhance the safety of the intersection.

The state of Florida has allocated $1.2 million for the project for the 2020-21 fiscal year, and the town and county will each budget $700,000 for construction costs and will equally share any costs that exceed state funding.

Once the project is completed — around May 2022 — the town will accept jurisdiction and maintenance of the roundabout.



• Estid Lima of the Oakland Police Department has been promoted to the position of sergeant, and Police Chief John Peek presented the newly promoted officer to the Town Commission. Lima’s wife, Andrea, pinned on his badge.

Lima has been with the OPD for three-and-one-half years and last year was promoted to corporal.

• The commission approved two resolutions. The first removes the exemption of annexation fees for enclave properties requesting annexation into the town. The other changes the town’s retirement plan to Florida League of Cities.

• Elected officials passed the second reading and public hearing of an ordinance that sets restrictions on construction work. Construction is permitted from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays. It is not permitted anytime on Sundays and legal and national holidays.

• Oakland Avenue Charter School Principal Pam Dwyer gave an update on the first few days of school. She said there were about a dozen families who had selected OACS at Home as the education option for their children but were considering their decision. She gave parents until Monday evening to make a decision, and she reported that all of their children returned to campus the following day.

• Town Manager Steve Koontz updated the commission on the U.S. Census in Oakland. The state’s overall response record is 61%; Oakland stands at 60.8%. Oakland residents are being asked to fill out the census so the town can benefit from federal funds for roads, schools, housing and social programs.

• Koontz also discussed the town’s remaining activities for 2020. The Volunteer Appreciation Dinner has been moved to spring. The annual heritage festival scheduled for Nov. 14 has been postponed, and the town is hoping to replace it this year with a soft opening of the Healthy West Orange Arts and Heritage Center at Oakland. And Light Up Oakland and Santa Day will be modified, but town officials have not laid solid plans as to what the day will look like.



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.

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