MOORE HAVEN, FL. -- At Monday night's Glades County Commission meeting, an agenda item on paving four-mile long sandy Fernwood Lane in the rural community of Muse, failed to gather support once again.
According to Commissioner Donna Storter Long, Fernwood had been on the county's "five year plan" for paving since at least 2002 with paving of one mile completed in 2008 using the one-cent discretionary sales tax revenue as proposed by Glades County Commissioner Ward in 2005.
Fernwood Lane is approximately four miles long connecting CR720 on the north end and CR78 in Hendry county on the south creating a connecting road between Muse in Glades county, and North LaBelle in Hendry county.
Fernwood is a packed sand road, graded, but in poor condition much of the year, with a "washboard" surface much of the time.
The Glades county portion includes a large plant nursery, grass airfield, and an older mobile home subdivision containing hundreds of homes, many are eyesores, in dilapidated condition.
The initial plan was to pave two miles when traffic counts were reported between 1200-1300 in a two week period in 2005. Other traffic counts were done in 2007, says Storter-Long.
Storter requested the Board to prioritize Fernwood for paving another mile on the north end. Discussion followed by the commission with the admission by the Board and the Road Dept. that Glades County no longer has a five-year work plan for paving new county roads.
However, recently utilized two shell roads in Moore Haven were paved, Storter pointed out. Storter stated she did not object to the road paving on Thatcher Boulevard although it had never been on the county's road plan for paving but Fernwood had been on this list for almost ten years.
North Avenue was also paved but had previously been on the county's five year plan.
She stated the City of Moore Haven had not requested these roads to be paved, and had not asked to expend the City's unused $221,769 in the Transportation Trust fund that can only be used for city streets and citizens on Thatcher Blvd and North Avenue pay city as well as county taxes.
Thatcher Blvd and North Avenue were constructed utilizing impact fees of which $127,232 were in the West District Road Impact Fee Fund. There were no reports of traffic counts for these roads, says Storter.
Storter also commented that of the impact fees collected in the West District, 19 were for units west of SR29 in the Muse area including four on Fernwood Lane, one of which is Bonnie Plants, a commercial plant nursery; there were seven impact fee units in the City of Moore Haven of which none were on Thatcher and two on North Avenue.
She also referred to recent Census figures which show District 2 which includes Muse, having 3,395 citizens whereas District 1 City of Moore Haven only has 1,70 residents.
She said it's not easy explaining this paving disparity to constituents, and Muse residents and others that travel Fernwood had submitted another petition requesting the paving to continue. Wayne Mundy brought additional pages of the petition to the meeting. The petition pages were submitted to the Clerk for official record.
Commissioner Storter commented that there is $668,000 unencumbered funds in the one-cent sales tax fund that currently has $1,426,690 on hand.
Storter moved to prioritize Fernwood Lane to be the first when asphalt work was next done in Glades County. Storter's motion died for lack of second by any other commissioner.
Source: Commissioner Storter meeting notes