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For immediate release - March 16, 2005

Informational meeting spurs good debate about proposed road network upgrades in Minneola area

TAVARES — More than 230 households, primarily from communities and municipalities in South Lake County, turned out March 15 for a public information meeting regarding preliminary findings of the Minneola Ridge Area Traffic Study.

The study proposes two alternatives for addressing future transportation needs for the area primarily confined by east of U.S. Highway 27, north of State Road 50, south of County Road 561A and west of County Road 455. The key difference between the two plans is one includes a new Florida Turnpike interchange near North Grassy Lake Road and the other does not.

The proposed road network study addresses overall long-range transportation needs for an area that is expected to change dramatically in the next 20 years. Future development plans around the cities of Minneola and Clermont and the Town of Montverde include new high and elementary school sites and several varying developments of approved and proposed private projects of residential, commercial and industrial use.

To address the future developments some proposed roadway improvements included in the preliminary study are improving North Grassy Lake, North Hancock and Turkey Farm roads; extending Ridgewood Avenue eastward to U.S. Highway 27 to form a new Minneola and Montverde connector; and developing a new north-south corridor from the Sugarloaf Mountain area to the new intra-municipal connector.

Other future road improvements for the area are planned on state roads such as expanding State Road 50 from Hancock Road east to the county line, widening U.S. 27 from the City of Minneola south to the county line and expanding State Road 50 between U.S. 27 and Hancock Road.

Among the concerns raised by citizens Tuesday evening during the public meeting at Minneola City Hall were safety of drivers, children and bicyclists. Other views focused on school overcrowding, development density and land preservation.

“I just want to thank you all for coming because you have demonstrated your thoughts and concerns,” said Commissioner Bob Pool. “This has been a good meeting and I really appreciate that.”

Pool was one of the many elected officials in attendance including three from the Lake County School Board and several from the municipalities of Clermont, Minneola and Montverde. The study will next be presented at a future County Commission meeting.

For more information, call the Department of Public Works at (352) 253-4900 or log on to the Minneola Ridge Traffic Study page.

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Contact information:
Christopher Patton
Communications Coordinator
Office: (352) 343-9609; Cell: (352) 455-0445
cpatton@co.lake.fl.us

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