On February 18, 2019, the Board of Osceola County Commissioners approved Ordinance 2019-19 authorizing a single-question ballot special referendum to the Osceola County electorate to be held on May 21, 2019. The approved question for the ballot is as follows:
Should transportation facilities and services be funded throughout Osceola County, including projects that improve roads and bridges, expand public transit options, fix potholes, enhance bus services, relieve rush hour bottlenecks, improve intersections, and make walking and biking safer by levying a one-cent sales surtax for 30 years?
Proceeds of the Transportation Sales Surtax shall be used for the purpose of funding transportation facilities and services in the incorporated and unincorporated areas of the County as permitted by section 212.005(1), Florida Statutes, as amended from time to time. Expenditures of said funds are further restricted to the specific uses identified in the ballot language as noted in Section 1.
At Monday’s Board of County Commissioners Meeting, Osceola County Commissioners unanimously adopted Resolution No. 19-074R.
If the voting citizens of Osceola County approve the one cent transportation surtax then this resolution will update the 2019-2023 Five-Year Capital Improvement Plan identifying the priority projects for roads and intersections pending the levy of the Transportation Sales Surtax.
Expenditure of the proceeds from the levy of the Transportation Sales Surtax shall be expended in accordance with the following:
A minimum of 75% of the proceeds will be spent on activities that support improving roads and bridges, fix potholes, relieve rush hour bottlenecks, improve intersections, and make walking and biking
Resolution No. 19-074R goes on to say that no more than 25% of the proceeds will be spent on activities that support expanding public transit options and enhancing bus services.
The projects will total at $690 Million dollars within the 5 year period of capital projects. County Manager Don Fisher shared the projects that the County would begin work on via cash flow and two debt issuances of 200,000,000 each; one in 2021 and the other in 2023 and that as the projects move forward the Capital Improvement Plan would be updated as the County receives funding.
Mr. Fisher then shared the road widening projects that the County is targeting if the transportation surtax is approved according to Resolution No. 19-074R.
1. Boggy Creek Road from Simpson Road to Narcoossee Road
2. Canoe Creek Road
3. Lake Cypress to 17th Street
4. County Road 532
5. Old Lake Wilson Road to US 17-92
6. Neptune Road to Partin Settlement to US 192
7. Old Lake Wilson Road from St. Clair to 532
8. Old Tampa Highway from US 17-92 to Pleasant Hill Road
9. Partin Settlement Road from Narcoosee Road to Lakeshore Drive
11.Pleasant Hill Road to Crescent Lakes Way
12. Reaves Road from Marigold to Ham Brown Road
13. Sherberth Road to US 192 to the Orange County Line
14. Simpson Road from US 192 to Boggy Creek Road
The list is in alphabetical order, not in order of when work will commence and according to Mr. Fisher these are projects that should be able to be completed within the 5 year Capital Improvement Plan.
The County Manager next shared what intersections would be slated to be worked on according to the resolution:
1. Carrol Street
2. US 441
3. Clay and Pleasant Hill Road/Old Tampa Highway
4. Pleasant Hill Rd/ John Young Parkway
5. Pleasant Hill Road/Reaves Road
6. Poinciana Boulevard and 535
This is all based of course upon the One Cent Sales Surtax being approved by the electorate.
County Commissioner Chair Cheryl Grieb commented, “That’s a tremendous amount of roads looking at the past 10 – 12 years and the number of roads we’ve been able to widen, versus what we’d be able to do in the next 5 years, that’s tremendous.”
After discussion between board members and the County attorney, the point was made that if the one cent transportation surtax is approved the commissioners are bound by the language within the actual referendum that is being voted on, but the details of Resolution No. 19-074R could be changed by a 3-2 vote in the future by the commissioners.
Commissioner Grieb made a motion for the adoption of Resolution No. 19-074R. Commissioner Arrington seconded the motion and the vote was unanimous.