The Indian Trail Improvement District will see continued road improvements, the start of the GL Homes project and the beginning of the Acreage Community Park expansion in 2017.
The ITID Board of Supervisors began the year with a new member, Supervisor Betty Argue, who replaced longtime Supervisor Michelle Damone after the November election.
“I know the board is excited about the new year and getting a whole bunch of stuff done,” District Manager Jim Shallman told the Town-Crier on Tuesday. “We’ve got the new community park underway. The contracts are done. We’re just finishing up the changes voted on at the last meeting.”
The changes include the addition of an amphitheater to phase one, as well as resurfacing the parking lot instead of completely repaving it, adding lighting and reconfiguring bathrooms, and the possible addition of a splash park.
“All the permitting is done, so we’re just waiting to break ground hopefully within two weeks or less,” Shallman said.
He added that district staff will do a large portion of the park expansion project, including moving dirt and stabilizing the site.
With the new 1-cent sales tax that started this week, ITID may see progress on the construction of a community center at Acreage Community Park.
”We’re hoping that [the surtax] might help out with the new community center,” Shallman said. “We’ll see how that goes. They’re still talking about that.”
A lot of discussion is underway about the GL Homes project northwest of The Acreage, which will bring nearly 3,900 new homes to the area. Also working its way through the approval process is the Delray Linton Groves/Iota Carol project, which adds about 1,000 more new homes.
“We’re trying to work out landowner agreements with both of them,” Shallman said.
GL Homes has already committed to becoming an activated ITID unit, as well as donating 640 acres to the district for use as a stormwater reservoir.
“[The 640 acres] is actually a term of the agreement that is written down, so that is a fact,” he said. “Everything else we’re working on right now.”
Shallman noted that he has agreed to take newly elected State Rep. Rick Roth (R-District 85) on a tour of the J.W. Corbett Wildlife Management Area’s berm, which was partially funded by the state for work done by the South Florida Water Management District. ITID officials plan to lobby heavily at Palm Beach County Day in Tallahassee in March for the remaining $3.5 million to complete the levee.
“We’re going to tour the second half of the Corbett berm, the unfinished part of the project,” Shallman said. “Hopefully, he’ll be interested in helping us secure some more funding for that. We’re getting ready for Palm Beach County Day in March to take our requests up to the legislature for their consideration in next year’s budget.”
The SFWMD has $500,000 set aside for the second part of the project, Shallman said. “We will probably need another $3.5 million,” he said. “The plans are all done. They will probably have to go back out to bid for construction because of the time it has been. They are definitely eager for us to succeed in our funding drive. They didn’t budget for it this year, but they are definitely standing behind us and cheering us on.”
The district is continuing efforts to secure the federally owned Moss property for additional drainage, he said. That area is a historically water-deprived area that might benefit from excess ITID water.
The district will continue to negotiate with Palm Beach County and developers to pay their share for road development in the district, Shallman said.
“Roads are obviously our most sensitive issue with developers, and our consultants are working on their numbers, and GL Homes has made a couple of proposals which will come to light at the Jan. 11 meeting,” he said. “It’s just a matter of negotiations at this point. They have been very forthcoming and eager to work with us, so our board is very eager to work with them.”
Shallman said that the Jan. 11 meeting will have many items on its agenda in preparation to get things rolling for 2017.
“It’s crazy around here, but that’s good in a way,” he said. “We’re excited about the new board. I know they’re all very excited about getting things going and keeping things going at a good pace.”
Paving projects include an asphalt overlay of 180th Avenue North from Hamlin Blvd. south to the schools. The district will continue the realignment of dirt roads. It realigned 10 miles of dirt roads in 2016, did two retrofits, laid 5,000 feet of drainage pipes and hauled about 3,000 loads of stabilizer.
Acreage incorporation efforts will be another hot topic in 2017, with Preserve the Lifestyle of The Acreage Now (PLAN) working on everything necessary to organize the effort. The group is meeting regularly to review its progress with residents. The next meeting is set for Tuesday, Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. at the Acreage library to review a proposed charter.