ITID Preparing To Tackle Dust Problem On Acreage Roads

Dust control in The Acreage has been an increasing problem that draws at least a few complaints from residents and board members at every Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors meeting — and last week’s meeting was no different.

The board has found itself having to balance keeping dirt roads against the traffic calming needed to battle speeders on paved roads.

Supervisor Jennifer Hager, a staunch opponent of more paved roads, said she actually saw the need for paving 60th Street on her way to the Wednesday, April 8 meeting.

Dimitrios Scarlatos, supervising engineer for Craig A. Smith & Associates, told the board he was preparing a dust control report that will propose some options to consider.

“I will summarize them with respect to how often it has to be reapplied, the cost involved, how environmentally safe it is, and will allow you to make a logical decision as to which way you want to proceed,” Scarlatos said.

He said some of the options are almost like paving the road, such as double-chip sealing.

“If you are strictly interested in dust control and maintaining the unpaved roads, I want to give you a few options to discuss and consider,” Scarlatos said.

He noted that the chemicals used are environmentally friendly.

“There’s different components,” Scarlatos said. “If you want to call it a ‘chemical,’ you can call it that. Usually ‘chemical’ has a connotation of being harmful or hazardous. Some of these are very environmentally friendly. For example, one of these products, the substance is a component that they use to preserve fruits that are consumed to keep them fresh.”

Scarlatos said he was preparing a complete report and that supervisors could analyze themselves what direction to go and what additional equipment might be needed, such as an additional water truck.

“These are things you will have to consider, and I will put it in a very concise format for the board to be able to sit down and discuss,” he said.

Supervisors said they would like to have the report in time for their workshop on Wednesday, April 22.

In other business:

• The board postponed approval of one potable water hookup request and rejected another because it did not have enough resident signatures.

They postponed a special permit for water utilities east of 140th Avenue North and west of Avocado Blvd. until staff could report on the specific results of the residents’ petition for hookups.

Resident Anne Kuhl said she thought it wasn’t fair to other residents, including owners of vacant lots, to be forced to pay for a hookup if they don’t want it.

“I understand that you want to build a grid, Palm Beach County wants to build a grid out here, but I don’t think it’s fair to force people that are on a street close to a pipe that don’t want it, that aren’t financially in a position to pay for it,” Kuhl said. “It’s just not fair to do it just at the will of 50 percent plus one.”

Supervisor Michelle Damone pointed out that the surveys of 24 homes were done in quarter-mile segments, and it could not be shown that the six homes in the first quarter-mile received more than 50 percent. Damone made a motion to move the item to the May agenda until that question could be answered, and her motion carried 5-0.

The board turned down a request for potable water on East Hialeah Drive west of Seminole Pratt Whitney Road because it had approval from only three of the six homeowners there and did not meet the 50 percent plus one criteria. Damone made a motion to deny the petition, which carried 5-0.

• The board approved a special permit by the county to install stub-outs for fire hydrants and other uses along Seminole Pratt Whitney Road at four locations: one on the west side at 88th Road North, and three on the east side at 87th Road North, 89th Place North and Hamlin Blvd. The stub-outs include four fire hydrants and other uses.

Supervisor Jennifer Hager asked for more details, and ITID District Engineer Jay Foy said that there is a Palm Beach County Water Utilities water line near Northlake Blvd. and Seminole Pratt Whitney Road.

“What they want to do is… connect to that water line in four places at the roads and put a fire hydrant and gate valve on it so that in case somebody wants to connect to it in the future, they can,” Foy said. “They want to put it in before they construct the road because they don’t want to tear up the road.”

Damone made a motion to approve the permit, which carried 5-0.

• The board also approved a special permit for Palm Beach County Water Utilities to install 21 stub-outs along 7 miles on the north side of the M Canal and another mile or two going north up 180th Avenue North.

“The line exists,” Foy said. “That’s the line the City of West Palm Beach built. Now the county took it over. The county is saying, ‘We’ve got this line. People might want water in the future.’”

Damone made a motion to approve the permit, which carried 5-0.

• Foy also reported that light detection and ranging (LIDAR) studies conducted by ITID got all but a half-dozen Acreage homes out of the FEMA map flood zones.

“We started with over a hundred in the M-2 Basin,” Foy said. “We’re in the appeal process. We believe that FEMA is going to accept it.”

Foy said another LIDAR will have to be flown to show houses built since 2006, when the original LIDAR study was done. In the meantime, individual homeowners can apply to FEMA to get their homes out of the flood zone, he said.

“The difference in what you saw before and what you see now is tremendous,” he said. “This is going to save, we don’t know how much exactly per house, but hundreds of thousands per year [in total]. The results are tremendous. I’m really pleased. It’s not perfect, but it’s much better than it was.”

Damone asked that a FEMA link be put on the ITID web site.

• ITID President Carol Jacobs reminded residents that a workshop on the budget is scheduled for Wednesday, April 22 at 7 p.m. “I’m hoping more residents show up for budget,” Jacobs said.

Topics to be discussed include lighting for neighborhood parks, dust control and road material, a name change for Hamlin House, gardens at Hamlin House, a park update, traffic calming updates and more.