The Loxahatchee Groves Town Council approved asphalt paving projects on Tuesday, Oct. 19 for six roads that were approved by referendum several years ago by residents living on the roads to share the cost of the improvements.
The referendum was to approve a long-term loan to be paid by residents, as loans for more than three years are prohibited by the town charter.
Utilities Director Larry Peters pointed out that at a recent meeting, the council approved the paving of South D Road, a dirt road, and that the contract for the six roads was a piggyback on that contract.
“The specific roadways listed below have been previously identified for paving in years past,” Peters wrote in his staff report. “In order to take advantage of the existing contract pricing from Hardrives Inc. during the OGEM road overlay projects, the town’s public works department requested pricing from Hardrives to place two inches of asphalt on the listed referendum roadways.”
The affected roads are Raymond Drive at a cost of $53,808, Los Angeles Drive at a cost of $34,864, San Diego Drive at a cost of $44,023, 22nd Road North at a cost of $44,941, Flamingo Drive at a cost of $27,152 and Paradise Trail at a cost of $24,300.
Prior to the asphalt being placed, each roadway will require base rock to prepare the roads for paving. Most roadways will be crowned so the rainwater runoff will run to each side of the roadway into existing drainage ditches or swales. Some roadways will be mono sloped to an existing drainage ditch or swale.
“On these referendum roads, one of the things that is part of this is that these six roads have been previously approved for cost sharing,” Town Attorney Elizabeth Lenihan said. “Just confirming that that’s still the plan for these roads. We’ll bring back a contract… with information on proceeding with the financing and cost sharing.”
Part of the plan involves laying base rock, which was not a part of the original agreement, but was considered by town staff as essential to the longevity of the roads.
Mayor Robert Shorr said he felt the town should cover the cost of the base rock.
“In my opinion, the base rock maintenance, we should cover that,” Shorr said “The paving, I think is part of the cost sharing.”
Vice Mayor Laura Danowski said she favored approval.
“The amount of staff time and energy resource to gather communication and approval, discussion time and approval time, they’ve waited a long time with a carrot dangling in front of them since 2015,” Danowski said.
Lenihan said the agreement was for the town to finance the residents’ 50-50 cost share portion of $229,939.
Town Manager Jamie Titcomb said that at the time the referendum was done several years ago, the roads on the referendum were proposed for a 50-50 cost share, and the referendum was to create the funding to finance the residents’ share, which would be collected through ad valorem taxes.
“These are much lower prices to get to the same place, and I think that’s what’s driving some of the council members’ desires to bite the bullet and get it done because it has languished for so long,” Titcomb said. “The $229,000 is at a threshold that gets all these roads done and taken care of.”
Councilwoman Phillis Maniglia asked if any of the roads need drainage improvements, and Peters said Los Angeles Drive does, explaining that there is a catch basin at the end of the street, but some of the houses have driveways built across the swale out to the pavement area.
Danowski made a motion to approve the contract with the stipulation that Los Angeles Drive does not get paved until drainage issues are resolved. The motion carried 5-0.