ITID Board Reviews Possible Improvements At Santa Rosa Groves

The Indian Trail Improvement District Board of Supervisors approved the conveyance of common areas and easements in the Santa Rosa Groves neighborhood at its meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 17.

Santa Rosa Groves, a rural enclave located west of The Acreage along Carol Street, has had ongoing problems with flooding and road maintenance. The neighborhood has requested activation into ITID to deal with those issues. Once fully activated, it will be known as ITID Unit 20.

Created in the 1970s, Santa Rosa Groves is made up of 99 lots ranging from five acres to 20 acres. The area, north of White Fences, has a long history of flooding problems. Its roads and swales have deteriorated, and the canals are overgrown.

During a public hearing, ITID Engineer Jay Foy said the total cost of upgrading the area is about $23 million.

“That’s if you did everything — all the roads, all the canals, a pump station, you pave Carol Street, put guard rails around the roads that have canals,” Foy said.

He added that the staff recommendation is to do two things initially — install the pump station and put millings on Carol Street.

“What I’m about to present to you has everything in it,” he said. “That’s why it’s so high.”

For the initial phase, the millings are estimated at $500,000, and the initial pump station is estimated at $450,000 to $500,000.

“The pump station we would put in is not the one where we would collect a grant and have a housed pump station at over a million,” Foy said. “The $500,000 for the road, Carol Street, is millings, and it would be done by district staff.”

He noted that the millings project would require a legislative process to go through to show that ITID is saving money, adding that engineering surveys were done on the property.

“The land value benefits alone in sales value of the land… is $28 million, but if you add all the other benefits, access to health safety, less damage, less car wear… you’re up to $188 million in benefits,” Foy said. “In this first phase, we’re recommending $1 million in improvements.”

He estimated the total cost of bringing the canals up to grade will be about $10 million, and road upgrades will be about $7.7 million.

“It was interesting to find that the [canals] were better off than we had anticipated,” Foy said. “The roads need to be rebuilt.”

He noted that the total cost estimate of $23 million are “hard costs,” if everything is done by a contractor, explaining that a significant part of the cost is in hauling away fill that has been extracted from the canal sections. He said part of that cost could be reduced if the property owners chose to take some of that fill onto their own property.

Santa Rosa Groves resident Elizabeth Accomando said she supports the proposal.

“I spoke to several of the owners, and everybody’s in agreement,” Accomando said. “We’re going to start this small. We’ll do Carol Street and get the pump done, and then try to get some grants we need to move forward. I don’t think anybody’s going to have a problem taking the fill, because everybody’s lots are so ridiculously low.”

During the regular ITID meeting, the board approved deeds of conveyance and quit claims from the Santa Rosa Groves Homeowners’ Association for the common areas and easements in Unit 20.