The idea was first suggested in 2008.
A trail connecting the Forest Hills neighborhood, located west of Nova Road and south of Granada Boulevard, with Old Tomoka Road is set to be built several years after it was first proposed as a way to provide a safe walking and biking route to school.
The concrete trail will travel from Scottsdale Drive along Misner’s Branch to Old Tomoka Road, and will also be accessible from Magnolia Avenue and Oak Avenue.
In 2008, the River to Sea Transportation Planning Organization defined a need for safe travel to Tomoka Elementary School by children living in the Forest Hills neighborhood because the school district no longer provided bus service from Forest Hills. In 2011, Ormond Beach City Commissioners agreed to apply for a grant for the project and placed it in the five-year plan.
At their recent Feb. 6 meeting, city staff presented an agreement with FDOT for the path and it was approved by the City Commission. Federal funds are available for $459,185 and the city will owe $172,383. However, the city has provided design services valued at $51,811, so the city’s monetary contribution will be $120,572. FDOT approved a design submitted by Ormond Beach city staff.
At the meeting, only Commissioner Rob Littleton voted against the agreement.
“Time has shown that children are getting to school fine and there’s no need to spend $120,572 out of transportation funds,” he said.
No other commissioners commented.
The trail has become part of the city’s Bicycle Master Plan released in 2016 for a series of trails throughout the city.
ORMOND-BY-THE-SEA ON THE RADAR?
The City Commission has scheduled a strategic planning workshop for 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 20, which is before their regular meeting. The annual meeting is where officials can bring up and discuss any idea.
At the Feb. 6 commission meeting, Mayor Bill Partington suggested the city look into annexing Ormond-by-the-City, which is an unincorporated area of the county. About 20 years ago, Ormond-by-the-Sea residents rejected the idea of annexation in a referendum.
“They can get more services for less money,” he said, referring to the county residents. “That should be part of the city’s strategic plan.”
He said the county is considering raising some fees for those in unincorporated areas.
Other topics the city should explore are the possibility of a community center west of Interstate 95 and construction of an emergency command center, Partington said.