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INVERNESS — What about Ella?
With all the road improvement projects going on and planned for the city of Inverness streets, a recent caller to the Chronicle’s Sound Off voiced a complaint about Ella Avenue, especially the section between Tompkins Street and the flashing yellow light near the entrance to Inverness Middle School, where Ella becomes Turner Camp Road.
The caller said: “Ella (Avenue) is a patched-up mess. They need sidewalks for the kids to walk to school on both sides of the street. It’s a shame the parents have to take their children on such a patched-up road and it really needs attention soon.”
In response, Inverness Director of Public Works Katie Cottrell pointed out that Ella Avenue, or County Road 581, is inside the city limits, but is maintained by the county.
However, the city maintains the sidewalks and has plans to design sidewalk improvements this fall to bring some sections of the sidewalk up to modern standards.
“We agree that sidewalks on both sides of Ella would be a welcome improvement for residents in that area, especially with children walking to school,” Cottrell said. “Though that work will be expensive and is not yet budgeted, we’ll be investigating possible funding sources.”
Cottrell added that the county is currently in the process of repairing curbs and gutters in preparation for resurfacing from Tompkins Street to Zephyr Street.
“The section From Zephyr to Turner Camp has some drainage issues because the storm water system was not originally designed as an integral part of the street,” Cottrell said. “The county will be designing storm water improvements, which will be put in place before resurfacing.”
At Tuesday’s Inverness city council meeting, council members addressed another street issue — improvements to the intersections of Main Street and Apopka Avenue, Line Avenue and Seminole Avenue.
“This is a DOT issue,” said City Manager Frank DiGiovanni.
The council voted to OK a license agreement between the city and the Florida Department of Transportation, allowing FDOT to begin work and to allow them to utilize a section of city right-of-way to mount a traffic stanchion.
The improvements include crosswalk traffic buttons that are more handicapped-accessible, installing “No Turn on Red” signs mounted up by the traffic signals for better visibility and making the crosswalks safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.
“These are areas we’ve identified as important in the city,” DiGiovanni said.
Chronicle reporter Nancy Kennedy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 352-564-2927.