Volusia Approves Multi-Use Trail In Osteen & Acceptance Of BearWise Funding

By on December 20, 2017 in WNDB News

Volusia County, FLUpdate: At its Thursday meeting, the Volusia County Council approved a plan to acquire land for a new multi-use trail in Osteen and a measure to approve funding for bear-resistant trash cans in West Volusia.

Earlier Reporting: On Thursday, the Volusia County Council will vote on a plan to acquire land for a new multi-use trail in Osteen and a measure to approve funding for bear-resistant trash cans in West Volusia.

The County will vote on whether or not to use eminent domain to acquire five tracts of land in order to construct the multi-use, non-motorized East Central Regional Rail Trail (ECRRT) in Osteen. The 3.5 mile, 12-foot wide asphalt trail would run from Guise Rd. to Gobbler’s Lodge Rd. The project is part of a statewide system of trails known as the St. Johns River-to-Sea Loop.

The ECRRT project is funded by the County through various grants. The County has received a grant from the Florida Department of Transportation in order to acquire the necessary right-of-way for the ECRRT project, and the construction phase uses SUN Trail funding from the State of Florida.

(Plan for proposed ECRRT courtesy County records)

Another item on the County’s agenda is the acceptance and appropriation of BearWise funding from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for the purchase of 600 bear-resistant trash cans.

Volusia County was awarded $75,000 from the FWC for fiscal year 2018 to cover the cost of the bear-resistant trash cans in order to assist in the reduction of conflicts between humans and bears on the County’s west side. For more on this story, click here.

The Council must vote in order to approve the purchase of the bear-resistant trash cans at $215 each, using the FWC money to cover some of the cost. The rest of the money will come from waste collection reserves and money from the sale of 300 bear-resistant trash cans purchased through BearWise funding during fiscal year 2017.

The previous bear-resistant trash cans were sold at 25% customer cost share to residents of Volusia County who applied for them. The County sent out applications to 17,000 residents in the target area from DeLeon Springs south to Orange City. Over 1,296 applications were received, and the 300 containers sold out in seven days.

If the Council accepts the 2018 BearWise funding on Thursday, the funding will also be used to fill as many of the remaining orders as possible for those on the waitlist for the containers.

Copyright Southern Stone Communications 2017.

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