Rotonda West homeowners want voices heard in infrastructure proposal

Improvements are coming to a Charlotte County community. But homeowners there have differing opinions toward proposed updates to the infrastructure in their neighborhood. Some are petitioning the proposal, and most just want their voice to be heard by the community leaders before a decision is made.

The Board of Charlotte County Commissioners and Rotonda West’s community leaders are in talks to add sidewalks, while also improving roads and bridges in the neighborhood. The county said it would increase taxes by $300 per year for almost 9,000 taxpayers in the community.

Mary Kirk and her husband walk around Rotonda West twice a week, but the sidewalk comes to an abrupt stop on her street.

“I would like to see them go all the way down at least on one side,” Kirk said.

Diane Shaw is against the sidewalk idea. Shaw started a petition to allow the community to vote on it before going to the commissioners.

“They have within their budget money for sidewalks that we feel should be dedicated more to the bridges and repaving,” Shaw said.

The community advisory board has not yet determined where new sidewalks would go in Rotonda West.

Some homeowners believe putting sidewalk on Boundary Boulevard would drastically increase safety.

“We have pedestrians; we have bicyclists; we have school-age children that have to go to the bus stop at the end of the street,” Mary Kerins said.

The county’s public works department will present the proposal to county commissioners at a public meeting on Thursday, July 18. All residents affected by the potential tax increase will be notified ahead of the meeting.

Kirk also wants an opportunity to voice her opinion on the proposal since its funding would come from her pocket but is open to improvements to keep the area safe.

“It is a nice area,” Kirk said. “We really enjoy it. I think it is worth maintaining.”

Reporter:Erika Jackson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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