Shaded trails at Blue Heron Park

Trails through Blue Heron Park are shaded with trees and provide a winding path through the new 33-acre park.

NORTH PORT — The West Villages Improvement District discussed money owed by the city to the district for Blue Heron Park last week, as well as the city not purchasing enough police vehicles to serve the district.

Chairman Marty Black said Thursday the district, the city and the developer signed an agreement to provide five police vehicles to the area.

The district paid $516,000 to the city for the five cars.

“Unfortunately, the city went out and purchased four vehicles,” Black said.

He added that no supplemental material had been provided to the district as to why.

“We want to be sure we hold the city responsible for this agreement,” Black said.

Black said he asked for negotiations to be re-opened and directed improvement district lawyer Jonathan Johnson to reach out to the city of North Port.

Another issue concerning the district and the city was Blue Heron Park. During the meeting, Black said the district is owed $2 million for the park from the city.

Blue Heron Park opened in January along River Road and includes Central Bark for dogs. It’s the first public park to open in the West Villages.

Black said the district needs to meet with the Parks and Recreation Department to get an update as to what is happening.

Following completion of the park, the city was supposed to reimburse the district up to $2 million.

Board member Victor Dobrin said he’d like the district to do its homework before engaging with the city going forward.

Black recommended the board go back to the city to clarify what’s going on.

Also discussed: The new wastewater treatment plant is expected to be completed in early 2020.

Special District Services Inc. President Todd Wodraska said work is continuing at the plant with lines being laid down along Playmore Drive and West Villages Parkway.

Also, the board also discussed the light at West Villages Parkway and U.S. 41. The traffic light at the intersection has been delayed and getting the light installed has been a hot button issue following the March 24 crash following the first Braves games at CoolToday Park that left two dead.

Wodraska said that it may be about three months before the light is complete, one of the options discussed was pushing back the turn line into the West Villages Marketplace. The idea is to help speed along the work on the light.

The board said it would discuss the action further, but no decision was made on Thursday.

The West Villages Improvement District will meet at 11 a.m. May 9 in the City Commission Chambers at North Port City Hall, 4970 City Hall Blvd.


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