The narrow width of the Lake Miona Walking Trail has officials bracing for potential complaints from residents.
The tab for the trail, nicknamed the “million dollar mile” by one official, is estimated to top out at $840,000, and is being paid for with amenity fees from residents of The Villages living south of County Road 466.
The trail is due for completion on Sept. 23. However, a planned grand opening will have to be delayed due to heavy rain.
“We will have to push back the opening to allow the area to dry out,” Director of District Property Management Bruce Brown told members of the Project Wide Advisory Committee at their meeting on Tuesday morning.
PWAC member Steve Bova said he went out a measured the new trail, which had been proposed as a 6-foot wide path. He said the reality is that the path is only 5 feet wide with ribbon curbing on both sides. He said that the 5 feet of Flexi-Pave path with the ribbon curbing adds up to 6 feet.
“We are spending a lot of money here and I want to make sure we’re getting what we pay for,” said Bova, who represents Community Development District 10 on PWAC.
PWAC Vice Chairman Dennis Hayes, who represents Community Development District 8, agreed with Bova’s assessment. He said he has heard from residents of CDD 8, who went down and walked the new path. It’s slimmer than the walking paths at the southern end of The Villages.
“The initial feedback is that it’s narrow,” Hayes said.
He predicted officials “are going to get some push back” from residents.
The director of District Property Management pointed out that PWAC had tried to control the cost of the project and that an 8-foot wide path would have driven the expenditure to $1.3 million. Brown said the path exceeds the minimum 36-inch width to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Resident Daniel Myslakowski pointed out that dogs and bicycles will not be allowed on the new path and wondered how their exclusion will be enforced.
Brown said signage will be put up to remind residents of the guidelines.
“We will ask the residents to respect the rules,” he added.