Local News

AP looks to expand northward

AVON PARK - The City Council approved a utility agreement that will lead to expanding the city limits to the north, according to City Manager Julian Deleon. The city agreed to purchase the Lake Byrd central water system installed for the Lake Byrd Development for $64,500. The purchase agreement is part of an amendment to the city's 2006 Lake Byrd Utility agreement. "This is an essential piece to continue our northward expansion," Deleon told the council on Monday. "The price is very reasonable for utility improvements that have already been constructed." Deleon said that the city had entered an agreement with Lake Byrd LLC where the developer provided the cost of constructing a 12-inch water main from Stryker Road north along U.S. 27 to the Lake Byrd Shores development. Lake Byrd LLC also put in sanitary facilities. Meanwhile, the city expanded its water utility system and looped it into the Lake Byrd system from the north to the south.
Deleon explained to council, "Because of the looping of your water system ... now the question becomes, which way is water being fed? Is it being fed from the city's water system or is it coming around and looping back in?" Deleon said he and City Attorney Gerald Buhr have looked at the issue. The cost for the water main on U.S. 27 is very reasonable and eliminates the current dispute with Lake Byrd LLC, Deleon said. The developer is agreeable to annexing several pieces of property that keeps the city contiguous to Banyan Woods Estates. Deleon said he is working on a utility acquisition agreement with Banyan Woods Estates to take over its utility system. The property owner is willing to be annexed, which would add another 50 units to the city limits for sanitation services and franchise fees, etc. Deleon said. Also, the city has an annexation covenant for Royal Care (rehabilitation and nursing center), which is right next to Banyan Woods, he noted. Council voted unanimously to approve the amendment to the Lake Byrd Utility agreement. The lots in the Lake Byrd subdivision are already platted and have all the infrastructure including underground electric, Deleon said Wednesday. The 12-inch water main along U.S. 27 is about 2,200 feet, he said. mvalero@highlandstoday.com 863-386-5826