On Friday morning, Florida TaxWatch, a nonprofit taxpayer government watchdog group, published their list of annual “budget turkeys”. Included on the list were two projects in Maitland and Pine Hills.
In order for a project to be designated as a “budget turkey” it must have “violated a sound budget practice” by the group’s interpretation of circumventing the budget process. It does not indicate whether the project is a worthy investment of taxpayer dollars or not.
$375K for a regional connector trail on Sandspur road was on the list. The City of Maitland has seen tremendous growth in recent years with a rapid increase in commercial and residential development along Maitland Boulevard. It’s also one of the most busiest areas of I4 during the morning commute and the location of one of the biggest projects in the “Ultimate I4” expansion. According to the appropriations request, the trail would give local residents another option to bypass the busy morning and afternoon traffic.
The second Orlando area project to make the list was a pedestrian design project at the intersection of Silver Star Roads on Pine Hills. The region has seen a rise in pedestrian deaths in recent years and Orlando continues to try and bolster pedestrian safety in the area.
The final fate of these projects will be determined by Governor Rick Scott, who can choose to let appropriations for the projects proceed or use his line item veto powers.