Polk County is asking the public for their input about what many call a dangerous road in Lakeland. Clubhouse Road has been the scene of several pedestrian fatalities. Last year, Kalen Kirk, a 17-year-old high school student, was killed while walking to his bus stop. Tonight, the county is holding a public hearing about a proposal to add streetlights.
"It's something that the community wants to have and this is an opportunity for them to actually pay to have the improvement if they are willing to do that," Director of Roads and Drainage for Polk County, Jay Jarvis, said.
Jarvis says this is a first of its kind payment plan for Polk County. In the proposal, people living in the neighborhoods along the road would pay for the installation, maintenance and utilities associated with the new lights. The county estimates about 2,800 households would be assessed $16 to $17 a year on their taxes for the first 10 years, then about $8 a year after that.
"Of course that's all subject to change," Jarvis said. "We don't think it will go any higher than that."
Based on a safety study, the county has reduced the speed along the road by 5 miles per hour, added speed feedback signage and will be building a crosswalk. Plans to construct sidewalks are also being examined.
The Board of County commissioners will have the final say on the streetlight plan.
Tonight's public meeting is being held at George Jenkins High School from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.