Residents speak out against proposed FDOT project at Marion County Commission meeting
OCALA, Fla. (WCJB) - Marion County Commissioners heard from concerned residents Tuesday on a proposed FDOT project that could go through north central Florida.
Residents spoke out against the proposed Northern Turnpike Extension project for about an hour and a half, and that included Dunnellon Mayor Bill White.
“I could not bring myself to do anything other than to help push for this resolution. It’s the right thing to do. It’s what the people want,” he said addressing the commission.
The Dunnellon City Council unanimously approved a resolution objecting to the proposed project Monday. White said the council chamber was filled to capacity, the lobby was full, with people in attendances in the parking lot, not one of them speaking in favor of the project.
“As we see it on those maps, we will have at least 60 percent of our students and their families shoved out of their neighborhoods. It’s about people, it’s about environment, and it’s about tying to look ahead at how this turnpike extension could be placed in a place that makes more economic sense for the state itself,” Dunnellon Council member Jan Cubbage said.
Three of the four proposed options would go through rural areas of our region.
In addition to disrupting residential areas and the environment, some said it’s not fiscally responsible.
“They should work on the roads we already have. Why go build something new that’s not going to take you anywhere? Who’s going to pay $7.50 to go on a toll road to go to Chiefland? Nobody! I have friends and family who are trucker drivers they do not want to pay a lot of money and go on a toll, They’ll go on I-75 where it’s free,” Marion Oaks Resident Cheryl Tracy said.
In a letter, Marion County Commissioners are asking FDOT to preserve residential areas and mitigate environmental impacts.
TV20 has repeatedly asked FDOT representatives about the project. They said it’s still in the early stages of development, and nothing has been decided.
They could not give us specifics on how much the project would cost, environmental protections, or if residents would be compensated.
Copyright 2021 WCJB. All rights reserved. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.