Publishers Note: My name is Tom Loury Publisher of Ocala DownTown newspaper, Seniors Voice of Ocala, Village Spectator and Lady Lake Magazine. The situation we are writing about is a long time problem. Walter Krumm Jr. a personal a friend ask me to attend a committee meeting Don Browning was organizing. The committee was mostly made up of Ocala Ft King Lions Club members: Jack Mattheus, Walters Krumm Jr, Bob Cole, Ron White and of course Don Browning and myself.
We went and toured the area and it was clear to see there was a problem. It is a problem created by road engineering from a long time ago and added to by some citizens. For instance there is a big retention pond hundreds of feet away, but someone has fenced a piece of property with no county easement allowed. In other words the fence is 3 inches from the pavement. At the base of any fence is grass growth and build up which is pushing the water in the direct of this lady’s house and yard. Not far from this is the said retention pond and where the water is supposed to go, but someone has piled a mound of dirt so water cannot go in. This looks intentional! A bit further down, there is a make shift patch someone dug, a small relief drainage, which is apparently is not working. I’m not an engineer but I can see this won’t work with the heavy rains we have been having. To add to the problem some very large buildings and a parking area contribute to the problem pushing water from the other side of this area. I think the fix would be getting the county engineers out there and do a permanent fix. Go out while the rains are coming down and look at the results. No one should have to go through this. This lady’s front yard turns into a retention pond because of problems created years ago. Let’s fix it!
Information furnished by Don Browning
Storm water drainage problem impacting Mrs. Gavins and other persons at the Stanton Weirsdale School community.
Stanton Weirsdale School Road and (167th Terr) and 134th Ave Rd. commonly called the Packing House Road.
Storm Water Drainage off the Packing House and a Willett Boyer Albright Trust property drain into the Stanton Weirsdale School Community.
1956 the School was dedicated, but the roads to the school were never dedicated or set up to handle normal stormwater. Mrs. Sarah Gavan is experiencing hundreds of gallons of stormwater with each rain storm flowing directly into her yard.
Marion County School Superintendent Heidi Maier and Marion County Board of County Commissioners are addressing the problems caused by poor roads used to travel to and from the Stanton Weirsdale School for over 50 years. The Federal Government has allowed what is called Unitary Status for the Stanton School meaning that the school facility and transportation is adequate and equal to other schools in Marion County.
Florida Statute 95.361 automatically dedicates roads used over four years as public roads, so it looks like the poor Stanton Community will be getting some relief soon.
Ocala’s Fort King Lions Club members have given their support to resolving the drainage problems. US Congressman Danial Webster has visited with Mrs. Gavin as well as Senator Dennis Baxley. We should have resolution soon states Don Browning the Chairman of the local Community Group.
CEPFlorida is the Community Empowerment Project group that are spearheading the effort to fix the serious harm issues Mrs. Gavin is experiencing, with mold, mildew and frequent trips to the emergency center for breathing problems.