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Representatives from local government agencies, community groups and the public school district will make presentations and express their needs at Charlotte County’s delegation meeting and public hearing at 9 a.m. Nov. 20 at the Punta Gorda Isles Civic Association, 2001 Shreve St. 

Legislative delegation members Ben Albritton (Senate District 27) and Michael Grant (House District 75) will attend the meeting. 

State Rep. Spencer Roach, chairman of the Charlotte County Legislative Delegation, sent notices to local government agencies and various interested parties, including John Fleming, chairman of the Burnt Store Corridor Coalition, or BSCC, which represents more than a dozen communities and thousands of residents. 

At a September BSCC meeting attended by various county officials, including county Commissioners Chris Constance, Joe Tiseo and Planning and Zoning Official Shaun Cullinan, members of communities along Burnt Store Road expressed frustration and concern about a variety of issues, including lack of shopping amenities, such as a local supermarket, drainage problems, increased traffic and speeders and increasing number of roadkill due to traffic. 

Fleming will make a presentation Monday, when he’ll discuss some of these issues, including how wildlife has been affected by the sudden growth of the corridor. 

Charlotte Harbor State Park, which encompasses 45,000 acres, is along Burnt Store Road. 

Charlotte Harbor Environmental Center, which also is along Burnt Store Road, conducted a roadkill study during the summer and estimated approximately 800 wildlife kills over the last year. 

BSCC asked the county to reexamine its 2005 master plan, which was created before an influx of developers flocked to the area. 

Fleming said residents want to know if the county will develop a wildlife corridor to decrease the number of dead animals on Burnt Store Road. 

At the September meeting, Cullinan presented a forecast of what life will look like along the Burnt Store corridor in the future. Examining the years 2023, 2035 and 2045, when most of the communities will be built out, the 14 developments will eventually bring 13,000 housing units along the stretch of road that extends from Punta Gorda to the Lee County line. 

While Fleming is seeking answers, other agencies are requesting funding. 

The Charlotte County School Board seeks a total of $35.5 million, of which $30 million will go toward phase one of a new $87 million Port Charlotte Middle School, which was heavily damaged by Hurricane Ian. 

The other $5.5 million is for a training facility and classrooms for Charlotte Technical College’s aviation program at Punta Gorda Airport. 

Charlotte County Commissioners are seeking $46 million in funding for various infrastructure projects. 

The board also supports the school district’s request, funding for the Boys & Girls Club’s construction of an Englewood club and the Peace River Manasota Regional Water Supply Authority’s request for a pipeline project and expansions of the regional transmission system. 

During October regular and land-use meetings, commissioners adopted their legislative agenda, which includes $2.5 million in funding for flood monitoring and a response network. This would be for the design and installation of a stormwater system elevation gage network, which would serve as a warning system in the event of potentially life-threatening flood events. 

The board is seeking another $4 million for the expansion of a central sewer system, which includes constructing central wastewater services to more than 2,000 properties with aging and failing septic tanks, and $12.6 million for the expansion of Harborview Road in Port Charlotte, which is a major evacuation route. 

The commissioners’ legislative agenda is asking for $16 million for the Charlotte Sport Park, which can be used for pre- and post-disaster staging and housing of volunteers and disaster response teams. 

The county also seeks $3.5 million for an event plaza and activation space, which can be used as a staging area for distribution of critical supplies after a disaster, and $5 million to harden the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office 911 system. Lastly, the county is asking for $2.4 million for intersection improvements. 

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