Commissioners to decide on Rotonda West sidewalk tax increase

Reporter: Erika Jackson
Published: Updated:

Angry neighbors, upset that they may have to pay for sidewalks they do not want.

Linda Reisen has a message she wants to relay to the Charlotte County Commissioners: No more sidewalks.

“I don’t think that Rotonda West was a community designed for sidewalks,” Reisen said.

The county is considering resurfacing roads, repairing bridges and adding sidewalks to parts of Rotonda West, which will increase taxes for nearly 9,000 property owners by $300 annually for the next nine years.

About 10% of the increase would cover the sidewalks. But, Reisen is convinced the design and construction costs will increase the price she has to pay and is not convinced there is a need for sidewalks in the community.

Commissioners will vote on whether to increase the tax rates Thursday evening. But, if the tax is approved, it is not definite. The tax increase could still get overturned at the upcoming budget meeting in September.

Joe Tellep expressed concern about his wife when she is not walking on a sidewalks. Her safety trumps any additional costs, he said.

“Sometimes people don’t tend to follow the speed limit,” Tellep said. “I worry about her walking on the side of the road.”

Now, many hope to keep Rotonda West on its current path. They are arguing if it is not broken, do not fix it.

“I certainly hope that our county commissioners hear us and listen to us,” Reisen said.

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