SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – Nearly everywhere you look in the area surrounding Midway in Seminole County, there are signs of new development.
Most of the new construction is built on higher ground, leaving the historic homes in the community east of downtown Sanford sitting in a low-lying basin.
People who live in Midway say whenever it rains, it floods. They’ve asked the county to fix the problem for decades.
On Tuesday, the Board of County Commissioners purchased a nearly five-acre parcel of land that will become part of the solution.
The purchase is part of the county’s Midway Drainage Improvement Project, which also includes new stormwater management facilities and additional upgraded infrastructure.
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Emory Green has called Midway home for his entire life. He is now the executive director of the Midway Coalition and is dedicated to fixing the flooding.
“It’s basically a basin. That basin is all agricultural areas that have been traditionally low-lying. Most of the areas that are being developed in and around Midway are being developed at a higher elevation,” Green said.
The county promised to get results for the historic community of roughly 1,700 people. The nearly five-acre parcel purchased Tuesday on the westside of Beardsall Avenue will become a pond that retains some of the water.
“This is another step in the right direction,” Green said.
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Bob Dallari, who serves as the chairman of the Seminole County Commission, calls it a commitment to the community.
“We made a big step today by securing some property to fix those issues,” Dallari said. “Midway has got a lot of historical significance to that part of the county. So, it’s important for us to not only preserve it but to fix those problems.”
Dallari said the next phase for the parcel on Beardsall Ave is to finish up engineering and construction. The county said the entire Midway improvement project is currently in the design phase.
The county has earmarked $10 million from the American Recovery Plan Act funds from the federal government to help pay for it. The total project is expected to cost $21.8 million.
Green said it’s the biggest investment he’s seen into the place he calls home, a place he is dedicated to improving while preserving its history.
“It’s only right for us as the next generation to own that legacy and try to do what we can to make it better,” Green said.