DeLand pays to put end to doughnut-related traffic issues

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DELAND, Fla. —

There's a doughnut popularity problem in DeLand. It's a problem that is going to cost the city $20,000.
 
The Dunkin' Donuts shop along International Speedway Boulevard is so popular that drivers using the drive-through are lining up in the roadway.
 
Signs warning drivers not to line up in the street and even police officers warning them doesn't deter some customers who seem intent on getting their morning coffee and doughnuts.
 
"We were getting complaints and in one instance a school bus got caught in the traffic snare," said DeLand assistant city clerk Dale Arrington.
 
The city approached the owner of Dunkin' Doughnuts about the problem. The owner said there wasn't enough money to create a longer drive-through lane, so the city agreed to put up half the money for a $40,000 improvement.
 
 When asked why taxpayer money was being used to help improve a private business, city officials said the money was already earmarked for local business improvements.
 
"Each year, for the last 10 years or so, the city has put aside a pot of money called business improvement grants and we make those available to owners of property on our gateway corridors," said Arrington.
 
This year all of the money is going to Dunkin' Donuts to fix the traffic problem and improve a popular business.
 
City officials said the idea for the grant came from a DeLand police officer who was called to deal with the traffic problem.
 
The project is expected to be completed later this year, and should keep cars from lining up along the roadway, officials said.