Fight over $1m roundabout in Astatula gets heated

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The fight over a new $1 million roundabout in Lake County has gotten so heated, some city leaders are boycotting Thursday night’s meeting on the project.

The new roundabout near Astatula is meant to improve safety in the area.

Work on the project is scheduled to start later in the year.

Federal money would pay for the roundabout but some leaders and residents said they couldn’t imagine spending $1 million on a roundabout in in a place they said is in the middle of nowhere.

Residents who support the project say the crossing at County Roads 455 and 561 is very dangerous and needs the roundabout.

Lake County commissioner Jimmy Conner tried to stop the project from happening, but was on the short side of a commission vote.

“I don’t think we had enough citizen input,” he said.

Some residents said they’re worried a roundabout will create more traffic.

“I hate roundabouts. Every time they put in a roundabout it causes more traffic and more accidents. I prefer straight, four-way intersections,” said resident Bamonn Lonergan. “Honestly if there’s a problem just put a light in. There’s no reason to put in a roundabout.”

The price tag is another sore spot for leaders, who said they won’t attend a meeting on the project out of protest.