Seminole Co. audit shows 17-92 CRA holding onto $10 million



An audit by the Seminole County Clerk of Court found a group tasked with improving the 17-92 corridor is breaking the law by holding onto $10 million it should be giving back to the cities that support it.

According to state law, the money must either be put in escrow or have a specific planned use for a project within the next three years.

County leaders said they're meeting Thursday to figure out how to comply instead of having to pay back all that money.

17-92 runs 13 miles right through Seminole County and is the most highly traveled thoroughfare from Sanford to Casselberry.

Parts of it need some work.

Sanford commissioner Randy Jones helps direct the road's community redevelopment agency on what parts of the road should see improvements.

"It's important that the road looks good and is very driveable," Jones said.

Jones said the goal is to use the money for the upkeep of 17-92 but could also be used to support some city costs.

Officials said the money was allowed to build up for years during the slow economy when many projects were put to a halt.

Now 17-92 is bustling again and more businesses are making use of the funds.

County leaders said an interlocal agreement allows them to keep that money until it is needed.

Thursday's meeting will be held to determine whether that policy falls in line with state law.

Jones said when it comes to public money, there can always be more oversight.

The audit found more issues with the CRA, including contractors that were paid without providing the proper documentation to justify their costs or appropriate lien releases.

One even completed a project before the board approved it.

County leaders told me those issues have already been fixed.