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1/30/04 - Sun Sentinel

Streets dead-ending off State Road 7 getting face lifts from Plantation

By Jeremy Milarsky

PLANTATION · Make a wrong turn down on of the side streets along State Road 7 in this town and you may not find it to be a scenic route. On the dead ends of Southwest Third and Seventh streets, both on the west side of the road, there's not much to see but mundane gravel and asphalt.

City officials want to change that and plan to spend more than $300,000 to make improvements to those two dead-end streets this year. It's not the first time: Contractors for the city repaved First Street, another dead-end cul-de-sac on the west side of State Road 7 more than a year ago.

The road is now adorned with new streetlights, brick paving and sidewalks.

Lynda Kompelien Westin, the city's new redevelopment specialist, said that by summertime, Third and Seventh streets will look just like First Street.

"I would say it's a positive step," she said. "If you've seen First Street ... you'll see what we're going to do."

Plantation officials hired Tenex Enterprises Inc. of Coral Springs to do the work for $311,071. Workers with that company will rebuild the roadway, add parking spots along the street, improve the landscaping and install a sprinkler system and decorative lighting.

Construction began Jan. 12, and Westin said she expects it to be all done by summer.

Plantation officials in 1999 created a special taxing district along the S.R. 7 corridor and named it the Plantation Gateway Development District. The city's property owners along the road pay an extra $1.50 per $1,000 of taxable property value to the city each year.

That tax money goes toward district improvements, but the dead-end street project is actually funded by federal money. Because the district qualifies as an "area of blight" under federal guidelines, Plantation receives money under the government's Community Development Block Grant program.

That program is paying for 71 percent of the project.