By Mary Thurwachter

It’s been a long time in coming, but work is imminent on rebuilding the trail at the Lantana Nature Preserve. Left in shambles by Hurricane Irma in 2017, the 6½-acre preserve at 440 E. Ocean Ave. is on track for a new concrete pathway.
The original trail was made of shell rock.
At the Nov. 9 Lantana town meeting, council members unanimously voted to accept a $144,494 contract with American Design Engineering Construction Inc. to build a new walking trail and repair the retaining wall at the preserve. American Design was the lowest of four proposals, with bids going as high as $193,922.
The town will use $76,800 it has collected in maintenance revenues from the Carlisle assisted-living facility next to the preserve, and borrow the balance, $67,700, from town reserves. Money taken from reserves is to be repaid from future maintenance revenues from the Carlisle.
According to an agreement made when the Nature Preserve was being developed in the late 1990s, the town cannot spend any more on the property than the $50,000 annual payment it receives from the Carlisle.
The Carlisle had purchased 13 acres (including the preserve) from the town. The annual cost to maintain the park is about $20,000, leaving $30,000 to spend each year on needed improvements.
Town Manager Deborah Manzo said the Department of Environmental Protection has approved the permit for the concrete walkway and retaining wall.

In other action, the town:
• Approved the Lantana Chamber of Commerce’s request to manage the Centennial Adopt-a-Tree Program. Businesses or individuals who adopt a tree will pay $150 toward the tree and an individual plaque. The town will be responsible for choosing locations and planting the trees.
• Approved a request from the Chamber of Commerce to install a memorial stone at the Veterans Monuments at Bicentennial Park and to hold a dedication ceremony open to the public at a later date.
“We feel this final stone will make the experience of viewing the Veterans Monuments even more meaningful,” said Dave Arm, the chamber president.
The stone will read: “To honor all who served in times of war and peace and in memory of those who gave their lives for our freedom.” Ú

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