By Marc Crail,
Council Member, District 4
I'm happy to give you this update on the March 21 Mount Dora City Council meeting. I am just one of seven city council members and not its spokesman. I selected 3-4 items covered at the meeting and briefly report on them for your information. I try to be unbiased in my reports, but what you're receiving is strictly from my perspective.
Your City Council had a very full agenda this evening. There were actually 3 separate meetings; the regular city council meeting, a Community Redevelopment Agency Board Meeting and a Northeast Community Redevelopment Agency Board Meeting. FYI, City Council members are also the members of both CRA boards.
The regular meeting was first.
We had a presentation from At-large Council member Mark Slaby regarding maintenance standards. The city of San Francisco has had maintenance standards for years. They help define all aspects of acceptable city standards for things like fire hydrant painting, parking lot striping, etc. Despite the unwarranted criticism you might have read in Sunday's Orlando Sentinel, this presentation was informative and led to a healthy discussion. We all want to continue to improve the maintenance of our city's assets. Tonight's discussion keeps that topic on the front burner and I for one appreciated Mark Slaby's research and thoughtful presentation
Eight separate resolutions were approved on a variety of topics including construction management services for the Palm Island Park boardwalk project that is just now getting underway. Within a couple of months the center section of the boardwalk will be completely rebuilt and should reopen by early June. This will complete the boardwalk replacement project which began about three years ago.
Three related Ordinances were approved as "Final Readings" dealing with the proposed Wawa convenience store and gas station to be located on U.S. Rt. 441 and Morningside Dr. where the Shell station is currently located.
Our city lobbyist has been working hard with our State Legislators while the Legislature is in session. We are particularly concerned with bills that would eliminate CRAs and cripple "Home Rule." We are also trying hard to get state money to help us pay for much needed parking lot improvements. Sometimes lobbyists are painted as evil and demeaned for their efforts to influence lawmakers but they can be very helpful too. We are guardedly optimistic about our chances of obtaining state help to tackle our downtown parking problems.
Speaking of parking, in our Community Development Agency Board meeting we approved our Parking Implementation Plan. This plan includes short term, medium term and long term strategies. Over the next few months I hope to be able to give you details on the multiple solutions that we will employ to address our parking challenges. The time is now to finally move ahead to resolve this important issue.
During our Northeast CRA meeting we approved the Grandview Market Implementation Plan which is designed to spark economic development in that section of our community. There is currently nearly 2 million dollars available in their budget to provide for improvements there. This is exciting and welcome news.
My quote for today comes from a tee shirt I saw recently sponsored by Black on Black. "Equal rights for others does not mean less rights for you. It's not pie."
Thanks for caring about Mount Dora and thanks too for giving me the opportunity to serve the city we all love.
- Marc Crail, Mount Dora City Council Member, District 4
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