By Marc Crail
Mount Dora Councilman, District 4
I think it is important to remind everyone that what follows is only my opinion of a few of the most important or interesting items from this evening's Mount Dora City Council meeting. I am just one of seven members and others might or might not agree with my thinking on the items I choose to include in my reports to you.
Harmon Massey was sworn in as a newly elected At-Large member while Mayor Nick Girone, District 1 Council member Laurie Tillett and I were sworn in as re-elected members.
Here are some upcoming downtown special events that you might want to put on your holiday season calendar:
Saturday 11/25 is Light Up Mount Dora with the lights switched on at about 6:30.
Friday 12/1 is the Christmas Walk from 6-9 p.m. with fireworks at 8:45.
Saturday 12/2 is the 57th Christmas Parade stepping off at 10 a.m.
Sunday 12/31 New Year's Eve Celebration with fireworks at midnight.
Don't miss out on the Mount Dora holiday fun!
We approved moving ahead with a IT Strategic Plan at a cost of just under $25K.
We approved our FY 2016-17 Year End Budget of a little more than $73 million. The budget year ended September 30 and the last few weeks of September included some unanticipated expensed due to Hurricane Irma.
We began discussing the various options available to us to pay for the anticipated need to replace/add to our fire stations and trucks. We have a "Fire Assessment Fee" of $50 per home per year in place but it is scheduled to sunset next year. Over the upcoming months we will try to come up with the best way possible to provide for better Fire/EMS response times as our city continues to grow. Obviously, public safety is a top priority.
Here's some good news.... as the popularity of pickelball continues to grow we will be adding 6-8 new courts at the Mount Dora Golf Association on Highland. For about $14,000 we can resurface some old tennis courts that are currently out of service and transform them into pickleball courts to help meet the demand.
Hurricane Irma caused a massive street collapse on Magnolia Ending in the Dogwood Mountain neighborhood. Our city staff has been working with engineers and contractors to come up with a plan to rebuild the street and figure out how to prevent future washouts. A phased project should begin in January. Phase one will be to stabilize the site. Phase two will involve rebuilding the roadway, utility lines, sidewalks and storm sewers. Wetlands mitigation could well be required in Phase 3. The work promises to be messy and noisy but it has to be done and done properly. Residents in the Magnolia Ending area will receive more details on the next steps in the next few days.
The late great cowboy comedian, Will Rogers had a way with words. He once quipped; "Never miss a chance to shut up".
I'll shut up now but let me thank you for the opportunity to continue to serve as your District 4 City Council Rep. and to wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!
District Four, Mount Dora City Council
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