ABOVE: Stryker and his handler, Corporal Adam McCulloch (left.) Titan and his handler Officer Christa Kemeny (right)
They were two of the most beloved members of local law enforcement. Mount Dora Police K-9s, Stryker and Titan, both passed away within the last 12 months.
On November 1, Mount Dora Police Department (MDPD) will host a memorial service for both of the loyal Belgian Malinois K-9s.
K-9 Stryker passed away in November 2018 after an injury in 2017 and a long struggle with his health. K-9 Titan was retired in December 2018 after numerous injuries. He passed away May 2019.
Stryker and his handler, Corporal Adam McCulloch, along with Titan and his handler Officer Christa Kemeny, served the city for over five years. Combined, these law enforcement teams were responsible for over 250 arrests, as well as the seizure of numerous guns and illegal drugs, such as cocaine, methamphetamines, heroin and marijuana.
The K-9 teams also participated in several demonstrations for schools and community partners to educate kids and residents on the value of having K-9 teams as part of MDPD.
“Words cannot describe what the loss of these two dedicated K-9s has meant not only to their handlers and the agency, but to the community as a whole,” said Police Chief Robert Bell.
Both K-9s were sworn in together in 2014 and were each named by students at local elementary schools. Presently, MDPD does not have a K-9 unit.
Two bricks will be laid at the K-9 Memorial site located in front of the Mount Dora Police Department. The service will be held at 10 a.m. at Mount Dora Police Department, located at 1300 N. Donnelly Street.
For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, this month, click here. Discover the area's online entertainment calendar here. Also download the area's free mobile app.
By Marc Crail Mount Dora City Council, District 4 representative
We had three meetings today. What follows are simply my own thoughts as I am not reporting as a representative of city council as a whole. I've selected some items from our agendas that I thought you might like to hear about.
We had a 2:00 p.m. Work Session that was intended to focus on reviewing a development proposal for the Mount Dora Golf Association located on Highland. Here's some background information. Last year city staff began discussions with Golf Association leaders about possibly constructing up to 16 pickleball courts on golf course property. The Golf Association also had some interest in the project hoping that pickleball players might also want to golf and utilize the food/bar at the golf course. Contrary to rumors, the golf course has not been sold. According to Association leadership the numbers of rounds of golf played there has been rising over the past three years and they are not interested in selling the course but conversations will continue with city staff to further explore the possibility of a partnership that could vastly increase the number of pickleball courts available to Mount Dora residents and boost golf play too.
We walked from city hall to the new "green" parking lot on the corner of 3rd. Ave. and Baker St. There was a ribbon cutting and you can begin using the 49 new parking spaces immediately. Restrooms will be added to the site in the next few months. The parking lot is grass to minimize water runoff. Check it out!
During our Regular Meeting we learned about a plan that would increase Mount Dora Electric's use of solar energy that is currently less than 5% to 20% by 2024. We will be joining with several other municipal electric utilities to make this happen.
Look for land clearing to begin soon on 13 acres of city owned property on Limit Rd. That property will be the future home of a public works building and a new fire station.
We approve a settlement agreement with former police chief John O'Grady who will be paid $64,000 for his unused vacation and sick days. There are several other non-monitory provisions to this settlement agreement.
We discussed the recent decision not to use the services of GAI Community Solutions Group to make technical design plans for renovating the city pool. This was a drawn out discussion but in the end we asked city staff to find another vendor to move that project ahead ASAP. The pool needs work and everyone would like to see improvements made.
I've got a quote for you from Jaime Barone who said; "When all is said and done, the only thing that will truly matter is this: Did we love? Did. We. Love?
Thanks for your interest in the city we call home. Marc Crail District 4 Mount Dora City Council Representative
Just in time for the city’s upcoming busy tourist season that kicks off next month, Mount Dora will open a new downtown parking lot late Tuesday afternoon. The new grass lot on the southeast corner of 3rd Avenue and Baker Street will have 49 spaces, including two handicapped spots. The cost for each parking space is $16,285 for the land only. The cost for design, engineering, creating the lot and landscaping is additional. The new lot brings the total number of downtown parking spaces to 769. The spaces range in size from 8 1/2 to 9 feet wide, which will accommodate compact cars only according to the City’s code.
In 2018, the City purchased the property for $798,000as part of City’s long-term plan to expand the number of downtown parking spaces. At that time, the City estimated the property would accommodate 60 to 85 spaces.
The new grass parking lot’s spaces are laid out in a geogrid of rock with Bahia sod. This allows for the absorption of rain and moisture into the grid, so a retention pond isn’t required. According to the City, the geogrid is durable enough to support the weight of vehicles, but it’s unclear how the new sod will not be killed by the continual parking of cars or how the markings will remain after mowing.
To date, no specific plan for a downtown parking garage is scheduled to come before the City Council. The post office property was considered an option, but that property was sold after negotiations ended with the City.
The SunTrust Bank property was also informally discussed. A public-private partnership with G3 Development which could incorporate property owned by the developer on Baker Street, as well as the city-owned parking lot, is still a possible option, but it is not currently being discussed.