Mount Dora Vice Mayor & District 4 Representative I've selected several items from the October 18th City Council meeting to share with you today. Please keep in mind that I'm not reporting to you on behalf of City Council in an official capacity, I'm only one individual member.
City Hall will be getting a new roof at a maximum price of $206,000. The roof is past its useful life and ready for replacement. This price included a large "contingency" budget because it's impossible to know for sure how much lumber, etc. under the surface, which can't be seen, may need to be replaced.
The Simpson Farmhouse building located by the library dates from 1905. The windows are now 107 years old. They will be replaced and like the city hall roof, there could be unseen damage around the windows so a sizable contingency is important. We got a $50K matching grant to help complete this work. The total cost is about $94,000.
Probably the most anticipated item on our agenda was a 5-2 vote to use the soon to be completed new Fire Station #35 located on 19A as a fire station and to renovate our current Fire Station #34 on Donnelly St. The fire station issue has morphed over the years mostly due to skyrocketing prices and new data. It's now been decided to have two fire stations and to continue plans to locate a new public works complex on Limit. Several other options were considered. Members Cataldo and Gunther voted no.
We heard that the Hurricane Ian tree and brush collection is now about 68% complete in Mount Dora. That should reach about 90% by the end of the week.
Our quote of the week comes from General Colin Powell. "Leadership is all about people. It is not about plans. It is not about strategies. It is all about people - motivating people to get the job done. You have to be people centered."
Thanks to all the people who work so hard to make our town, Mount Dora, a great place to live. Earlier this week we held a reception to honor the contributions of our volunteers and former elected officials. We certainly appreciate all those who serve on our volunteer Boards and Committees.
By Marc Crail Mount Dora Vice Mayor & District 4 Representative
On October 11 the Lake County Commission voted to approve Mount Dora Groves North, part of a new proposed development on parcels of land on both sides of U.S. 441 spanning from The Country Club of Mount Dora to the Loch Leven shopping center. The planned mixed-use development has 1,068 residential units and 150,000 square feet of commercial space combined on the north and south portions of the project. The ordinance below (pdf file) includes the developer's concessions made to the City of Mount Dora.
It’s déjà vu all over again for Mount Dora firefighters.
In August the first responders raised alarm bells over public safety concerns after Mount Dora City Manager Patrick Comiskey proposed consolidating the City’s fire department into one station, which he said could be built on Limit Avenue.
That consolidation would significantly increase emergency response times and put residents and structures at risk, according to the Professional Firefighters of Mount Dora Local 3088 in a September interview. In August, those concerns were also presented to Mount Dora City Council by Interim Fire Chief Rich Loewer at a public meeting. At the time, it seemed many members of the Council understood the consequences and sought better alternatives.
Fast forward to last week, and Comiskey recommended yet another plan to consolidate the Mount Dora Fire Department, but this time he proposed puting all fire personnel and equipment at the existing Donnelly Street station. The new strategically located fire station that is nearing completion on S.R. 19A would instead house the City’s electric department, according to Comiskey’s proposal.
Today, the Professional Firefighters of Mount Dora Local 3088 loudly sounded the alarm in a letter to the Mount Dora City Council. The detailed communication states that the same public safety issues and best practices were ignored in Comiskey’s newest recommendation which the firefighters union said was based on misinformation and a flawed rationale. At greatest risk of slower response times are the residents and businesses on the west side of the City near the Eudora Road corridor, according to the union’s leadership..
The proposal is part of Comiskey’s attempt to realign city resources to save money. however, the firefighters disagree with putting public safety on the table. Comiskey’s current proposal and the firefighters’ response letter can be viewed here:
A work session for Mount Dora City Council to discuss the matter is scheduled for Tuesday, October 11, at 6 p.m. A vote on the matter is expected to be taken at the following regular City Council Meeting on October 18. Both meetings are at Mount Dora City Hall. For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, visit the area's websiteand download the area's free mobile app. Be sure to follow Mount Dora Buzz on Instagram and Twitterfor more local info.