Our May 5 Mount Dora City Council Meeting was held in the Mount Dora Community Building which afforded us the opportunity to practice social distancing among council members and also to safely enable community members to attend the meeting and speak if they wanted to. Citizens who were not present were also able to ask questions or make comments by mail, by phone or by email. As usual, I am reporting to you not in any official city council capacity but only from my own perspective. I've picked out several items I think you might like to hear about.
The final approval of the Donnelly Woods development consisting of 24,000 sq. ft. of professional office space and 112 apartments located north of Limit Rd. and east of Donnelly St. was approved on a 5-2 vote. District 1 council member Pam Burtnett and I voted no. The rational stated by proponents included the expertise of those conducting the traffic study, the need for economic development, increased tax base and that this development meets the minimum requirements of the city. While I have nothing against the Developer, G3 or the agent, Tim Green who are both local, I voted my conscience that the drainage and increased traffic impacts will be problematic.
We also approved a resolution to spend $145,000 to develop a storm water system master plan. Our current plan is outdated and having a new master plan could help us to obtain county or state grants to help pay for needed storm water improvements. That was also passed by a 5-2 vote with John Tucker and Crissy Stile voting no.
Another resolution passed unanimously pledged Mount Dora will provide ongoing maintenance on our part of the proposed bike/hike trail we will share with Tavares and Lake County. Funding will be provided for that project if our BUILD grant application is approved. Even with the financial downturn I think it may be possible to move forward with this project since we are applying along with our partners and in my experience partnerships really help to bring in grant money.
A storm last December caused some structural damage to our 4th. Ave. boat docks. We approved a contract not to exceed $52K to get those repairs made. That work should begin very soon.
There were a couple of non-agenda items worth mentioning. One of the city's largest landlords, Main Street Leasing has stepped up and offered all of their downtown building renters a 100% rent holiday for May. That's a generous gesture and should help many of our local shops weather the COVID-19 storm. Thanks Main Street Leasing!
At-Large city council member Crissy Stile announced that she will be running to replace outgoing District 31 State Representative Jennifer Sullivan. There several other candidates so it appears that there will be both Democrat and Republican primary battles in August to determine who will be on the November ballot. Crissy must not run for re-election to city council since you can only run for one office in any election cycle. I will miss having Crissy Stile on city council but she certainly deserves our consideration for higher office. She is well informed and energetic.
I have a Michael Jordan quote for you. "I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and I missed. I've failed over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
That's how champions think and we can learn to emulate their positive attitude and high standards. Thanks for your interest in our city. Stay safe!
By Marc Crail District 4 City Council member
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