By Marc Crail, Mount Dora City Council, District 4 Representative
We held a regularly scheduled City Council meeting this evening. I have chosen several items from today's agenda to report on because I think you may be interested in hearing about them. I'm not reporting in any official capacity on behalf of City Council.
Several months ago we commissioned a Traffic Calming Study that targeted about six heavily traveled roadways in the city. Today we reviewed the final report along with recommendations on how best to slow vehicular traffic down and improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists. Armed with this information we will be able to begin addressing these problem areas.
We passed a resolution to purchase two new Fire Department trucks. Our current ladder truck (sometimes called a tower truck) is 18 years old. We will utilize money from the Fire Assessment Fees to order a replacement ladder truck. The wait time will likely be 12-15 months. That new ladder truck will cost $1,375,000. Once it arrives we will be able to sell our old ladder truck at auction to recoup some of the cost. The other new vehicle is a fire engine. The cost of this truck is about $721,000. It will also take a year or more to arrive. Our current fire truck is 13 years old and we will keep it in our fleet as an additional (reserve status) vehicle. This truck will be paid for out of Impact fees.
The new Timberwalk residential subdivision will begin construction soon near the corner of Wolfbranch Rd. and Round Lake Rd. near Round Lake Charter School. Our goal is to make sure that current Mount Dora residents will not be paying for utility lines for future future developments, I'd call that concept "smart growth". To that end we will be using Impact Fee Credits paid by developer, D.R. Horton to install underground water and sewer pipes that are large enough to serve both Timberwalk and other potential new developments to the west. Those pipes will be oversized for now but as the city grows to the west they will be able to handle the additional water and sewer requirements.
The final reading of the Ordinance approving a 154 unit apartment and townhouse development called Eudora Groves on about 15 acres along Eudora Rd. was approved by a 5-2 vote. Pam Burtnett and Crissy Stile voted no due to possible traffic and school capacity concerns.
We also got an update as to the requirements of being a "Tree City". We are a Tree City and as such we are required to have a current tree inventory, budget a minimum of $2 per resident per year for tree planting and care, etc. A tree study conducted by arborists in 2017 predicted that a number of aging Laurel Oak trees that tend to have a life span of about 50-70 years would need to be replaced over the next few years because they typically rot from the inside out. They can appear to be healthy but actually be unsafe when diseased. Unfortunately nine of those sick trees are located along Overlook. Those trees will be replaced either with Live Oaks that have a much longer life span but require adequate space for their large root systems or by understory trees that are smaller but more appropriate for the six foot grass strips typically between sidewalks and streets.
My quote for you today is by Tenzin Gyatso who said; "To be aware of a single shortcoming in oneself is more useful than to be aware of a thousand shortcomings in someone else."
Thanks for the opportunity to serve as your District 4 City Council rep.
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