By Dr. Marc Crail, District 4 City Council Member It would be a good idea for me to remind everyone that I'm not reporting to you in any official City Council capacity, I'm just one City Council member and I'm only speaking for myself. I've selected some items from our agenda tonight that I think you might like to hear about.
During almost every council meeting we take some time to recognize the hard work and extra special contributions of our city employees. I'm always impressed with their dedication. Firefighter Heather Churchwell was recognized tonight for 10 years of coordinating our local Toys for Tots campaign. Countless deserving Mount Dora kids have awoken on Christmas mornings for a decade now with toys and clothing provided by Toys for Tots thanks to Heather Churchwell and her helpers. They make Mount Dora someplace very special.
We also recognized Cathy Hoechst who opted not to seek re-election to city council in November. Cathy is a dynamo who has served as our mayor, a city council member and as a volunteer in many capacities over the years. We will certainly miss her and she will continue to serve in other capacities. Thanks Cathy!
We got an update on the Parks & Recreation Master Plan that is due to be finalized in February. Over 1,400 residents completed online surveys regarding our parks and our recreation programs. Over the next few weeks the masterplan will be reviewed and I'll give you more details. This will serve as a blueprint for providing multigenerational recreational activities in parks throughout the entire community. I am really excited about this because right now there are several parts of our town that lack parks within safe walking distance. Stay tuned for more on this topic in February.
We gave preliminary approval for 166 new single family homes (Phase 4) at Summerbrooke which is just off U.S. 441. The new homes will be located behind the Renningers property.
Months ago we approved an ordinance restricting the retail sale of cats and dogs in Mount Dora. Lake County Commissioners have approved a similar regulation but we needed to sync up the language in our ordinance to exactly match the County's. This was a first reading but I'm confidant that it will get final approval at our next meeting.
There are 2 ongoing city projects that are nearly finished but have been somewhat delayed. The Gilbert Park playground completion date has been stalled by the need to obtain some backordered parts. The reconstruction of the roadway and embankment on Magnolia Ending cul-de-sac in the Dogwood Mountain neighborhood which was a casualty of Hurricane Irma is significantly behind schedule. It is critical that the contractor gets his work done asap so the street can be reopened. We were told that both projects should be wrapped up by month's end.
The holiday season is upon us. I've got a quote for you from Rabbi Lord Jonathon Sacks who said; "For though my faith is not yours and your faith is not mine, if we each are free to light our own flame, together we can banish some of the darkness of the world."
Happy Hanukkah and Merry Christmas. By Dr. Marc Crail, District 4 City Council Member
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