By Marc Crail Mount Dora City Council Member, District 4
It's my pleasure to provide you with a report on a few of the more important or interesting items on tonight's Mount Dora City Council meeting agenda. Just a reminder that what follows is my own interpretation of events. I am just one of seven council members so what you are reading is the world according to Marc.
The first thing I'd like to tell you about was not an agenda item, but it was a part of the City Manager's Report. Most Mount Dora residents received a mailing during the past week from a company called Service Line Warranties of America. It was in my opinion a poorly written piece titled "Important Information for Mount Dora Homeowners" and it offered an exterior water line warranty for $5.33 a month. It caused lots of heated discussion and brought up even more questions. Representatives from the National League of Cities and the company have been asked to be at our upcoming December 14th meeting which begins at 6:00 p.m. to hear our concerns and answer our questions. This is a public meeting at City Hall and if you're interested you should feel free to attend. I'll let you know what we learn in my next report following that meeting.
We approved a piggyback contract for approximately $56,000 to inspect and treat over 1,800 wooden utility poles around town. The last comprehensive wooden utility pole assessment was done about 20 years ago so this is long overdue. Some of the wood utility poles are as much as 45" tall and they do have a limited lifespan especially in our Florida weather. The cost of this program will be covered by the electric utility fund.
We also authorized a committee of city staff to continue the selection process of a firm to produce a Parks & Recreation Master Plan. Six companies made proposals. Staff has narrowed the list down to three finalists. They will make their recommendation to city council early in the new year. We anticipate that the development of a new master plan will help us plan for needed facilities over the next 10-15 years.
In my last report I mentioned the catastrophic collapse of the roadway and embankment on Magnolia Ending in the Dogwood Mountain neighborhood during Hurricane Irma. There was some good news and a little bad news in the update we heard tonight. The good news is that there could well be significant funding for that massive repair project (which could cost up to $1.5 million) from the available from the US Department of Agriculture as well as from FEMA. On the downside, work can not begin until the plan is approved by all parties so the work we thought could begin in early January will be delayed by several weeks. I hate delays, but it's far better to get it right than to get it fast.
After the regular City Council Meeting, we reconvened as the Community Redevelopment Agency Board and heard a good report on way-finding signage that will be an essential step in improving our downtown parking situation. City Council authorized the city staff to proceed with this project as quickly as possible.
I hope you are enjoying the holiday related events that make Mount Dora especially fun at this time of year. Please shop and dine locally to support our local businesses. As usual, thanks for allowing me to represent District 4.
I read a brief but wise quote from Samuel Huffenstein; "Prejudice is the child of ignorance."