By Dr. Marc Crail, District 4 City Council Member Today was a busy day. There were two important ribbon cutting events. The first was for the 22,000 sq. ft. Adventist Health Medical Office Building located on U.S. Rt. 441 near Country Club Dr. This new facility is due to be completed by fall of this year.
The second one marked the completion of the reconstruction of Magnolia Ending cul-de-sac. Magnolia Ending is in the Dogwood Mountain neighborhood. It is on the edge of one of the steepest embankments in Mount Dora and the roadway suffered a catastrophic collapse as a result of Hurricane Irma about 18 months ago. The street has been completely rebuilt and the drainage system vastly improved to prevent any future reoccurrence. Neighborhood residents, city staff and officials including Congressman Michael Waltz were on hand to celebrate the "grand re-opening".
I've picked out several items from our 1:00 City Council Work Session and our 6:00 Regular Meeting that I thought would be of interest to you. I'm not writing in any official capacity so what follows is just my opinion and not necessarily representative of Mount Dora City Council.
During our work session we began a review of our draft Parks & Recreation Master Plan. After months of public meetings, online surveys, and work by our consultant and city staff we received the draft plan late last week. It is several hundred pages long and its importance cannot be over emphasized. I for one pushed for a several weeks to carefully read and discuss the draft master plan before formally considering its adoption. We will be asking questions and studying the draft plan over the next month.
I always try to represent the needs of residents from all over Mount Dora but in this case I will be partial to the residents of my district, District 4 which has no city parks of any significance. I strongly believe that our parks need to be located throughout the city so that all of our residents can easily access and enjoy them. Our parks are concentrated near the center of town. That was acceptable when Mount Dora was a compact village but as our town grows I'm going to insist on equal access to parks for all of our residents. I'm looking forward to hearing from members of our Parks & Recreation Advisory Board and other city council members.
During the regular meeting we gave our final approval to the PUD for Timberwalk which will include 376 new homes on Round Lake Rd. near Round Lake Charter School. Look for dirt to begin being moved later this year.
We approved the first reading of an important ordinance which will help protect our citizens from the prospect of having our citizen-owned utilities such as our water, wastewater, sewer and electric utilities sold by city council without the approval of our residents.
February is Black History Month and I've selected a quote from Harriet Tubman that struck me as inspiring. She said:
"If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If there's shouting after you, keep going. Don't ever stop, keep going. If you want the taste of freedom, keep going."
In order for all of us to be free, each of us must "keep going" toward the goal of equal opportunities for all. Thanks to brave leaders like Harriet Tubman we have made progress toward that goal but there is still work to be done.
Thanks for your interest in your Mount Dora city government!
Marc Crail District 4 City Council Representative
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