By Marc Crail Mount Dora City Council Member, District 4
City Council had a full plate of presentations, resolutions and ordinances to consider. I've selected several items to share with you. Since I'm just one of seven City Council members what follows is my take and does not necessarily represent the views of the Council as a whole.
Dr. Richard Levey, our economic development consultant gave us his quarterly update which was very encouraging. There will be approximately 50 new well paying jobs coming soon to the downtown area now that a rapidly growing tech company called Steamroller has decided to relocate to Mount Dora. Attracting good jobs to our town is critical to our future and I hope this is just the tip of the job growth iceberg.
A proposed resolution to make changes to Gilbert Park that would include 16 new parking places along Grandview and a "grass" parking area to be located where the current retention pond is now was discussed but continued until July 31 due to concerns from our Parks & Recreation Advisory Board and others. Green space is precious. There's no doubt that more parking in that area is needed but the devil is always in the details.
We passed a pair of ordinances giving final approval to developer, Medallion Home to increase the number of houses at Lakes of Mount Dora from 950 to 1038. Passage of these 2 ordinances amend our Comprehensive Plan and our PUD (Planned Unit Development) plan. These changes were widely supported by residents of Lakes of Mount Dora and unanimously approved by City Council. This is now a done deal.
There has been lots of discussion for months now regarding the creation of a downtown "Entertainment District" where people could take alcoholic beverages on streets and sidewalks as they walk around the downtown area. The notion of enjoying a glass of wine and watching the sun set on the 4th. Ave. docks or strolling around downtown with a beer in hand could be appealing. I'm all for allowing adults to enjoy their preferred forms of entertainment but I for one am in favor of postponing a decision on this concept until we have more data on important items such as the possible substantial additional cost of law enforcement, litter collection and finding out if our downtown merchants and residents actually support it. Details like days and hours of operation have yet to be decided and the boundaries of the proposed Entertainment District are still in question. I don't think we're ready to go yet as we need a more complete cost/benefit analysis. Stay tuned for future developments.
Parking is one of our major concerns and I'm pleased to report that City Council has given its consensus support to our City Manager to pursue the purchase of several properties in the downtown area for surface parking lots and explore plans to expand our public parking garage. There will also be consideration of the possible sale of the 128 acre Mount Dora Golf Course and spray field area.
There was good discussion on several issues at our meeting. Progress is slow but momentum is building in Mount Dora. Thanks for the opportunity to serve.
Our quote today is for Winnie the Poo. "You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think."
Marc Crail District 4 City Council member
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