By Marc Crail Mount Dora City Council Member, District 4 Your City Council had both a 3:00 p.m. Work Session and a 6:00 Regular Meeting on Tuesday, March 20. I've selected some items to report on. Remember that I'm only one of seven City Council members and my views don't necessarily reflect the view of City Council as a whole.
A Work Session is a meeting where the public is invited to attend but since no votes are taken during Work Sessions there is no public comment just reports and lots of discussion. Two topics which were discussed were an Economic Development quarterly progress report by Dr. Richard Levey and an update on downtown parking.
Economic Development is a work in progress. There is interest on the part of an institution of higher learning and a hospital system who would partner to provide technology training for medical education in a clinical environment at the Wolfbranch Innovation District. That's a long term project but in the near term, there appear to be a couple of digital software creative firms that are interested to locating in Mount Dora. They would most likely come to the "in-town" area to begin with. Dr Levey believes that Mount Dora has a unique marketing position due to our quaint downtown (old Mount Dora) and the prospect of "new' Mount Dora at the Wolfbranch Innovation District which will eventually compliment downtown. Taking our time and getting it right will be critical!
Several downtown parking projects will launch over the next few weeks. These include 4-hour parking time limits for on-street parking in the core downtown area from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Delivery trucks will have designated loading zones in the downtown area between 7:00 and 11:00 a.m. There will be free golf cart shuttles running from First United Methodist Church, First Baptist Church, etc. where there will be free public parking to designated downtown locations from Thursday-Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sundays from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. Each of these new parking and shuttle ideas will be evaluated and tweaked as needed over the next several months. I hope you'll try parking remotely and taking the new shuttles to enjoy downtown without the hassles.
Several Resolutions and Ordinances were approved during the Regular Meeting.
Earlier this month the City of Apopka approved an agreement to provide us with up to 1 million gallons per day of reclaimed water for irrigation. We approved that agreement tonight. We anticipate that St. Johns River Management District will chip in about half of the cost for this project. This will eventually help us avoid seasonal shortages of reclaimed water during dry months. This will definitely benefit Mount Dora neighborhoods like Lakes of Mount Dora that use reclaimed water for lawn irrigation. More new developments are going to be coming online in the next several years and they are likely to raise the demand for reclaimed water which is a fraction of the cost of potable water.
We approved an amendment (change order) for additional engineering services needed for the repair and restoration of Magnolia Ending cul-de-sac at Dogwood Mountain Reserve. FEMA has not yet approved our disaster claim request but we will proceed with the repairs asap in order to shoreup the embankment and roadway there before the summer rainy season begins in June.
We approved the first reading of an Ordinance amending the Comprehensive Plan for future land use at Lakes of Mount Dora. This proposed change from the current 950 units to 1032 units will be forwarded to the State for their review which is likely to take six months. In April after our city staff and Planning & Zoning Commission review we will also consider a companion ordinance to amend the PUD (Planned Unit Development).
We are working to accomplish the goals set out in our Strategic Plan. I'm proud of the discipline and perseverance of my fellow city council members who each in their own ways are working toward our common goals. Thanks for the opportunity to represent you.
The resent passing of Steven Hawking shined a light on the extraordinary life of this brilliant man who contributed so much despite his physical disabilities. Hawking once wrote that; "The thing about smart people is that they seem like crazy people to dumb people."
Marc Crail District 4, Mount Dora City Council Representative