The May 17 Mount Dora City Council Meeting had several items that I think you might be interested in hearing about. I've selected a few of them. Please keep in mind that what follows comes only from me and may not represent City Council as a whole.
In the "you learn something new every day" department, we discussed and approved a recommendation presented by our Police Chief to shift enforcement of animal control violations to Lake County. Our city animal control officer fields well over 1,000 calls a year. Mount Dora is the only city in Lake County that provides these services to our residents including assistance removing a snake from your garage, etc. We will continue to provide those services. The change involves transferring enforcement of violations over to the County. In the past 18 months or so there have been 13 cases that were investigated, 6 of those cases resulted in citations being issued for things like dangerous dogs. This change makes sense to me. It was approved 7-0.
If you have a budget for your household you undoubtedly understand the need for periodically amending and updating it. Sometimes you need to shift more money into one category by taking some funds out of another. Occasionally, you might receive unanticipated revenue that can be added in along the way. In our case, Federal COVID funding has provided us with money that needs to be allocated while unusually high project cost inflation has required us to adjust our figures to cover higher project costs. Approving mid-year budget amendments became necessary. Adjustments are needed every budget year but even more so this year.
Over our past few meetings City Council has discussed and tweaked the language of a proposed Charter Amendment that would, if it passes, insert building height limitations into our City Charter. This has been a hot topic for the past year. We formed a committee made up of volunteers to come up with recommendations for the ballot language. We also conducted a Building Height Impact Survey to solicit the opinions of residents and business owners in the historic downtown area. There was a very good response, meaning that many people chose to participate in the survey, 153 in all. Not surprisingly, the survey results indicate that there is a fairly even divide in opinions on building heights.
By a 5-2 vote (Rolfson and Guenther voted no) council approved the first reading of an ordinance pertaining to a Charter Amendment limiting building heights. In order to make a good decision, voters will need to study the merits and decide for themselves if the City's Charter is the appropriate place for height requirements to reside. I don't think that it is. Like everyone else, I have some strong opinions on this issue but I think that the proposal deserves to be voted upon in November. A second reading on this proposal will follow at our next meeting.
We will soon begin the process of "undergrounding" the numerous electric, phone and cable lines hanging over Royellou Lane. Hopefully, by the end of 2022 those unsightly wires will be gone making the alley more attractive to residents and visitors while increasing reliability.
Our City Manager reported to City Council on the status of a warranted traffic light at the entrance to the Lakes of Mount Dora on S.R. 44. This intersection has had several traffic accidents as recently as last week. More details will be available in the next few weeks. It's good to finally se progress being made.
Thanks for allowing me to serve District 4 as your representative on Mount Dora City Council.
By Marc Crail Vice-Mayor
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