By Mount Dora City Council member Marc Crail, District 4 Representative
'll begin with my usual admonition that I am reporting to you entirely from my own perspective and not on behalf of City Council as a whole. I've selected some topics that we discussed and/or acted upon today that I think you might like to hear about.
Our meetings began with a 2:00 Work Session around the topic of continuing to revise our Special Events Ordinance and Policies. We've been reviewing Special Events (festivals) for awhile and after conversations with event organizers, downtown merchants, city staff, etc. we aim to clarify, simplify and update our Ordinance and Policies. Mount Dora is known as "Florida's Festival City" and our festivals and other events are a big part of our tourism and our commerce. Thanks to a great deal of hard work by our city staff we are closing in on the completion of this project. We got an update today and should have a final product soon.
Next up was our Final Budget Public Hearing. After nearly 6 months of hard work, we have asked our City Manager to reduce the proposed budget by $114,000 which represents .1 mill. We voted 6-0 to reduce the millage rate from 6.3 mills currently in effect to 6.2 mills for the upcoming 2019-2020 budget year that begins October 1. That new budget will be about $98,822,000. Because of the addition of new houses and businesses over the past year and rising property values we will take in more real estate tax dollars next year even though the millage rate will be slightly reduced.
During our Regular Meeting a proposal to award a contract to a company called GAI for planning renovations to the Lincoln Park pool, locker rooms and a proposed splash pad failed on a 3-3 vote. Mayor Girone, Mr. Massey and Mr. Rolfson voted "yes' while Mr. Tucker, Ms Stile and I voted "no". I can't speak for the others but my reason for voting no was that GAI was the company that produced our Parks & Recreation Master Plan over the past year and I was not happy with their work. I favor the idea of improving the pool, locker rooms and adding a splash pad but I think we should find another company to do the work and possibly save some money too.
We approved the final reading of an Ordinance to change the zoning of the property the City owns on Limit Ave. so that a fire station and a new public works building can be constructed there. These are important projects and I'm glad to tell you that we are moving forward with them.
Everybody wants to strive for success and my quote for today is from Tim Fargo who said; "Success is normally found in a pile of mistakes". In my experience I think he's spot on.
Thank you for the opportunity to help represent you as your District 4 City Council Member.
Dr. Marc Crail Mount Dora City Council District 4 Representative
For more news and events in Mount Dora, Tavares & Eustis, this month, click here. Discover the area's online entertainment calendar here. Also download the area's free mobile app.