Library, events center & parking garage update
Library, events center & parking garage update
On Dec. 7, Orange County Judge Margaret Schreiber issued a Final Judgement that validated the city’s authority to issue the General Obligation Bonds, Series 2016, not to exceed $30 million to finance the “cost of the demolition of the city’s existing civic center and construction of a new municipal complex consisting of a library, events center, related parking facility, and incidental improvements to be located in Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.”
This ruling confirms the city’s position that the project has already gone to vote and the matter has been decided by the voters to build the project at MLK Park. It also allows the city to move forward with the project with some confidence, but with a Political Action Committee’s law suit still pending, there remains some risk. When dealing with taxpayers funds we try not to put them at risk. While we are confident with the city position, the unfortunate part of the remaining lawsuit is the costs that the delays will cause the taxpayers. In addition to the obvious cost of legal fees, the delay will also cost taxpayers in increased construction costs and, if interest rates rise like predicted, the additional debt service costs could be in the tens of thousands of dollars annually. A quarter point change in interest could cost an additional $750,000 over the life of the bonds.
To be in this situation is unfortunate, especially since this project has already undergone an extensive public process. In June 2014, the city and the Winter Park Public Library Board of Trustees appointed a task force to research and discuss the potential of building a new library. After a year-long process, the task force presented the City Commission their final report that recommended the construction of the new facility in the northern sector of MLK Park. Following that recommendation, the city engaged ACi, Inc. to develop a detailed study that included a public participation plan, conceptual designs, as well as an estimated budget for the project at MLK Park.
On October 26, 2015, the City Commission:
voted to accept the ACi study
determined the location of the project to be at the existing civic center site in MLK Park
directed the preparation of an ordinance calling for a bond referendum to seek elector approval for the issuance of general obligation bonds in an amount not to exceed $30 million to finance the construction and acquisition of the project
At the March 15, 2016, election, the bond referendum passed with 5,416 electors voting in favor of the issuance of the bonds and 5,202 electors voting against.
We hope that we can move this project forward and build our community a state-of-the-art, modern facility that we can enjoy today and have for our children and grandchildren to continue enjoying in the years to come.
Dec. 12 City Commission meeting highlights
• The “Winter in the Park” Holiday Window Contest awards were presented to the following winners:
o Tuni – Design Excellence Award
o Charyli – People’s Choice Award
• The minutes for Nov. 28, 2016, were approved with a modification.
• The contract and purchase order was approved (for a complete listing visit cityofwinterpark.org/ccpackets).
• The labor agreement with Winter Park Professional Firefighters Local 1598 was approved.
• The 2017-2021 Interlocal Mutual Aid Agreement with Seminole County law enforcement agencies was approved.
• The Mutual Aid Agreement with FDLE to participate on a Central Florida Child Abduction Response Team was approved.
• The 2017-2021 Interlocal Voluntary Cooperation Operation Assistance Agreement with Seminole County for a K-9 Unit was approved.
• The Municipal Interlocal Voluntary Cooperation Mutual Aid Agreement (Orange County municipalities) was approved.
Action Items Requiring Discussion
• The historic preservation incentive for electric tie-in to individually designated historic properties along streets with underground power lines was approved.
• The Cady Way Pool heater was discussed and staff will bring a plan forward at the Monday, Jan. 23 City Commission meeting.
• The first reading of the ordinance amending Chapter 74, Personnel, Article V, Retirement and Pension Plans, Division 3, Firefighters, was pulled from the agenda to be heard at a future meeting.
• Request of the City of Winter Park:
The second reading of the ordinance to amend the “Comprehensive Plan” Future Land Use Map from an Institutional Future Land Use designation to a Low Density Residential Future Land Use designation on the vacant “Blake Yard” property at 301 W. Comstock Ave. was approved.
The second reading of the ordinance to amend the Official Zoning Map from Public, Quasi-Public (PQP) District zoning to Low Density Residential (R-2) District zoning on the vacant “Blake Yard” property at 301 W. Comstock Ave. was approved.
• Request of W F G Ltd.:
The second reading to amend the “Comprehensive Plan” Future Land Use Map to change from Low Density Residential to Commercial Future Land Use Designation on the vacant property fronting on Symonds Avenue (former 620/630 Symonds) was approved.
The second reading to amend the official zoning map to change from Low Density Residential (R-2) District zoning to Commercial (C-3) District zoning on the vacant property fronting on Symonds Avenue (former 620/630 Symonds) was approved.
• Request of CDS Contractor, Inc.:
- The subdivision to re-orient and replat the properties at 1300 and 1324 Miller Ave. was tabled to the Monday, Jan. 9, City Commission meeting.
• The resolution designating 1124 Azalea Lane as a historic resource on the Winter Park Register of Historic Places was approved.
• The first reading of the ordinance amending the Comprehensive Plan and Chapter 58 “Land Development Code,” Article 1, “Comprehensive Plan,” so as to adopt a new City of Winter Park Comprehensive Plan, Goals, Objectives and Policies document, substituting for the current 2009 Comprehensive Plan, adopted on Feb. 23, 2009, together with all subsequent amendments, was approved with multiple amendments.
A full copy of the Dec. 12 City Commission minutes will be available at cityofwinterpark.org/ccminutes the week of Jan. 9, pending approval by the City Commission.
City Hall closed
City Hall will be closed Friday, Dec. 23, at noon, thru Monday, Dec. 26, in observance of the Christmas holiday. There will be no Waste Pro services on Christmas Day. Normal collection services will resume on the next regularly scheduled collection day.
For more information regarding the City of Winter Park, please visit the city’s official website at cityofwinterpark.org. Like, follow and watch us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vimeo, and YouTube.