City Council Highlights — May 13, 2019
Last updated on May 14, 2019
National Police Week and Peace Officers Memorial Day
In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation which designated May 15th as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as Police Week.
As part of the week of recognition, currently there are tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from around the world in Washington D.C. honoring those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Our Orlando Police Chief, Chief Rolón along with FOP Lodge 25 President Shawn Dunlap are among the many OPD Officers who are attending the ceremonies this week.
Today, as part of National Police Week, there was a moment of silence to honor the lives of those officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Thank you to all our officers supporting this week’s events and for the work you do every single day, keeping our City safe.
Tomorrow is a celebration of 30 high school seniors from our Parramore Kidz Zone program who will be receiving their high school diplomas this year. These students will be going off to college, the military or trade school.
We are so proud of all they have done to get to this point and I am eager to see what these young leaders will do for our city in the future.
OFD RIT Competition
On May 4th, the Orlando Competition Firefighter Team, consisting of 4 teams of Orlando firefighters, competed in the 2nd Annual “Sound Off” Rapid Intervention Team competition.
More than 10 fire departments statewide joined the RIT Competition and I’m proud to extend our congratulations to Orlando’s “A” Team: District Chief Ed Griffin, Engineer Bassel Ibrahim, and firefighters Matt Magee, Dave Torres, and Will Flinn on their first place win.
On behalf of our inclusive, welcoming community, Ramadan Kareem to the many Muslims in our city. To those observing have a peaceful, fulfilling month.
Items of Note
Mayor #3 Funding Agreement with Southern Technical Institute
Last week Mayor Dyer and Commissioner Hill joined together at the Southern Technical Institute for the launch of a new Patient Care Assistant healthcare occupation training program. The agreement on today’s agenda provides important funding support to Southern Technical Institute as we continue our effort to connect residents in underserved neighborhoods to education and career opportunities.
Business & Financial Services # 13 Rosemont Gym
Today’s consent agenda contains the contract to build a new gym at the Rosemont Neighborhood Center. The center serves more than 400 residents every day, including more than 100 students in the after-school program. The proposed addition of the 13,000 square foot gym will include seating for 500 spectators and more space for athletics, kids and senior programming.
FPR #2 Lake Lorna Doone Ground Breaking
Today’s consent agenda also includes the acceptance of a $250,000 matching grant from the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program to help pay for a fully inclusive playground at Lake Lorna Doone Park.
Starting this month we will begin the renovation of Lake Lorna Doone Park in the West Lakes neighborhood with our partners Florida Citrus Sports. Improvements to the park will include a complete pedestrian path around the lake, splash pad, improved multi-purpose field, community parking, basketball courts, and an open air pavilion.
Charter Hearing on the City’s Sale of the Orange Center Blvd Properties
This is a continuation of the public hearing held on March 25, 2019 for the sale of City-owned land valued in excess of $500,000, as required by Chapter 13, Section 7 of the City Charter. Notice of the hearing was published in the Orlando Sentinel on March 19, 2019, and approval of this transaction will require a majority vote of all members of City Council.
The property consists of the former Colonial Manor Apartments, Lakeview Apartments, Savoy Apartments, and Bunche Manor Apartments located along Orange Center Boulevard.
The estimated fair market value of the property is $1,090,000.00 based on an independent appraisal.
The City solicited proposals for the redevelopment of the property and the results of the solicitation process were presented to City Council on March 25. After that presentation, we heard comments from the public and discussion among commissioners, and Council voted to defer action until today.
The city is committed to uplifting the neighborhood, which is why we took the unprecedented, proactive step of acquiring these blighted, run down apartments with the goal of redeveloping the site with quality, safe, affordable housing.
If the city did not come in and purchase these properties, a private developer could have come in and simply put paint on the building, resulting in our residents continuing to live in deplorable conditions.
Our residents deserve better than that which is why we sought the input of the surrounding residents about what they wanted on the property at Orange Center Blvd. And they clearly told us, homeownership opportunities.
When we started this process, we didn’t know the responding proposal would be a land trust, but the two proposals with the highest home ownership opportunities are land trusts. Across the country, community land trusts have been a successful option in providing affordable housing options.
Our residents deserve the chance to realize the dream of homeownership and the community land trust is an avenue to assist the city in creating homeownership opportunities.
Addressing the affordable housing crisis our community faces isn’t easy, and as a council sometimes we have to make difficult decisions. But as I sit here today, it is very obvious the best option to ensure the neighborhoods affordability and stability is through Hannibal Square’s community land trust and not through a proposal that is primarily rental.