• Crissy Stile

Recap of June 4th Work Session and Regular Meeting

1. Rails/Trails Comparison

City Council was presented with three options regarding rails and trails. Rails & Trails, Rails to Trails and Alternative Alignment. The first and second options involve both the City of Mount Dora and the City of Tavares to working together to purchase both the rails as well as the Right of Way property at an estimated cost of almost $20,000,000. The City of Tavares has committed to a feasibility study to determine the cost, timeline, etc. which will determine how they will proceed with the Rails to Trails project. The results of that study will be provided in May 2020. It was the recommendation of our City staff that we consider moving forward with our own study based on the Alternative Alignment Trail. The map you see pictured is the possible trail that has been presented for consideration. The Council's consensus was to move forward with the third option. The general consensus was that this option costs less (estimated $14,450,000), still allows for the use of the rails should someone want to repair the tracks and resume passenger rails service into Mount Dora and also this trail system shifts some of the community involvement to the other side of 441. There are currently no public parks across Hwy 441 and it was agreed that these alternative routes are a great opportunity to provide much needed activity across Hwy 441. This study will cost about $200,000 and will be completed in May 2020 which aligns perfectly with the Tavares study so we can make a decision that will most greatly benefit both cities.

2. Presentation on Ransomware - This was an education for City Council as to why it is so important that we keep current with our network protection. `An example was given of the most recent attack on a municipality which just happened on May 7th. The City of Baltimore was hacked and will spend $10 million by the end of the year restoring their systems and applications. Besides that cost to restore what they've lost, there is information that is lost forever which Baltimore will spend years trying to "clean up".

3. Public Records Training - City Clerk took time to educate City Council on Public Records requests. When a person requests documentation from the City there is a fee to be paid because it takes valuable time of City staff to compile information and provide, sometimes, hundreds of emails and correspondence regarding the requested information. There is no law dictating how quickly the City Clerk has to provide the requested information but she noted that she takes every request very seriously and makes all requests a priority along with her other job requirements.

4. Budget - CIP - Special Revenue, Debt; Capital Improvement and Operating Funds. We finished going over the Capital Improvements Budget for all departments and funds today. No more carrying around the 9 pound CIP budget. Yay! This budget is always a work in progress. We are not done prioritizing these projects for the 2019-2020 budget. What we wrapped up today gives the City Staff a direction to go in when making final recommendations for what needs to be done this coming year.

Onto the Regular Meeting beginning at 5:30pm in City Hall

We begin with a presentation of the Mount Dora Fire Department ISO Rating Improvement and Recognition of Employees. The Fire Chief was happy to report that the City's ISO rating has improved from a 3 to a 2. This score benefits insurance costs for commercial properties more so than residential but is great for the City overall. A better ISO rating is a great marketing tool for attracting business.

We were lucky enough to have in attendance the City's Youth Leadership Council. These are juniors and seniors from MDHS and MD Christian Academy that are taking time to learn about the City's departments and government. They also take time to tour some of the City's facilities and local businesses to grasp what various leaders in our community do and how to get involved. Very impressive group of young adults.

Consent Agenda includes five items for collective approval:

1. Resolution 2019-55, Historic Marker for 140 E. 7th Avenue

2. Resolution 2019-56, Historic Marker for 308 N. Tremain Street

3. Resolution 2019-57, Historic Marker for 312 N, Tremain Street

4. Resolution 2019-62, Approval to Launch Fireworks at the Freedom on the Waterfront Event.

5. Approval of City Council Meeting Session Minutes

The fifth item, Approval of City Council Minutes was pulled for discussion. Ms. Tillett asked that the minutes be approved at the next meeting after some discussion can take place on the way the minutes are recorded. Ms. Tillett cited a decision voted on by Council two years ago that stated the the minutes recorded would be action minutes. Action minutes would only record what action was taken and how each Council member voted. There would be no detail recorded in the minutes as to what comments/questions each Council member made in regards to their decision. The Mayor asked for some time to look into this and it would come back at the next meeting.

The first four items were approved with a voice vote.

We had six Resolutions to vote on:

1. Resolution 2019-54, Preliminary Plat Lakes of Mount Dora Phase 5C. At the request of the developer this was postponed to a future meeting.

2. Resolution 2019-70, Department of Economic Agreement between Lake County and the City. This was approved unanimously to accept the County's grant money to be paid back to the County in the future as the City begins to collect impact fees on future growth in the Wolf Branch Innovation District.

3. Resolution 2019-59, Ward Place Replat. This was approved unanimously with almost no discussion.

4. Approval of Resolution 2019-65, Responding Action Interlocal Service Boundary Agreement. This item was also postponed to a future meeting date.

5. Resolution 2019-68, Amendment #2 to St. Johns River Water Management District for the Apopka Interconnect Project. This was approved unanimously. To err on the side of caution we will request the extension just to ensure we still receive our grant money should the project be delayed. However, our Utilities Director does not forsee this happening.

6. Resolution 2019-71, Establishing a Hardship Assistance Program for the Fire Assessment Fee. This was approved unanimously. The application has been finalized and a Hardship Assistance program is in place to benefit those that qualify for the 2019-2020 Fire Assessment Fee.


1. Final Reading of Ordinance 2019-07, Change in Zoning City of Mount Dora. This was approved unanimously. The City can now move forward with the intended parking lot at 3rd and Baker.

This meeting wrapped up in record time and we had an impressive turnout in attendance. I would invite each of you to attend meetings when you can. I give the best synopsis I can but nothing beats being a part of the action.

Should you need any clarification or have any questions/concerns feel free to email or call anytime.

Crissy Stile



228 views0 comments