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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Mar. 24, 2021 3 weeks ago

Brower asks Ormond to pitch funds for land purchase in the Loop, city declines

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Also in City Watch: SONC gets spring updates
by: Jarleene Almenas Associate Editor

The City Commission rejected a request by County Council Chair Jeff Brower that asked for the city to contribute $100,000 toward the acquisition of a 36-acre parcel of land within the Plantation Oaks Development off the Ormond Scenic Loop and Trail.

Brower sent the commission a letter dated March 8 where he expressed gratitude for the commission’s letter of support toward the purchase of land from developer Parker Mynchenberg. In the letter, he stated that Mynchenberg agreed to lower the $1,368,000 price tag. He revealed on his Facebook page that the price for the 76 lots is now $988,000.

Brower explained that the best option to fund the purchase would likely be through ECHO. 

“Packaging this proposal with a local match from the city would make the purchase much more attractive to the Advisory Committee,” Brower wrote.

The Ormond Beach City Commission was not in favor of committing tax dollars to the purchase. In the same letter, Brower stated he would not commit county general fund dollars to buy the land.

Commissioner Dwight Selby said at the March 16 meeting that every Ormond taxpayer contributes to the ECHO and Volusia Forever programs already.

“So for him to ask Ormond Beach residents to pay twice rubs me the wrong way,” Selby said.

Mayor Bill Partington said he felt it would set a bad precedent.

“So, any project that ECHO or [Volusia] Forever does, if the adjacent city doesn’t contribute, then it doesn’t happen?” Partington said. “Is that what we’re talking about?”

The mayor, on behalf of the City Commission, sent the chair a letter on March 18, informing Brower of the city's decision.

"As you indicate in your letter, we agree the County 'should not reach into the County’s general fund to purchase this land,' nor should the city of Ormond Beach be required to reach into its general funds to purchase this property," the letter reads. "It is not equitable or fair to make Ormond Beach residents pay twice for such an acquisition when even the county has already deemed the purchase an inappropriate use of general funds."

The letter goes on to state that the city looks forward to hearing the committee's decision on the land acquisition. 

On Tuesday, March 23, Brower announced on Facebook that the county’s Historic Preservation Board voted unanimously to designate the 36-acre property as eligible for financial resources to preserve the land. 

Scholarships available

The Ormond Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Rob Ridder Scholarship Fund is now taking applications for 2021.

The scholarship is intended to recognize students of Chamber members for outstanding educational and community service achievement, according to the application. The chamber expects to award six scholarships up to $1,000 each.

To be eligible, the student must be a child of a chamber member, be a senior at a Volusia school and intend to attend college in the fall of 2021. Applications must be submitted by April 14.

Visit ormondchamber.com

SONC gets spring updates

The city of Ormond Beach has upgraded several amenities at its South Ormond Neighborhood Center in preparation for Spring, according to the city newsletter for March.

The splash pad reopened on March 15 after being resurfaced and new light fixtures were also installed near the outdoor restrooms. In addition SONC is sporting new landscaping and seeing more people use its new outdoor exercise stations.

Planning Board meeting canceled

The Ormond Beach Planning Board will not meet on Thursday, April 8, due to no applications needing to be reviewed.

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