Letter writer urges citizens to attend upcoming workshop on the project.
Boaters, pay attention
On Feb. 15, the city of Ormond Beach will hold a workshop about the future of Cassen Park. You need to be there or contact city officials if you want to keep the park, and the other bridge parks as non-commercialized public areas.
The biggest issues are the city’s incremental commercialization of the park, and allowing park use for access and parking for the underwater private property. The underwater parcel near the park was initially purchased for $500. Why didn’t the city buy it to protect the park and city interests? About 7 years ago, current owners approached the city about helping them develop the river bottom.
Receiving support from city officials to develop the property, they purchased the property for 50 times the initial price. It is now for lease, or sale for 450 times the initial price.
Other park development proposals:
- Spending $900,000+ on a bait house.
- Building another structure on the waterfront point, though it’s deemed an “unsafe location” for the bait house. Leave the bait house alone, save $900,000. Put the bathrooms out by the street.
- Relocating boat trailer parking offsite to intentionally reduce boater parking and use. It would jam traffic in the park, Beach Street, and Granada. Time spent launching and parking would be ridiculous.
- Reduce valuable waterfront green space to add parking.
- A golf cart shuttle and a water taxi service to benefit restaurants, using park space.
Flagler Beach, Holly Hill, New Smyrna, and Edgewater all have rebuilt first-class, well-designed boat launch/parking areas for their citizens. During that time, our city officials spent millions on a dock for 8-10 out of state vessels, dredging, rock breakwater, a church, consultants, and more. Not one dime was spent improving the public launch dock, or boater parking. Boaters are seen as an obstacle to commercial park development.
City officials are poised to spend millions more in an effort to use the park as a commercial base for the businesses on Granada. Commercializing Cassen Park is a top priority for the city and Ormond MainStreet. They do not represent our citizen’s best interest.
The city is incrementally executing an under-the-radar plan to commercialize Cassen Park. At a public presentation, MainStreet staff stated it would be a “tricky” process. You get the picture.
Editor's note: The city states the latest project cost is broken down as follows: $47,700 for building design; $13,885 for site design; $419,454 for building construction; and $593,750 for site construction. In addition, offsite boat trailer parking is only being proposed during the construction period.
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