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Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
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Neighborhood plan aims for ‘renaissance’

DADE CITY - Dade City commissioners have received the results of a yearlong neighborhood planning project to identify areas of improvement in three neighborhoods ? Mickens-Harper, East Lake Park/Victory and Habitat Village.
The Rev. Jessie McClendon, chairman of the Neighborhood Steering Committee, and Levater Holt, the committee?s vice chairman, gave commissioners a report on the project during Tuesday night?s meeting.
McClendon said the mission of project was ?to improve the conditions of the community across the tracks, to educate the community to get involved to clean up and reduce crime.?
The report?s cover letter signed by McClendon and Holt said the plan is ?doable and, once implemented, will lead to a true renaissance of our neighborhoods.?
The top three concerns listed in the report were cleaning the canal that runs through the area, the number of abandoned homes and garbage/litter in the neighborhoods.
McClendon said the city should plan to spend the necessary money to make real improvements. ?To patch and paint and spend as less as you can is not fair to a community,? he said.
McClendon said residents are still concerned about a wastewater treatment plant in the Mickens-Harper community. ?The community would still like to see the wastewater treatment plant removed,? he said.
The treatment plant is located next to the softball field on land that once was part of the field. ?Give the community back the field where it used to be,? McClendon said.
The city has set aside $75,000 to improve Pyracantha Park and the Mickens Softball Field.
City Planner Mike Sherman said the neighborhood planning project was launched about a year ago.
?(City Manager Billy) Poe and I were talking about neighborhood planning a year ago, and we thought the Mickens-Harper area would be a good place to start,? Sherman said.
City officials and community leaders formed the Neighborhood Planning Steering Committee in February 2012.
?We held a steering committee meeting in the city commission rooms on the first Thursday of every month, then we had two neighborhood meetings in the community at the James Irvin Center,? Sherman said.
Sherman said the overall efforts will improve relationships with the communities involved.
McClendon agrees. ?The relationship with the community will grow when they see things done in a new way,? he told the council.
Mayor Camille Hernandez said: ?We don?t want to waste time. We?re very concerned about the neighborhoods and want to see the right things done.?
The Neighborhood Planning Steering Committee is comprised of McClendon, Holt, Hazel Wells, Tavaris Elliot, Dorothy Harris, Bernice Mathis and Venderee Foster.
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