News Update for 3/27/24

It’s going to be a while longer for developer Emilio Garabladi. He’s pushing Avon Park city council members to put in a “parkette” where the Wilde Building once stood. Council agreed to let the current request for proposal – which calls for the construction of a new building at the Main Street site – to run its course into June, before they consider anything else.
Some council members want to see space for more business and housing in the area. Garabaldi contends that his proposed pocket park, with a pergola, picnic tables and other amenities, would spur more foot traffic in the City of Charm.

The idea of tournament ready pickelball courts in Avon Park has taken another step forward. The Avon Park Community Redevelopment Agency board instructed staff to look at what it would take to put in eight such courts at Donaldson Park, where the tennis courts now sit.
In addition to CRA money, CRA Director Shawn Holiday revealed that there also have been offers of private donations to make the conversion. The board also asked staff to investigate the availibility of grants to make such a project happen.

Developer Robert Blackmon says the reclamation project on Harder Hall is on schedule, although the methodical restoration project is not nearly as fast as some people would like. Crews still are in the process of refurbishing the roof and walls to stop water intrusion. The next phase will be the windows – before crews can move inside and begin work there.
Blackmon last night addressed the Highlands Tea Party, assuring the group that the facility will remain pink, and outlining ultimate plans for restaurants, a pool and even a marina on Little Lake Jackson.

Work has commenced on the new $2 million dollar Highlands County Traffic Operation Center. Crews from E.O. Koch have started pouring a slab at the site, located next to the Penny Ogg Elections Center on Kenilworth Blvd near the Military Sea Services Museum.
The project has been in the works for the past 18 years. County officials say it should be conpleted by December.

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