Mayors Unite

Port Orange Mayor Don Burnette stands with South Daytona Mayor Bill Hall at the Port Orange-South Daytona Chamber of Commerce breakfast on Jan. 29.

Some of the region's mayors took over the annual Port Orange South Daytona Chamber of Commerce breakfast Jan. 29.

In the past, city managers delivered updates on their cities from the previous year.

But this year Daytona Beach Shores Mayor Nancy Miller, Port Orange Mayor Don Burnette and South Daytona Mayor Bill Hall took over. Awards also were presented to police officer and firefighter of the year.

Mayor Hall outlined last year’s accomplishments in South Daytona, which included 105 septic to sewer conversions. Three Little Libraries have sprung up in the city, which he hopes will increase. He highlighted numerous events last year. The Daytona Ice Arena has been rejuvenated, and the new Iron Axe Bar & Grill features axe throwing lanes.

The city donated supplies to Puerto Rico and dedicated a brick to fallen serviceman Caleb King, a former Warner Christian football star killed in a Navy jet crash. Sparkle Days cleaned up the city and there was a youth boat competition at Reed Canal Park.

“In 2019, we did some things in South Daytona that had not been done in a long time,” Mayor Hall said. “Number one we got a new city manager. We became a Purple Heart City.”

He added, “We have 26 acres available in South Daytona that is ready for purchase and development. We have some closed businesses that need to be developed, that need to be redone.”

Port Orange Mayor Don Burnette also showcased what was accomplished in 2019 in Port Orange along with outlining upcoming projects. Some of them were getting more work done on Riverwalk, the debut of Jimmy Hula’s, the redevelopment of Giuseppe’s restaurant, Perrine’s arriving in town, Seagrass Assisted Living creating a 132-bed facility, and news that Dunlawton Village would be completed soon. A microbrewery may be coming to the Down Under commercial district.

Some issues tackled included starting Port Orange Fire Rescue transports with an average response time of about six minutes for 783 emergency dispatches last year. Also, 10,580 linear feet of sanitary sewer lines were relined. The city treated 2.4 billion gallons of water. Port Orange stopped recycling glass and stopped credit card auto billing. Looking ahead strategic goals include public safety, infrastructure, quality of life, economic development, fiscal sustainability and organizational excellence.

“We have invested heavily to make sure we take care of our environment,” Mayor Burnette said. “The reclaimed water system, we can use that to maintain a beautiful city.”

He hopes the city can bring back glass recycling.

“We are going to continue to look at cost effective alternatives and as soon as one is available, those markets will adjust and we will begin glass recycling again at whatever point makes sense to do it.”

A public State of the City address will be at noon Wednesday, Feb. 19, at Riverside Pavilion. Required registration is at port-orange.org/stateofthecity.

Also at the breakfast, Ed Noseworthy of AdventHealth stated a 24-bed emergency room and medical office building will be coming to Port Orange.

Mayor Miller spoke briefly.

“We’ve been attending the Port Orange-South Daytona chamber meetings for a few months now and we’ve been so impressed by the leadership and members of the chamber,” she said. “We’ve enjoyed networking with you and appreciate the warm welcome. We hope to be more visible at these meetings.”

Accomplishments in her city include the creation of a dog park, Veteran’s Park, underground utilities and designation as a Purple Heart City. Halifax Health will be bringing an urgent care center to Daytona Beach Shores in the former senior center and the city has embarked on an economic development incentive program for new existing . In April, Daytona Beach Shores will celebrate its 60th anniversary.

Also at the breakfast, Cody Kagle received the award for South Daytona Firefighter of the Year and Gabrielle Lank received the award for South Daytona Police Officer of the Year. Spencer Starnes received the award for Port Orange Firefighter of the Year and Detective Silvio Portillo received the award for Port Orange Police Officer of the Year.

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