They may not be resolutions, but Volusia County mayors are confident good things will happen in their respective cities in the New Year.
New Smyrna Beach Mayor Russ Owen said his Wish List for 2020 is “a happy and prosperous year for our city staff, residents and businesses with more focus and time spent on the things that unite us as neighbors and friends.”
He further stated for more details about recent accomplishments and the future focus for New Smyrna Beach, everyone should plan to attend the first-ever public State of the City Feb. 20 at the Brannon Center.
In Port Orange, Mayor Don Burnette highlighted transportation and traffic as ongoing hot items for all Volusia cities, including Port Orange.
“We have numerous unfunded transportation projects, but we have a big one that is funded and will be installed this year. By the end of 2020, a state-of-the-art smart-light traffic system will network all the traffic lights on Dunlawton from A1A heading west to out past Williamson Boulevard. By putting all the lights on this intelligent network, real-time data is used to improve traffic flow, emissions and fuel efficiency. While it won't cure all our traffic woes, it will improve things significantly, and we will be the first in our area to have it."
Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry has traffic solutions on his mind as well.
“I’m hopeful that a congruent and wholesome plan will come forward as to how we want to address traffic on LPGA and Williamson boulevards, something that we can bring in as a city and county to implement,” Mayor Henry said. “I would like to see the City Commission focus on our infrastructure and our roads to find a way to double or even triple the amount of revenue we dedicate to sidewalks and street repairs for our residents. I would say for me that is the number one priority going into 2020.
“I am hoping that Martin Luther King Jr. and the rotary construction project will be completed, and looking into some major infrastructure improvements in the midtown area,” he said. “I am hoping the Beach Street renovation project will come to fruition without too many hiccups and then we’ll be able to get it done on time. I am certainly excited about the bridge reopening, which I think will help Beach Street and the downtown area. Certainly, the Brown and Brown project and the park, the progress that are being made on those, are excessively exciting. I am very hopeful that we will see some plans for a hotel in the downtown area that have been presented to us as well as a hotel out near I-95.”
He added he has hope for all parts of the city, such as Main Street where he wants to partner with Consolidated-Tomoka Land Co. or others.
“Because when you think about what is going on down in the park and what is going on downtown, it would be ideal if we could also combine that with a great project on Main Street,” he said.
Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington is optimistic about what this new year will bring for his city.
“I am excited about the addition to the Ormond Memorial Art Museum and looking forward to seeing them break ground sometime this year,” Mayor Partington said. “(I am) looking forward to utilizing traffic calming initiatives and focus on pedestrian safety throughout our community, and continuing our efforts to actively engage with residents across multiple platforms both online and off.”
He added, “Mondays with the Mayor is a citizen engagement opportunity where I meet a couple times of month for an hour or so at a coffeehouse or restaurant and listen to residents’ thoughts, concerns, ideas.”
Mayor Partington also looks to 2020 as a way to determine the best purpose for the 56 N. Beach St. property (the church parcel on the river across from the yacht club) and completing the Cassen Park floating dock, which will give access from the water to downtown restaurants, shops, and other businesses and increase the walkability of the community. He also has confidence an ECHO grant will be approved for the refurbishment of the outside of the MacDonald House.
Across the county, DeLand Mayor Robert Apgar said, “I look forward to the opening of the Bridge and the Joyce Cusack Resource Center. The Bridge is the West Volusia homeless facility and is the result of collaborate efforts among the county, the West Volusia cities, the Neighborhood Center and the faith-based and business community to help our homeless in West Volusia. The resource center is a long needed upgraded facility to serve the Spring Hill residents whose residents reside in both DeLand and unincorporated Volusia County.
“Also, we will break ground on a new fire station to replace Station 81, our main fire station. The old station, which is around 50 years old, needed to be modernized and upgraded and its site will become parking to serve our thriving downtown. Additionally we will break ground on a long-needed police evidence building as the space in the PD has become inadequate. We will also construct and open a road from SR11 to the northwest portion of our airport. This provides another point of access for our existing and future airport businesses. It, we believe, will provide economic development opportunities for our airport.”
He added, “I wish all of our citizens and businesses a happy and prosperous new year. As one of the best Main Streets in America, I look forward to our many downtown community events that help make DeLand such a vibrant and attractive community. I hope that we can continue to grow high quality good paying jobs for our citizens.”