Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

Real news for working families.  An online news service

Lake City News

Beautifying Downtown Lake City? Council chooses chain link fence to beautify downtown entrance

Downtown scrap/junk yard, Lake City
The scrap/junk yard, at the north entrance of the downtown, will get a new chain link fence and gates, 75% paid for by the City Council. Go here to see options ignored by Lake City

LAKE CITY, FL –  Last night the City Council, meeting as the Community Redevelopment Authority (CRA), formally approved its first Commercial Improvement Grant and added $4,000 to include two new gates that City Manager Johnson had removed. Jackie Kite, the City's CRA Director, presented the proposal to the Council. There was no site plan; no photos; no color choices; no artists renderings; and only one bid, that of a fence contractor that Ms. Kite and the whole council went out of their way not to mention, County Commissioner Rusty DePratter, the sole source beneficiary of the City's no bid policy.

Community Redevelopment Director, Jackie Kite
CRA Director Jackie Kite makes her presentation to the City Council.

Director Kite told the Council that the scrap/junk yard was "one of the first things you see entering into downtown Lake City."

She explained, "The property owner was agreeable to a taller fence to help hide what's behind that property and give it a more pleasant look."

"Mr. Johnson (City Manager) backed the gates out of the bid," she said.

Without mentioning Commissioner DePratter, she said she spoke to "the fence contractor" and he wanted to figure out a way to do some constructive things on that property.

Director Kite did not explain why there was no site plan and no one on the City Council asked for one.

The City is paying to add four feet in height and make the fence chain link to beautify the area.

City Councilwoman, Melinda Moses opined that the 8 foot gates defeated the purpose of the beautification. "We want to hide the metal," she said.

Director Kite told the Council, "You could be creative and include the gates in the grant. It was Mr. Johnson's opinion to take the gates out. We may not have looked at all the ramifications of doing that."

Long time City Councilman George Ward suggested adding $4,000 for the gates. He said, "The new gates would make it look real good." He said he thought adding another four feet of fence (height) would take care of the problem.

Councilman Eugene Jefferson
City Councilman Jefferson listens to Ms. Kite

City Councilman Jefferson asked what kind of fence it was.

Director Kite answered, "A chain-link fence. It has privacy slots. I'm not certain what color because they didn't put a color on here. Usually they are green."

Councilman Ward said, "They are already in compliance with the law. This is just to beautify it."

A representative of the scrap/junk yard was in the audience.

Councilwoman Moses added, "We appreciate you helping us beautify the uptown."

The project was approved unanimously.

Comments (to add a comment go here

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

No need to be confused - Find links to agendas and where your participation is welcome.div>

Make a comment • click here •
All comments are displayed at the end of the article and are moderated.


     • Fair Use     • Privacy                              © ColumbiaCountyObserver.com