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City Manager Johnson Veers From Master Plan Concept, Unveils His Lakeside Pavilion

This is the first and only drawing of the lakeside pavilion. City Manager Johnson told the committee, "The pavilion is gonna be the beginning of what's to come.     Click here to enlarge.

LAKE CITY, FL –  Last night the Lake City Community Redevelopment Advisory Board met to view and discuss the plans for the lakeside pavilion on Lake Desoto, just to the east of the city's rundown downtown. This was the first viewing of any drawing of the pavilion. The project has been spearheaded by City Manager Johnson and was put out to bid without any drawings or architectural review. In 2011 the city paid $100,000 plus for a Community Redevelopment Area Master Plan from one of Florida's top urban design groups. The pavilion was not in the plan.

The $146,000 lakeside pavilion

This is a view of the proposed location of the Johnson pavilion situated in the graphic of the master plan concept approved by the City Council. The plan is to build the pavilion is the area of the Children's Playground. The present gazebo is inside the circle.        Click to see a larger view.

As the Community Redevelopment Advisory Committee meeting got underway, City Manager Johnson said he was "ecstatic" about the low price: $146,000 bid. The City Manager apologized for not having a better drawing of the 100x60 ft. building.

The City did not prepare a site or area plan showing where the pavilion would be, although they did bring the Community Redevelopment Area Master Plan. It was explained that the pavilion would be going in the place originally designed for the children's playground.

Aerial view with the locations highlighted: gazebo on right; proposed pavilion on left.    +++ enlarge

Director of Public Works, Thomas Henry brought some photos of the area along, but they were not visible from the audience. No one thought to use the overhead projector.

Committee member Jeff Simmons was worried about graffiti on the building. CM Johnson said the city is lookin into fencing in the area, but that still "has to be sorted out."

The CRA Master Plan is available here. (25 meg - not suitable for dial-up)

The Committee decided that the roof would be "koko brown" and the fascia of the building area would be brick with the color to be determined.

CM Johnson said that because the building cost was less than he expected there would be money for modifications after the basic structure was built.

Councilwoman Melinda Moses agreed. "This will give us some time. We know now what we need to think about."

City Attorney Herbert Darby reminded everyone that the City Council has the final say regarding any recommendations of the committee.

Other Business

CRA Director, Jackie Kite explained that the vegetable vendors from the downtown market had dwindled to zero. The City is working on devising ways to attract them.

CM Johnson said there have been two inquiries on the Blanche Hotel and one on the Vann Family's Powers Building on Main Street, which was once considered for the worldwide headquarters of the mostly defunct Obama Stimulus supported North Florida Broadband Authority, which still has the support of City Manager Johnson and the Lake City, City Council. This time it is a cabinet shop.

CM Johnson added, "The interest in Lake City is beginning to noticeably show itself."


In January of 2012 Matt Vann told the committee, "I am excited for the future of Lake City. We have a Plan, which had input from all the stakeholders and anybody who wanted to contribute. Now we have to follow through."

Last night, a year and a half later, CM Johnson concluded his remarks by telling the committee, "The pavilion is gonna be the beginning of what's to come."

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