Q: Do you have a date set for your next Town Hall meeting?
A: Our next meeting will be held on April 27 at the South Mandarin Library, but at a new time: 6 p.m. These meetings have been well attended with a lot of engagement with the community. This new start time will add 30 minutes to our conversation.
Q: Do you have anything to report from the January Town Hall meeting?
A: There was some concern by residents with respect to the growth management process. I plan to hold another Town Hall meeting in the near future to address this and let the community learn how the City of Jacksonville handles things like the rezoning of property and all the steps that entails.
Also, I look forward to another meeting to feature a conversation about downtown development, to include the proposed Lot J. I’d call it “What’s Happening Downtown and Why We Should Care” and I will invite Lori Boyer, the CEO of the DIA (Downtown Investment Authority) to attend.
Q: Do you have an update on JEA?
A: We will restart the fact-finding workshops, with two scheduled in February. Both meetings will take place in the Lynwood Roberts Room of City Hall from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. The Feb. 10 meeting will be a look back at the strategic planning process JEA undertook and how City Council can explore future opportunities in collaboration with the JEA board. The Feb. 24 meeting will feature two guest speakers from outside our community who will discuss industry trends and whether the trends JEA identified are real. These meetings can also be viewed online at coj.net.
Q: Can you comment on the upcoming roll out of 5G cell towers?
A: There are Florida Statutes in place, from 2018 and 2019, that allow placement of these new “boxes.” The concern by many is that they are in residential areas. Even with the state statutes, there are some things that local governments can control. I am very much aware and actively involved in this process, and upcoming bill 2019-770 will be going through the committee process very soon. The LUZ (Land Use and Zoning) Committee has worked diligently with community groups and representatives from the wireless companies to craft a mutually agreeable policy to be vetted through the TEU (Transportation, Energy and Utilities) and Neighborhoods committees and then on through the usual public hearing process. We are trying to make our policy the best it can be within the confines of state statutes — and still maintain the aesthetics of our neighborhoods.
Q: What is the latest update on some of the parks projects in Mandarin?
A: Construction of County Dock is approximately 95 percent complete (as of interview date of Jan. 15). We expect the substantial completion inspection to take place in late January.
Funding for the Mandarin Park and kayak launch is now available. Specifications will be written and submitted to Procurement for review and a bid date and number.
Finally, the Mandarin Senior Center’s expansion is approximately 85 percent complete. Construction is tracking to be substantially complete by the beginning of February. We expect to turn the center back over to Senior Services at the end of February.
Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?
A: Community members can email me at MBoylan@coj.net or call (904) 255-5206.