Q: Do you have any public works updates?
A: There are a number of things happening. A realignment of Orange Picker Road from Acronshell Way to Brady Road to change the two three-way intersections into a single four-way intersection is in the planning stages. There are also plans to add a sidewalk along Loretto Road from Mandarin Road to County Dock Road. 

We have had a number of tree planting projects: At Huntington Forest Park, 15 trees were planted; Lake Mandarin Circle had 120 trees planted in residential right of way sites; Old St. Augustine Road medians saw the addition of more than 30 trees and Mandarin Road had more than 50 trees planted. 

Q: What is the latest on Mandarin’s parks?
A: The County Dock project is complete and now open to the public. 

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Chuck Rogers Park restroom renovation will be completed by the end of summer. Additionally, Councilmember Boylan and I have introduced a bill to change the name of this park to “Rogers Park” to honor both father (Chuck) and son (Corky). 

The Mandarin Dog Park project is also combined with the road realignment improvement project at the corner of Orange Picker and Brady roads.  Design is underway for the road improvement project as well and the dog park. 

The pickleball courts at Walter Anderson Park are completed and open to the public.

Q: What can you tell us about the proposed park behind the South Mandarin Library?

A: The Parks Department is developing a plan to create an outside learning area and children’s playground in the space behind the Mandarin South Library. The project is in the planning stages at this point and a schedule is being developed. The proximity to the library allows for a creative space to be developed, while encouraging outdoor learning and physical activity.  The plan is to start improvements by the summer of 2021.

Additionally, Daily’s wants to participate in the design of this park and will contribute funds towards equipment. There are also plans to rehabilitate the retention pond there to make it an attractive part of the park.

Q: When will the Mandarin Senior Center open with programming?
A: My information is that programming will resume at the Mandarin Senior Center on Aug. 9. Also, a new Senior Center is now under construction on the Southside. The new center will offer senior programming daily in a setting overlooking a recreational pond. The Southside Senior Center is estimated to be open by the end of 2021.

Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?

A: They can email me at THazouri@coj.net or call (904) 255-5217.

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