Q: Can you give the readers an update on JEA?
A: While the JEA is meeting with the nine remaining (out of 16) utilities to discuss their individual proposals, your city council is holding workshops under the leadership of Mandarin’s District 6 councilman, Michael Boylan. These workshops are being held in City Hall from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. They began this past month and are expected to last through early spring, when it is anticipated that the JEA board will vote and make their recommendations as to the potential privatization. The City Council will then decide whether to accept this recommendation, and vote up or down on that recommendation. It will then go to the citizens in a referendum to vote yes or no if a sale is recommended. Your council has much debate and discussion ahead as the workshops go forward. Stay tuned.
Q: Do you have any public works updates?
A: An exclusive southbound right-turn lane on Scott Mill Road at Mandarin Road is being added to improve traffic flow; design is complete and construction is anticipated to start in January/February 2020.
Q: What’s the latest on area parks?
A: The County Dock renovation project is underway and will be complete by early January 2020.
The Parks Department has completed design of a new kayak launch and floating docks at Mandarin Park. The kayak launch will be ADA complaint and will serve as a tool to further activate our waterways. We have been awarded the grant to proceed with construction of this exciting project.
Additionally, we are working on renovating the existing restroom facility at Mandarin Park. This project will be complete by early 2020.
The Parks Department is still working on a plan to develop a dog park in the Mandarin area. This project is still in the early stages; however, we are developing a plan for an off-leash dog park that will service the Mandarin community. The city has made an offer on the property and will be proceeding with the legislative process to acquire the additional land.
In other parts of the city, design is underway to renovate Friendship Fountain on the Southbank, creating an audio/visual show experience that will attract residents and visitors to the downtown area. Construction is estimated to begin by the spring of 2020. And improvements are underway at Hanna Park to renovate the restroom facilities as well as create a new splash (water park area) for families to enjoy. These improvements will be complete by the summer of 2020.
Q: Do you have anything else to share with Mandarin residents?
A: The entire Hazouri family wishes everyone a very Happy Holiday Season. We hope the season is joyous and full of family time.
Q: What is the best way for our readers to contact you?
A: They can email me at THazouri@coj.net or call (904) 630-1396.