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"Making Measurable Progress"

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Norine Dworkin

Editor in Chief

Friday, April 28, 2023


Norine Dworkin/VoxPopuli

Winter Garden City Manager Jon Williams speaks about the city's progress in East Winter Garden at Healthy West Orange on April 26, 2023.

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Winter Garden City Manager Jon Williams delivered a status update Wednesday on the city’s projects in East Winter Garden for the leaders of social service organizations and other community stakeholders at a meeting organized by Polis Institute at Healthy West Orange headquarters in the historically Black neighborhood. Polis Institute is partnering with the city to facilitate a $15 million revitalization of the neighborhood through the city’s CRA or community redevelopment area.

Williams said the city has “focused on purchasing property” and “improving safety” along Tenth Street. “I think we’re making some measurable progress,” he said.

Here are the highlights:

  • The city has acquired all four corners of Tenth and Center Streets and is focused on streetscaping and improving infrastructure, such as widening the sidewalks to make them more walkable, narrowing the street to slow traffic and running power lines underground to help prevent outages because of downed lines.

  • A new Boys & Girls Club will be built at Ninth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. This project was intended to be built in phases, but Williams said they would request funding from the city commission to build it “all at once.”

  • 30,000 square feet of retail, office and restaurant space has been approved by the city commission to be constructed on the corner of Ninth and Eleventh Streets.

  • The city commission cleared the way for the purchase of 16 acres on Hwy 50, just west of Avalon Road, for a potential land swap deal with Orange County Public Schools that would give them an possible alternative site for a depot for 200 school buses while preserving the historic legacy of the Orange Technical College-West Side location. Before it was the vocational school, it was Drew High School — named for the surgeon Dr. Charles Drew who revolutionized blood banking — the city’s segregated school for Black students, which closed in 1969.

  • The Community Redevelopment Advisory Board authorized $40,000 for the Home Rehabilitation Program along with more than $230,000 in a facade matching grant for the Dyson Legacy project to preserve that historic structure. The Dyson store has been in the community for more than 90 years.

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