WINTER HAVEN — Recently, city staff hosted two meetings with residents to get feedback on city services.

“These are things citizens have talked to us about,” City Manager Mike Herr said at an agenda review meeting last month. “I'm pleased to say we are responding.”

One of those recent meetings took place at the Winter Haven Recreational and Cultural Center on MLK Boulevard. On June 24, city commissioners authorized around $40,000 to study how much it would cost to renovate the center.

Some of the project ideas came directly from residents.

The roof was recently replaced and there is around $1.5 million budgeted for renovations that could start next year.

City staff want to build a splash pad, heat the pool during the winter, make the center accessible for those who are disabled, expand the fitness center, create a technology room, create a staff office, reconfigure the check-in area, add a meeting room and build a more attractive facade out front.

Over the past six months or so, Central Florida Regional Planning Council staff have been meeting with residents and coming up with future plans to rejuvenate the neighborhood around the center.

The study should be complete by December 2019.

Herr also told the commission that he would be recommending tax dollars be spent to circle Lake Elbert with a trail.

In the coming months, city staff will be reaching out to residents around the lake to see if any would be willing to donate land toward the cause.

There is $1.5 million budgeted to move city hall from its' current location to Nora Mayo Hall, Herr also said, adding more details would be made public by August.

Contact Charles A. Baker III at cbaker@d-r.media.

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