SEBRING —The Sebring City Council’s meeting was filled with discussions of the Sebring Municipal Golf Course and the Washington Heights area. The talk swung from constructing golf carts and parking lots to improvements for a neighborhood in need of revitalization.
The council listened to the concerns of resident James Aaron who wants to change the zoning on his lots in Washington Heights from R-4, which is for multiple family residences, to C-1, commercial zoning. Although the council can not simply approve the zoning change without going through a formal process, Aaron wanted to know if the council members were open to the possibility.
All council members approved the measure to begin the process of rezoning the area. City Attorney Bob Swaine will prepare the necessary ordinance for rezoning, and the council will hold public hearings to get input from neighbors regarding the rezoning of the lots.
Chapman Construction was awarded the bid for construction of new golf cart sheds, which were damaged during Hurricane Irma. The bid was $311,855, and the lowest bid received. Chapman Construction was also awarded the bid to add additional parking spaces to the Caddyshack Bar & Grill. Chapman bid $183,000 for this project.
Approximately 15 golf cart bridges have been built by private residents over a canal at the Sebring Municipal Golf Course. These bridges make it easier for golf enthusiasts who live on the golf course to access the course. However, the bridges are on city property, and poorly maintained bridges may cause a liability problem for the city.
Council members decided to send letters to the homeowners who had bridges on the golf course. Residents would be given the option of having an engineer certify that the bridge was safe. If the bridge was unsafe, the engineer could make recommendations for structural improvements.
For homeowners who did not wish to maintain the bridges that are on city property, the City of Sebring will remove the bridges.
Reverend Cleveland Williams, pastor at Independent House of Salvation, addressed the council. He along with his daughter, Carolyn Williams, have been mowing lots and helping to beautify the Washington Heights area. The money for the beautification project has been funded by Rev. Williams, and he asked the council for financial support to continue the endeavor.
Council President Charlie Lowrance said, “We appreciate what you are doing a lot. You are doing a great service over there.”
Mayor John Shoop said, “We really appreciate what you’ve done. I can’t put you on the payroll. Maybe people can donate funds through an organization.” The mayor offered to sit with him and go over possible ways to get funding through a non-profit organization.
Scott Noethlich, the city administrator, informed the council members about discussions he had with an organization. “The Sebring Women’s Club appear to be interested in gifting their building to us. Would the council be interested?” Noethlich told the council that the club would be meeting in the upcoming week to finalize their decision on what to do with the building.
Shoop, Councilman Tom Dettman and other council members expressed their interest in the building due to its close proximity to Veterans Beach.