DOWNTOWN CLEANUP effort EXTENDS EAST
City officials will extend their downtown environmental cleanup efforts to 37 acres east of the CSX railroad tracks.
Commissioners voted Monday to designate the old industrial area — bounded by Laura, Alsobrook and Alabama streets and the drainage canal south of Alabama Street — the Lincoln Park Brownfield.
The move comes as workers are cleaning contaminated soil west of the tracks in Midtown to revitalize and market the area to developers. The Lincoln Park designation gives property owners options to seek grants, loans and tax credits toward removing any contaminated soil. About 20 to 30 properties are in the zone, some dating to the 1940s.
Most of the sites are vacant, but a handful contain active businesses, said special projects manager Jim McDaniel. Officials applied for a $200,000 federal grant a couple of weeks ago to fund a site analysis, including possible soil sampling, to learn the extent of contamination by industrial chemicals.
"We'll hear back in a few months whether we made the cut," City Manager Greg Horwedel said. "The most you can get is $200,000 for the grant."
Joggers to get new, scenic path
The pond at Hunter and Grant streets will soon feature a concrete path.
City commissioners on Monday approved a $207,000 contract to build a 12-foot-wide path around the pond. The path will run a little over a half mile. The work will happen from early January to March 1.
The path's name: Snowden Park Recreational Trail.
Gloriana, Jackson added to berry fest
Gloriana, with the new hit (Kissed You) Good Night, joined March's Florida Strawberry Festival lineup this week along with venerable favorite Alan Jackson. Gloriana appears March 2 while Jackson will perform March 3. Tickets for the two acts went on sale Thursday.
Rich Shopes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 661-2454.