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Live Oaks' first grant enhances project budget

(ran East, South editions)

Thirteen neighborhoods won grants from the city's Neighborhood Partnership for a variety of improvements.

An interdisciplinary committee reviewed applications from 20 neighborhoods before awarding about $185,000 in grant money. Neighborhoods in most cases will match that amount through donated time, materials or cash.

The Live Oaks Neighborhood Association, which represents Central to Fifth Avenue N, from 49th to 58th streets N, will get $20,000 from the city in its first-ever grant, which the association will use for signs, landscaping and art over six storm drain ditches. Live Oaks neighbors only asked for just less than $11,000, but the review committee bumped the funding to $20,000 to ensure that the art commissioning goes smoothly.

Fliers and advertisements asking artists to submit designs should be going out any time, president Mary Alice Stevens said. The work would decorate concrete bridges over drainage ditches along Burlington Avenue and 52nd, 55th and 58th streets N. Among the samples submitted for application, neighbors preferred faux bridges or environmental scenes, but Stevens expects a range of ideas from artists.

The grant also funds 13 identity signs throughout the neighborhood, including two of sandblasted wood at the triangular intersection of Burlington Avenue and 52nd Street N. Crape myrtles will spruce up that same area, and a pair of benches for pedestrians will drop into the median.

The city will conduct neighborhood grant-writing workshops again this year, planner Terese Hilliard said. Applications that failed to make the cut often had omitted required documentation or had failed to secure permission of adjacent property owners or others affected by proposed projects.

"People who came to the workshops and used the information were most successful," Hilliard said.

Here is a rundown of other grant recipients and what neighborhoods plan to do:

+ Azalea, $1,857: 33 metal identity signs.

+ Bayou Bonita, $25,000: Twelve decorative lamp posts in Cook Park.

+ Coquina Key, $22,892: Two neighborhood identification monuments; landscaping along Lewis and Elkcam boulevards S.

+ Euclid-St. Paul's, $3,375: Planting 29 trees (crape myrtle, magnolia, oak, maple) along rights of way.

+ Jungle Terrace, $7,934: Twenty-two metal signs and four monuments.

+ Mangrove Bayou, $11,800: Planting 59 crape myrtles along Bayou Grande and Venetian boulevards N.

+ Methodist Town, $8,820: Six decorative identification signs.

+ North Kenwood, $25,000 (neighborhood will match with $30,000): Two bridges over Booker Creek, the first phase of neighborhood master plan.

+ Old Pasadena, $16,436: Seven 13-foot-tall decorative lights.

+ Riviera Bay, $9,780: Four neighborhood identification signs.

+ Shore Acres, $7,100: Planting 35 crape myrtles along Shore Acres Boulevard.

+ Snell Isle, $25,000: Decorative lighting along both sides of the approach to the Vinoy Resort and Golf Club, between Snell Isle and Palmera boulevards N.

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As migrant workers in Immokalee and surrounding areas face winter's remaining months, some local residents are trying to keep them warm. Thirteenth Street Heights residents planned to send blankets, quilts and clothing to migrant families on Friday. Former president Dorothy Gilliam said she was inspired by a letter from a friend, Norm Bungard, expressing gratitude for both good things and bad.

"Everybody has been pitching in," Gilliam said. Redlands Christian Migrant Association will distribute the donated items to families.