The survey results are in.
I asked the City Commission members some time ago whether they believed the survey design was unbiased because I was concerned the questions were focused more on personal political agendas than on issues pertinent to the long range interests of the citizens. Margie Bridges and Beth Dillaha assured me they believed the survey was as reasonable and unbiased as they could make it.
Here are some quotes from the report:
Residents’ preferred strategic initiatives are:
- Continuing the underground power line initiative
- Continuing financial support for the library
- Controlling development and density through codes & zoning
Residents’ lowest priorities for strategic initiatives are:
- Partnering with the Orange County Public School system to build a new school to replace the Brookshire School
- Providing financial support to outside cultural, civic, service, and community organizations
- Designating areas and building as historic in an effort to maintain or enhance the historic
- character of the downtown area
Priorities for long-term capital investments are:
- Expanding the Winter Park Public Library
- Beautifying/renovating Fairbanks Avenue
Rebuilding City Hall is the lowest rated long-term capital investment.
WINTER PARK POST OFFICE
A slim majority of citizens (52%) wish to keep the retail and distribution center of the Winter Park Post Office exactly as is. About one in five citizens (19%) prefers to build a new retail post office downtown and move the distribution part of the post office to another location (freeing up one acre of parkland downtown) given a $4 to $5 million price tag. Another 19% prefer to build a new retail post office and distribution center outside the downtown area (freeing up two acres of parkland) at a cost of $4 to $5 million. (PJW Comment: Based on recent communications with the USPS the likely cost of any of these alternatives is a minimum of $7 million plus the cost of land.)
The City of Winter Park agreed to provide financial support for a commuter rail system. While operating costs through the year 2017 are covered by the Florida Department of Transportation, the City of Winter Park may need to contribute an estimated $1 million per year aft er 2017 if a dedicated funding source for commuter rail cannot be found. By a 48% to 36% margin, citizens of Winter Park favor continued support for the commuter rail project in the absence of a dedicated funding source in the year 2017. Citizens in all quadrants except the northwest support the commuter rail project. Support is greatest in the southwest quadrant with 63% of citizens favoring to conti nue support for commuter rail after 2017 even without a dedicated funding source.
Citizens also support spending approximately $1.4 million (if federal funds are not available) to reconstruct the Amtrak building in Craftsman-style to make it stylistically consistent with the character of Winter Park. Proponents out number opponents 48% to 34%. Support for funding the reconstruction of the station is highest in the southwest quadrant (61%) and lowest in the northwest quadrant (38%).