published: Friday, September 07, 2012
Newsom Center nears development stages after unanimous Council approval
By SAMANTHA GHOLAR
SEBRING -- Construction plans for the Dr. Newsom Eye Surgery Center will continue to move forward after a unanimous approval by the Sebring City Council Tuesday evening.
Council members previously approved the proposal for annexation of the three-story building that will be built across from the Love Buggs gas station on U.S. 27.
The contractors and engineers proposed the location, 4211 U.S. 27 North, at last month's council meeting and informed the council that a grant was being sought for the project development.
Tuesday evening brought the approval of the first reading of the annexation ordinance drawn up by City Attorney Bob Swaine.
Swaine reminded the council members that the ordinance could be tabled or passed at any point up to the final reading if members were dissatisfied with the language or any issues within the ordinance.
Following the annexation ordinance, council members again unanimously passed the zoning ordinance for the project.
The initial presentation, brought to council by Carl Cool of Cool Engineering, requested a zoning of the development as a PD and city commercial.
Swaine stated at the Aug. 21 meeting that the PD zoning would "give you all additional control".
A $750,000 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will be applied for to fund the water and sewer extension to the property.
The grant funds will also cover road improvements along U.S 27 to give better access to the future Newsom Center.
CDBG consultant Fred Fox urged the council to submit the grant before the Oct. 1 deadline. According to Fox, funds have already been reduced by 15 percent last year and additional 8 percent this year.
"The pot is getting smaller," Fox said.
The grant approval would provide approximately 80 jobs, according to Fox.
Cool stated that the jobs would employ local workers.
Fox said that more than half of the jobs are expected to be given to "low-to moderate- income households."
"At least 51 percent of the positions would require no more than a high school education," Fox stated.
Still to come are final zoning changes and approvals, public hearings and the final annexation ordinance vote.
The council will revisit and hold second and final hearings at the Sept. 18 council meeting.
Newsome building (by: AWilley - 9/9/2012)
I find it interesting that 80 low to moderate income jobs will be created. Will these jobs be given to Highlands County workers or will these laborers be brought in from other counties? (Much like what happened with Majestic Cove). If this is one of their 'selling points' maybe the council should ask that question.
Small Banner Ads