City approves annexation, funding requests and recognizes special residents

·4 min read

Jun. 23—Several items of business was addressed at the recent city council meeting dealing with potential housing developments, grant funding and proclamations.

At Tuesday's meeting the city council approved the annexation of about seven acres of land, owned by LAMCO Custom Builders LLC, into the city limits. The developers requested the annexation to gain access to the city's water and sewer and begin the process of building single-family homes on that land.

The land begins at the southeast corner of Carthage Street and Tyndall Drive and runs south to the city limits. The land would also be accessed from those two streets.

Karen Kennedy, the city's Community Development Planner, came before council seeking approval to go forward with requesting additional Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to keep their consultant and complete renovations at 226 Linden Ave. The address is the location for five affordable housing units that will eventually be occupied by people who are homeless.

Kennedy said they need an additional $241,967 to finish the work and pay for their consultant. Prior to the new request her office along with Sanford Housing Authority received a CDBG grant for $750,000 to do the renovations.

Rising construction costs due to COVID is the main reason behind the need for additional CDBG funding, according to a letter from the city to state's CDBG grant management office. Kennedy said construction of curbs, gutters and sidewalks were big ticket expenditures as well.

She said sometime in July the renovation of four one-bedroom units and two, two-bedroom units should be complete and occupied.

The city also had four public hearings regarding proposed housing-related developments being rezoned, but no action was taken. The requests must now go before the city's Planning Board for approval.

If the rezoning requests get approved by the Planning Board they will have to come back to the city council for approval at the city council's next board meeting, which is on June 21.

One of the three public hearings, which invites those who are in favor or against a proposed development to share their views with the city council, had people with something to say at the meeting.

A public hearing regarding the annexation and rezoning of property owned by Stephens Enterprises LLC, was met with resistance from residents from that area claiming they needed to find out more about the development.

Two residents who live on the 900 block of Breezewood Road, close to where the proposed development would be located, said they did not receive any notice in the mail about the public hearing. They felt it was too soon for the council to make a decision without being fully aware of what the development was all about.

A representative from Stephens Enterprises LLC, who was at the meeting, said someone would make themselves available to them to address their concerns. In the meantime the council voted to table the public hearing until their meeting on July 19.

During the meeting the city council gave out proclamations recognizing outstanding residents in the city.

Members of the Young Commissioners were recognized for participating in the program. The group is made of middle and high school students and focuses on building their skills outside of the classroom, which one being experience how their government works.

Members of the group were able to spend time with members of Lee County Board of Commissioners and Sanford City Council. They were able to get an up close and personal experience on how board and council members do their job.

Those who went beyond the call of duty during the Sanford Block Party, were recognized for their efforts. The Sanford Block Party is annual event where people volunteer to clean the outside of homes and do minor repairs to them if needed.

Sanford businessman and former CEO of Sanford Area Growth Alliance, Kirk Bradley, received a proclamation and key to the city for his outstanding service to the community over the years.

Mayor Chet Mann said he considers Bradley a friend and mentor. He said a lot of the strides the city has made are due to his leadership and can-do attitude.

Mann said Bradley always gives without being asked and gives without wanting any credit.