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News Story
Updated: 12/11/2013 08:00:00AM

Resident wants Grand Hotel project closed down

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By BILL ROGERS

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There wasn’t any new business or old business and a only a couple of items on the consent agenda for the Lake Wales City Commission to consider Tuesday night. As a result the meeting was a short one that lasted less than 20 minutes.

The commission heard from Lake Wales resident Nick Smith. Smith spoke, as he did last month, about the Grand Hotel.

He said the contract the developer (Ray Brown) has with the city is in default “six ways to Sunday.”

“I want to shut this project down,” Smith said, claiming that the building it is not insured. “He’s giving tours.”

City Attorney Chuck Galloway said he has talked with Brown about insurance and asked him specifically if he had liability insurance and did it name the city as an additional insurer. Galloway said Brown assured him that he did.

“The issue still is, the same thing I said at the last meeting, the building is owned by the developer,” Galloway said. “There is not liability flowing into the city because of this developer’s actions or inactions for that matter.”

Commissioners voted 5-0 for the consent agenda that included a special event permit application for Lake Wales Mardi Gras.

The approval of the special event permit application will allow the Lake Wales Mardi Gras to hold pre-parade activities on Friday, Feb. 28 in the downtown area, will allow a 5K Run to take place on Feb. 28 in the early evening, will allow the Mardi Gras Parade to be held on Saturday, March 1 and allow the temporary closing of several streets and parking lots for the pre-parade, actual parade, and after parade activities.

The activities for the 2014 Lake Wales Mardi Gras are proposed as follows:

6-11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28: Food vendors along South Market Street and North Market Street, a beer garden and musical entertainment in the Marketplace parking lot, the beer garden will be enclosed within the white fencing belonging to the city. Set up of the tent, Dumpster and sanitary facilities would begin at 8 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, with the fence installation on Friday.

6-7 p.m. Friday: 5K Run beginning at the clock on Park Avenue traveling east on Park Avenue to Lakeshore Boulevard, crossing Lakeshore to the bike path traveling south on the bike path 1.55 miles and heading back the same route to the Marketplace where awards will be presented under the tent.

Saturday, March 1: The activities will continue in the downtown area beginning at 10 a.m. with craft vendors in the Marketplace, food vendors on South Market Street and a portion of North Market Street. Kid’s activities will be set up on the two city parking lots on East Stuart at State Road 17. Musical entertainment will continue in the Marketplace parking lot beginning around noon in addition to the beer garden. These activities will conclude at 10 p.m.

Saturday, March 1: the main event will begin at 3 p.m. with the Mardi Gras Parade, which will start on the east side of City Hall and make its way through the downtown area concluding at Park Avenue and Third Street at approximately 5 p.m.

The parade route involves the following streets: Central Avenue from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to S.R. 17 (Scenic Highway), S.R. 17 from Central Avenue to Stuart Avenue, East Stuart Avenue from S.R. 17 to North First Street, North First Street to Park Avenue, East on Park Avenue from North First Street to Third Street.

The commission also agreed to grant Duke Energy Florida Inc. a 10-foot easement on city property at 600 Chalet Suzanne Road. That is the location of the Lake Wales Fire Department’s substation.

Duke Energy has advised the city that the easement is needed on the property to allow for the installation of electrical service for the new fire station.


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