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Updated: 08/27/2014 08:05:02AM

Residents oppose Family Dollar near Chalet Suzanne

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Some Lake Wales citizens residing along Chalet Suzanne Road don’t want a proposed Family Dollar store that would be “grossly wrong.” The large group of residents banded together with a couple spokesmen to alert the Lake Wales City Council on Aug. 19 calling a Family Dollar (retail store) “an abomination in our very beautiful area.”

Because the discussion was brought up early in the meeting and the issue was to be discussed later in the meeting, Mayor Gene Fultz brought the issue up to the council for its input earlier in the meeting.

City Manager Kenneth Fields explained to the residents that the proposed retail store would be located on county property and that the city will not provide the utilities requested by the retail store. The property is located across the entrance of the Dinner Lake development entrance, next to the Carlsburg housing development. He also stated the original site preferred by the company was across from the Shell gas station on Scenic Highway, that also was not favorable to the residents.

After discussion by both groups, and with the city not participating in the locating or providing utilities for the retail store, the issue was mute. Deputy Mayor Christopher Lutton reminded those residents to attend the Polk County Commission meeting to let that body know their feelings since that body was directly involved in the retail store placement.

In other business, the eight people who wanted chickens in the city of Lake Wales have their wish. The city council unanimously passed the Chicken Pilot Program at the Tuesday meeting.

Lake Wales residents can have chickens. The decision was passed after the first reading of the documents. The program is designed to demonstrate (on a small scale) the benefits of allowing the citizens of Lake Wales to raise a limited number of backyard chickens. The Lake Wales Chicken Council will be created by persons participating in the program in order that the program be effectively monitored. The program will include up to eight participants and last for one year from Sept. 5, 2014 and ending Aug. 31, 2015. At the end of one year, the Lake Wales City Commission will revisit the issue.

City Manager Fields directed the Lake Wales Historical Depot representatives present that there is “no provision in this year’s budget” for funds for the Depot Museum. Mimi Hardman and Linda Truitt addressed the city council again requesting either funds to keep the museum open or to get back the railroad cars that Hardman’s group sold to the city last year for $10. Since that time, the historical society has found a buyer for the cars for recycling that would pay funds to the museum.

“If you want a museum and you never had a paid employee there, I am willing to hear an idea,” Hardman said. “If we could address this again I would appreciate it.”

In other business:

The Lake Wales Library was given permission by the council to provide the Polk County Library Cooperative (PCLC) book mobile for next year. The service provides library services for all of the county with the PCLC providing all costs.

“Because the Lake Wales Library provides the Books by Mail program for the PCLC, we thought handling the bookmobile was just a natural continuance,” said Lake Wales Executive Librarian Tina Peak.

The goal is to have the PCLC Bookmobile operating again by June 2015.

The Lake Wales Public Library will develop, select, purchase and own the bookmobile’s materials collection. All resulting circulations will be credited to the Lake Wales Public Library’s annual total and will result in higher revenues for the Lake Wales Public Library from PCLC’s annual funding mechanism.

The Purple Heart Chapter of Lake Wales through American Legion Memorial Post 71 and VFW Post 2420 requested permission to construct a Purple Heart Monument and Park in front of City Hall in the area adjacent to the existing Veterans Memorial. The costs of construction will be raised entirely through private donations. The proposed park will include three benches, pavers (which would include the names of donors), and a monument to those who have received a Purple Heart medal. The city asked to review the plans and have someone with a professional eye review the proposal.

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