: City Commission is to award the initial design work to S&ME, Inc. at the June 20, 2017 meeting. The firm has proposed a 7-week schedule to develop a conceptual plan that will identify the nature and location of all proposed improvements.
The Lakefront Park Improvements total cost is $4,720,000 of which $2,439,000 comes from the general bond funds. Funding sources for the remaining balance has not yet been identified. The public space on the western shore of Starke Lake has become a major event venue space with multiple indoor and outdoor elements. This project will improve those spaces and provide additional capacity to accommodate larger public and private events. In addition, these improvements will provide space for private investments, such as restaurants, to take advantage of the shoreline ambience.
Two Major Project Components
The project will be constructed in two phases to allow an early start for that portion which can move forward prior to relocation of the City Hall.
Lakefront Park Improvements
The major element of this project component will cost $4,180,000 and involve the removal of existing traffic-ways and buildings, construction of a formal amphitheater, parking upgrades, commercial building spaces, a small water park, playground, and pedestrian pathways.
Lake Shore Improvements
The shoreline of Starke Lake will cost $540,000 and get native littoral plantings to improve lake water quality and preserve the banks, plus landscaping, improved sidewalks and lighting, more pavilions, a boardwalk, and enhanced water-access facilities (boat launches, piers, and docks). The existing boat ramp will be moved and a portion of Lakeshore Drive may be closed.
General Fund Capital Bond Construction Schedule
Phase 1 will include shared parking and facilities supporting all venues; Phase 2 of construction includes demolition of old City Hall.