LAKE PLACID — The Town of Lake Placid is moving forward with the lengthy process of possibly creating a community redevelopment agency.
Town Administrator Phil Williams said recently the Central Florida Regional Planning Council will be submitting a grant “any day now” for funding to conduct the study to show the town’s need for a CRA.
The grant is a technical assistance grant from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.
“If we get the grant ... the completion is called for on May 15, 2015, and the survey of the elements of the town to determine a finding of ‘slum or blighted areas’ should be done around Aug. 31,” Williams said.
The cost for the study by the Central Florida Regional Planning Council will be $15,000.
On June 4, Williams sent a letter about the town’s CRA intent to the state director of the Division of Community Development.
In the letter, Williams said Lake Placid is a rural area of critical economic concern with a population of 2,223.
“A continuous goal of the Town of Lake Placid has been to look at mechanisms to promote economic development within the town,” he said.
Mayor John Holbrook said the town needs answers before it decides to create a CRA.
“We are just going through this initial phase to see what it involves and what it takes and if it is going to be applicable for us to do it and see how much of the town we can incorporate,” into a CRA, he said. “I think we need to do it to try to give our downtown merchants some hope.”
A CRA is going to take time to create, Holbrook said. The study will help the town council make a more rational decision.
The finding of necessity study will include: surveys of local infrastructure including street conditions; building conditions, occupancy rate and rental rates; housing conditions to determine the number of dilapidated and deteriorated structures; vacant land and ownership and lot size and population density.
The study will also look into trends in assessed values of real property over the past five years.
The overall study will include photographic documentation and redevelopment opportunities.