83.8 F
The Villages
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
Wednesday, April 8, 2020
83.8 F
The Villages

Top Story

Frustrated Villagers want answers about COVID-19 testing site at the polo fields

Consternation boiled over this week as exasperated Villagers sought answers about the UF Health Coronavirus drive-through testing site at the polo fields.

Letters

Bicyclists should stay to the right

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Fenney resident offers his ideas on bicyclists and safety.

I didn’t bargain for loss of community feel in The Villages

A Village of Belvedere defends points made - and roundly criticized - in a Letter to the Editor earlier this week.

Around Florida

DeSantis vows fixes to online system overwhelmed by unemployment claims

Gov. Ron DeSantis has announced plans to rapidly repair the online system Floridians are using to file for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 crisis.

Obituaries

Richard B. Dodge

As the City of St. Petersburg (FL) administrator, Rick Dodge led the efforts to attract the Salvador Dali Museum, a major league baseball park, and win an expansion franchise, the Tampa Bay Rays.

Health

Singer-songwriter David Olney died onstage of heart attack

The death of singer-songwriter David Olney, who suffered a heart attack and died while performing onstage, reminds us of the value of knowing CPR. Dr. Gabe Mirkin offers his thoughts.

Business

Wal-Mart limiting number of customers inside stores amid COVID-19 outbreak

A major chain store with locations in and around The Villages has made a sweeping change that will impact customers amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

$20 million in construction projects move ahead in Wildwood despite COVID-19

Nearly $20 million worth of Wildwood city construction projects are continuing despite the Coronavirus crisis.

The city’s new $7-million police headquarters is scheduled to open by mid-summer. Other projects include the Oxford water treatment plant, renovation of the former North Sumter Primary School and improvements at Martin Luther King Jr. Park.

Commissioners received status reports Monday on these projects and approved a budget amendment that provides some funds. The meeting was held by phone with commissioners in separate rooms at city hall due to the virus.

At the police headquarters on the southwest corner of U.S. 301 and County Road 462 West, electrical conduit and lighting boxes will be installed this week. Curbs and walkways are expected to be completed next week. Next month, construction crews will work through punch lists to complete or correct outstanding items. Final inspections are slated for mid-May.

The $7.6-million Oxford water treatment plant is substantially completed and the contractor is working through a punch list of outstanding items. Final completion is expected in early June.

Equipment also is being installed at the Oxford lift station, which is part of the wastewater treatment system.

Nearly $2 million in improvements are under way at Martin Luther King Jr. Park on the city’s west side under contract with Daly and Zilch.

Renovation is proceeding on the former North Sumter Primary School, acquired last year by the city. The $2.5-million project includes $218,000 in roof repairs. The project includes interior and exterior upgrades, as well as site improvements.

Mayor Ed Wolf suggested that the city hall annex project could be placed on hold due to the Coronavirus. The city received project bids that were considered too high.

“The bids might be completely different if the economy starts to come back,” he said.

Commissioners also approved a budget amendment that accounts for unexpected expenses and projects carried over from the prior year.

The amendment allocates $385,000 to cover a cost difference for the Martin Luther King Jr. Park project, $200,000 in loan proceeds for the city hall annex, $92,000 for city hall roof repairs, $60,000 for a pavement management program and $29,200 for the city web site project.

In other business, commissioners approved zoning and a comprehensive plan amendment for the Wildwood Lifestyle Hotel, planned along State Road 44 near County Road 44A. The hotel is in the early planning stages, but is expected to have about 200 rooms.

LIVE: Coronavirus Updates

Latest Posts

Bicyclists should stay to the right

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Fenney resident offers his ideas on bicyclists and safety.

I didn’t bargain for loss of community feel in The Villages

A Village of Belvedere defends points made - and roundly criticized - in a Letter to the Editor earlier this week.

Joe Diffie and many other musicians have died from COVID-19

Dr. Gabe Mirkin looks at the death of country performer Joe Diffie from COVID-19 and attempts to determine if musicians are somehow more at risk of the Coronavirus.

Richard B. Dodge

As the City of St. Petersburg (FL) administrator, Rick Dodge led the efforts to attract the Salvador Dali Museum, a major league baseball park, and win an expansion franchise, the Tampa Bay Rays.

More Headlines

Fenney food truck to re-open weeks after numerous violations

A food truck is returning to serve residents of the Village of Fenney after an inspection last month turned up several health code violations.

No tee times after 4 p.m. at any golf course in The Villages

Starting Wednesday, April 8, all Championship and Executive Golf Courses will close at 4 p.m. following the last tee time.

Photos

Opinions

Joe Diffie and many other musicians have died from COVID-19

Dr. Gabe Mirkin looks at the death of country performer Joe Diffie from COVID-19 and attempts to determine if musicians are somehow more at risk of the Coronavirus.

Crime

Wildwood police seeking help in locating stolen older-model Chevy pickup

Wildwood police officers are searching for a pickup truck that was stolen in the city recently.

Belleview man popped on multiple drug charges after ramming deputy’s patrol vehicle

A Belleview man was arrested Monday night after fleeing from Marion County sheriff’s deputies and then ramming into a patrol vehicle.