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HIGH SPRINGS ‒ The City of High Springs is planning upcoming activities for the 2021-22 fiscal year. City Manager Ashley Stathatos expects to add one position in the Streets Department, and she also added additional funds to help the City apply for more grants for streets and drainage issues. Police vehicles will be replaced under a lease agreement at a cost of $45,000 per year.

Parks Department

Stathatos also anticipates adding a project manager to the Parks Department using Wild Spaces Public Places funds for Wild Spaces Public Places projects. Also budgeted for is the Canoe Outpost purchase, the City’s share of the Rails to Trails project, work on the Catherine Taylor Community Center, along with a Parks and Trail System Master Plan at a total of $1,077,500, which also includes utilizing Wild Spaces Public Places funds.

Improvements to Memorial Park are also on the horizon and will include a new ball field and additional improvements to the existing ball fields. “Funding for these projects will include utilizing Wild Spaces Public Places as matching funds with a Land Water Conservation Grant,” said Parks & Recreation Director Damon Messina.

Fire Department

Purchases for the High Springs Fire Department will include a heavy-duty technical rescue unit, referred to as the Squad, at $740,000 and an engine at $650,000. Revenue generated from the increased fire assessment will cover the purchase of the new Squad and Engine at roughly $157,000 per year. “We are still in the planning phase of the brush truck, exploring a couple of different options. Therefore, an exact dollar figure is not known at this time,” said Assistant City Manager Bruce Gillingham.

Utilities

Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Funds will be used to help develop a parking and stormwater plan as well as a photometric study for lighting in the downtown area.

The City also plans to pay for the third water well at a cost of $667,700, with payments estimated to be $90,000 a year, and an advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) program at $2 million, which will be financed. Stathatos expects the AMI program will decrease water loss and will end up paying for itself, while also providing greater meter reading accuracy and enhancing customer service to the citizens. Water funds will help pay for these two items.

Sewer funds will help pay for the wastewater treatment plant expansion project, which will cost $7 million, with the anticipation of receiving grant funding. A new public works storage building is anticipated at a cost of $200,000, which will be funded over a two- to three-year period. The Water Sewer Master Plan is being funded with a portion coming from both the water and sewer funds.

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