At the February 20 Town Council meeting, Megan Ledin, Executive Director of Grand Foundation updated the Town Council on the Town’s affordable housing donor fund. She told the Council that “the fund is sitting at $215,700, with another $34,300 needed for full matching funds” and, that “they have several grant applications out and hope to get the additional funds soon”. She added that, in the most recent fund cycle, “18 families that work or live in Winter Park were served by the fund, receiving a little less than $50,000 in total”.

Winter Park & Fraser Chamber Executive Director, Catherine Ross, submitted a Special Event permit application for the first of four Spring concerts, which will be located in town at Hideaway Park. The other three will be held at the base of Winter Park Resort. The Winter Park & Fraser Chamber is working with Winter Park Resort on the series which is no longer be referred to as Springtopia, but instead as Spring Bash + Splash.  

The series will take place on four separate weekends, and, the Chamber is helping to book the bands, which have not yet been announced. The goal of the series is to “Activate Springtime” and encourage people to visit for the weekend and enjoy spring skiing.

The Council also approved Plat extension requests from Rendezvous at Winter Park and Serenity Trail Timber House properties. The Council also approved the Transit Advisory Committee’s Transit Service Request Memo which was followed by members of Town and Community departments/ facilities giving updates on current projects and happenings.

Acting Town Manager, Bill Wengert, provided an update on the Transit Advisory Committee. He told the Council they’re planning an “unveil” event for the new busses when they arrive. He reported that ridership was down 8% in January, an improvement over December, which was down 15%.

Bill Wengert next provided the Town Manager’s update. He told the Council that the Police Department expansion construction will start in the next few months, that work with the county on a transit maintenance facility continues, and, he stated that they have some capital projects out to bid and due back by the end of the month and early March. With regard to Town Branding, he said new signs are being placed in town and on vehicles.

Following an Executive Session was the first meeting of the Winter Park Housing Authority. The Council unanimously approved the by-laws, the appointment of Secretary/Executive Director, Acting Town Manager Bill Wengert, and the designated place of posting of public notices.  

Town Housing Manager, John Crone, told the Council that the Authority plans to meet monthly, on dates coinciding with Town Council meetings, since they are also the Authority’s governing board.

In other business, he said the Dimmit II project is estimated to cost approximately $13 million. The debt will be held by the housing authority and the collateral will be the lease with Winter Park Resort. The Town is currently waiting for the letter of intent from the Resort. If all goes as planned, they are hoping to break ground on the project in late May or early June, as conditions permit. He told the board that structural engineering is in progress, but formal plans have not been finalized at this time.