It has been several years in the making. In fact, roughly 17 years of discussions, planning sessions and debate, but I'm pleased to report the city's first major construction effort within Riverwalk and the Town Center Redevelopment District has begun. Port Orange's selected contractor started the construction of the Riverwalk Park Phase 1A effort that will bring recreational opportunities to the public in the form of a kayak/canoe launch as well as segments of a trailway and boardwalk. Completion time for Phase 1A is by the end of this year. Very soon, the city will seek bids to construct the remaining portion of the park (Phase 1B). Staff has secured $600,000 in grant funds from the Florida Inland Navigation District and the Volusia ECHO grant program that will assist with the construction of both phases.
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The vision behind the Town Center Redevelopment District and Riverwalk is to revitalize Port Orange's original downtown and commercial core. Town Center and Riverwalk have a strong emphasis on mixed-use development with retail, residential and recreational elements that blend history, culture and public access to the water. Once completed, it will be a signature destination that reestablishes Port Orange as a premier waterfront community.
For the second consecutive year, the "Get Fit Port Orange Challenge" was a success. A total of 570 pounds were lost by the 52 individuals who completed the final weigh-ins. The ten-week fitness program encourages participants to live an active, balanced lifestyle to improve health and lose weight. Thank you to the program's many community sponsors and organizers.
Finally, I want to encourage you to prepare for hurricane season, which has already started. Developing a plan doesn't take much time, however, it will benefit you and your family a great deal.
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