• Winter Springs hopes to spruce up entrance to city


    Winter Springs wants to spruce up parts of the city using $1.2 million in tax money to get it done.

    The projects include the area of State Road 17/92 and Florida Avenue, and the addition of a gateway at S.R. 17/92 and State Road 434 along the outskirts of the city.

    Some city residents are skeptical.

    "I like to see the city beautified too, but I think there needs to be a priority list," said resident Greg Knuckles.

    The mayor of Winter Springs said the project is worth the money.

    "It is an area of the city that, because it's on our western boundary, we haven't given it enough attention, frankly," said Mayor Charles Lacey.

    That western boundary is about to become a gateway to Winter Springs.

    "It is a major artery off 17/92 coming into the city. To declare to the motorists, that they're now in Winter Springs and have the aesthetics up to the standards that people expect when they're in Winter Springs," said Lacey.

    The money would come from a grant from the community redevelopment agency.

    That money can only be used to clean up slum areas and blight, it can't be used for other city services.

    Lacey said he believes new gateway signs will improve property values.

    He said a similar project attracted a development with 138 new homes.

    "By bringing in more development, it allows us to keep our taxes low for the rest of the citizens," said Lacey.

    The project at Florida Avenue will also improve traffic flow and add sidewalks to make the street safer.

    The Seminole County Board of Commissioners decides how the 17/92 community redevelopment agency money is used. It will discuss the projects at Tuesday's meeting.

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    Winter Springs hopes to spruce up entrance to city