DeLand has spoken! Streetscaping Voorhis Avenue is what the people want, at least according to an online survey.
From Jan. 27 to Feb. 26, the City of DeLand Downtown Community Redevelopment Agency ran an online survey to see how residents wanted to spend $600,000 in CRA money allocated for capital projects.
The survey received 702 responses. Individuals were asked to rank their top five of seven proposed capital projects.
Projects and their estimated cost, from the most to the least expensive:
Investing in a smart-parking management system for Downtown’s parking spots. ($600,000)
Streetscaping an area of Voorhis Avenue ($500,000)
Rejuvenating the stamped concrete at many of the Downtown intersections ($500,000)
Paving a grass lot off East Rich Avenue for parking ($200,000)
Leveling pavers in Downtown sidewalks ($100,000 to $150,000)
Renovating Sunflower and Painters Pond parks ($65,000)
Replacing a cork directory board in Pioneer Park with an interactive digital directory ($30,000)
Coming in first with the most top-rank selections was the Voorhis Avenue streetscaping project with 177 first-place selections. Hot on its heels was the paving of a parking area between the 100 blocks of East Rich and East Church avenues, with 165 first-place selections.
Third place — and a popular No. 2 choice — was renovation of Sunflower and Painters Pond parks, both in the northeast quadrant of Downtown DeLand. This option got 121 first-place selections.
A $600,000 smart-parking management system, which would allow people to use credit cards to pay for parking or find open parking spaces on their cellphones, for example, received 64 first-place and 119 second-place selections.
At the bottom of the barrel were two projects: Repairing stamped concrete at Downtown DeLand intersections, and replacing the Pioneer Park cork directory board with an interactive digital directory. Those items had 32 and 24 rankings, respectively.
The last two questions on the survey asked respondents if they preferred the CRA monies going toward one large project or multiple small projects, and whether people were comfortable with the CRA borrowing money to accomplish additional projects on the list.
A minority of 260 respondents said they preferred one large project, while 442 preferred multiple smaller projects. As for financing, 383 were in support, while 319 voted “No.”
Results of the survey will be presented to members of the CRA board at their next meeting, 6 p.m. Monday, March 15, at DeLand City Hall, 120 S. Florida Ave. The meeting is open to the public.
Downtown DeLand’s CRA board comprises the five members of the DeLand City Commission, plus two individuals with business interests in Downtown DeLand: Elusive Grape owner Bill Budzinski, and Outsiders USA co-owner Ella Ran.