Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayor Responds in Person Northside Meeting Raises New Issues

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Mayor Responds in Person Northside Meeting Raises New Issues

Article excerpt

Dot Mathias asked the mayor at a Northside town meeting Monday night when the new fire station would be built at Imeson Airport.

He turned to Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Chief Ray Alfred, who was sitting behind him at a table in the First Coast High School cafeteria.

Alfred said he didn't know exactly when it would be completed, but that the station was in the design phase.

Mathias' question was one of many Northside residents asked Mayor John Delaney during what amounts to something like a news conference for the average citizen. Issues ranged from lower rates on entertainment for Jacksonville residents to putting up notices that a gun club is in a neighborhood.

Delaney, with directors from city departments backing him up, rotates the question-and-answer style meetings to different areas in Jacksonville.

When Glen Harrell, president of the Jacksonville Gun Club, mentioned his concern, Delaney said it was one he hadn't heard before in his four years of town meetings.

"We find as a result of all this good growth, a few of our neighbors are having trouble with the noise we make," said Harrell, whose club practices on 130 acres leased from the city off New Berlin Road.

Harrell wanted to know if they could post information about their existence and whereabouts so potential new neighbors would know before they purchase land or build homes nearby.

As is often the case at these meetings, Harrell's question was not answered on the spot, but the Planning and Development Department director said perhaps such notices of land-use types could be listed on the Internet.

Most of the questions dealt with specific situations on the Northside, except a suggestion from Harry Wagner and a concern from Roland Biederer.

Wagner mentioned the makeover of the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts and talk of building a new sports arena and baseball park. The Oceanway resident said there should be discounts for Duval County residents who pay taxes to build or remodel such venues and to improve roadways leading to the sites. …

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