Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Delaney Hears the Problems Mayor Gets Earful on Water, Streets

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Delaney Hears the Problems Mayor Gets Earful on Water, Streets

Article excerpt

John Waddell wanted help to stop a proposed increase in his

United Water Florida rates.

"United Water is again raising the rates. It is going up 28

more percent," Waddell said. "Is there anything the city can do

to help us?"

John Slappey wanted to know what's delayed the planned 1992

widening of St. Augustine Road between Emerson Street and

Philips Highway on the Southside.

"What has happened to that project is something I can't fathom.

We are talking about seven years," he said. "What are your

reactions to this?"

Waddell, Slappey and several others addressed their questions

to Mayor John Delaney at a Monday night town meeting at Mandarin

High School.

The mayor and the heads of nine city departments heard an array

of questions during the two-hour meeting. Ultimately, many were

concerned about growth and traffic in Mandarin, to which Delaney

said at least the Fair Share program -- which asks developers to

pay for some of the impact their projects will cause on area

roads -- is helping.

"We are rejecting as many permits in this area as are being

granted. And we aren't giving them because we want to, but

because we have to," the mayor said. "To the extent we are able

to extract money from any developer to pay for the roads and

infrastructure, that is what we are doing."

Before opening the floor for questions, Delaney told the 30

residents that he wants to cut taxes, improve roads and

drainage, control growth, clean up the environment and improve

the quality of life.

Waddell asked if the city could buy United Water's utility in

Jacksonville to save residents from a rate increase. The

Jacksonville Electric Authority now handles electric and water

utility service for most of the city, while United Water serves

about 30,000 other residents. …

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