A joint effort of the city of Dade City and the Edwinola Retirement Community will improve Agnes Lamb Park to make it more senior friendly while a city project spruces up the Eighth Street parking lots.
Agnes Lamb is a small park directly in front of the Edwinola in Dade City. It is encircled by Edwinola Way, Meridian Avenue and Eighth Street.
The park facelift is a joint project of the city and the Edwinola as American Senior Living of Dade City LLC. In an agreement between the two, ASLDC agreed to clean out and landscape around an existing fountain and build a small seating wall around it, as well as purchase and install two additional Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant water fountains near the Main Street Christmas House, or "Santa House." The company will also landscape in front of the stage and paint it to match the Edwinola exterior.
American Senior Living agreed to comply with the city's tree protection ordinance and to make sure any other improvements to the Santa House are approved by Dade City Historic Main Street, which owns the house. The work is expected to be done by Jan. 20, in time for the Kumquat Festival.
The city has completed an agreement to remove a shuffleboard court in the park and make sure water is available for the fountains.
City Manager Bill Poe said the agreement was the result of Edwinola Executive Director Betty Kennedy approaching Dade City Commission member Camille Hernandez about the plan. Kennedy presented the plan to the commission, and the commission approved it.
The idea was sparked during the Edwinola's recent 100-year celebration, Kennedy said. "We came to realize how valuable the park could be. We would like to use the park more," she said, "but the park needed some improvements."
The city had wanted to remove the shuffleboard court earlier but was hesitant because the Edwinola had paid to build it. But the facility staff was OK with the removal. "No one ever used it," Kennedy chuckled. "We're high-tech. Our residents do Wii bowling."
Kennedy hopes the park will be more user-friendly for concerts and use by seniors.
Work has been delayed slightly by paperwork, Kennedy said. "We have to get an agreement signed and hopefully it won't delay our deadline."
The Eighth Street parking lots between Church and Pineapple avenues will also be receiving facelifts beginning this week. The northern lot sits across from Agnes Lamb Park, but the two projects are not connected, said City Engineer Gordon Onderdonk.
The project by Bob Larkin Construction will consist of removing and installing brick pavers, installing a drip irrigation system, removal and installation of landscaping, replacing some curbs and sealing and striping the parking lots.
"Pretty much all the big trees in the parking lot are coming out," Poe said. The tree removal is based on two arborist reports, one in the mid 2000s and one more recently, that said the trees should come down.
Most of the trees are water oaks that tend to look healthy from the outside but are decayed inside, Poe said. The same condition afflicted a tree in Zephyr Park in Zephyrhills that fell in 2005, killing a 63-year-woman.
The parking lot project is not scheduled to be done in time for the Kumquat Festival, but parking will be available during the festival.