Ormond Beach, FL – It took seven months for Ormond Beach officials to figure out what its residents wanted from them.
Now it’s up to city commissioners to implement the results of the “OB Life” after the final meeting of that city-led effort to improve its quality of life took place last night (January 22nd) at Calvary Christian Academy.
The “OB Life” – created back in June of 2018 – was a series of monthly meetings with the public to discuss different issues around the city, including transportation, environment, culture, public safety and economic development.
Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington (below) says all the comments and feedback city staff gathered in those meetings was put together in a book that he and the rest of the City Commission will now review prior to discussing the city’s strategic plan during its February 27th meeting.
“Never before has a commission (allowed) this to happen,” Partington added. “Never before have they, at this level, sought out citizen engagement.”
The results of these meetings were also compiled into a “word bubble” shown during the meeting, highlighting what residents felt needed to be addressed about Ormond Beach, or how they felt about the city.
Residents said east-west travel was one problem that needed to be addressed. To address it, the city announced a planned extension of Hand Avenue, which was met with support from the audience.
When it comes to environmental concerns, resides say that water quality needed to be fixed by replacing septic tanks with sewer systems, continuing advancement in stormwater treatment capacity and new regulations to protect natural resources.
Attendees and participants also said they wanted to see a greater city role in emergency transport and a greater emphasis on preparedness.
New parks were also addressed as an area of need, especially west of I-95, along with new bike paths and trails as well as new boating and water activities.
As for economic development, residents want to see new businesses and employers brought to Ormond, with an emphasis on using already vacant areas that are appropriately zoned for said businesses.
When it came to the question “What do you value most about living in Ormond Beach?”, residents said the small-town feel, friendliness and sense of community is what they valued most about the city.
One other want that residents addressed was transparency with local government. This led to the announcement of a brand new financial-transparency website. This website will allow residents to see financial data of the city updated much quicker than the city’s current software, which was said to have been 20 years old. The website will also be updated weekly, with a launch date set on February 15th.