The City of Clermont is making plans for a grand opening of Victory Pointe this summer. The $9.5-million stormwater project and urban, passive park is critical to the success of the City’s award-winning Master Plan aimed at revitalizing the downtown and waterfront.
On June 14, 2017, the City began construction on Victory Pointe. The 10-acre site will be the first, major project completed from the Downtown-Waterfront Master Plan approved in 2015. The innovative park will combine recreational elements, such as trails and a performance area, with an extensive stormwater facility. The stormwater facility will enhance drainage downtown and improve the quality of water entering Lake Minneola, a State of Florida-designated “Impaired Water.”
City officials say the project will likely be finished in late June with a grand opening slated on Friday, July 27, 2018.
The City has partnered with several regional and state agencies to fund completion of the multimillion-dollar project. When completed, Victory Pointe is expected to have a regional and statewide impact. The unique attributes of Victory Pointe have allowed the City to successfully obtain grant funding for many of the recreational, cultural and stormwater elements of the project.
The project was awarded $412,000 through its Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Program Implementation grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through an agreement/contract with the Nonpoint Source Management Section of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) to fund bio-swales and planters that collect and treat stormwater run-off before entering the park’s filter system and eventually Lake Minneola.
After a rain shower, water will drain into the swales and planters, which consist of vegetation and porous materials. These elements provide the initial treatment on the nutrient-rich run-off.
As part of the larger Victory Pointe conveyance system, the water is then directed to a series of retention ponds. The bio-swales and planters, along with the ponds, represent the first two stages of the water-treatment process. The final two stages, before water enters Lake Minneola, include an inundated marsh and filter marsh.
As part of the partnerships with FDEP, EPA, St. Johns Water Management District (SJWMD) and the Lake County Water Authority, the City will monitor the project to determine the impact the facility has on pollutants entering the lake. It is estimated that 19.09 kg/yr. of phosphorus will be prevented from entering the lake. The project also will remove much of the solid debris and trash that could potentially find its way to the water.
In addition to the improvement of water quality, the project will play a key role in the redevelopment of downtown. As a result of the increased drainage capabilities, the project will act as a catalyst for future development, allowing construction to occur with a 20-percent more impervious surface. This means that downtown businesses will be able to utilize more of their property since less area for drainage will be needed.
To maximize the impact of the project, interpretive signage will be installed throughout the site. The signs will educate visitors about the stormwater treatment system, how it functions and the long-term benefits to the environment. This important, educational part of the project will be completed with financial and technical assistance from the FDEP. Tour guides will point out the signs during the project’s grand opening.
Already, the project has gained statewide notice. The Florida League of Cities’ “Quality Cities” magazine next month will feature Victory Pointe.
At the July 27 grand opening, the City will invite the community to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at which the City will recognize all the partners who made the project possible. Invitations are going out next week to the stakeholders who played a role in the project.
Updates on the project will be provided on the Master Plan page on the City’s website www.clermontfl.gov, through its social media and through its quarterly newsletter.
June 19, 6:30 pm – Tonight’s Clermont City Council Workshop was held for informational gathering and discussion of three topics.
- The conceptual design of the boat ramp to be constructed at the east end of Waterfront Park. Surveying has begun. Design includes two double boat ramps and 166 parking spaces with an overflow green area. Also included will be restrooms and outside shower.
- Budget Highlights. Expenditures include four new police school resource officers projected to start in August 2018. The annual cost of the school resource officers is $279,653, with the school board reimbursing the City $151,000. In addition, there is a one-time capital cost of $211,280 that will not be reimbursed by the school board.
- Request for letters of interest for Minneola Avenue and Downtown Waterfront Restaurant Pad Sites. These letters are intended to provide as gauge for the interest in downtown Clermont by private business (not developers or investors).
June 21, 4 pm – 6 pm, at the Highlander Building, 330 3rdSt.
Focus: The City of Clermont, HDR Consulting and Lake Sumter MPO are hosting a public forum to share information on the East Avenue Complete Street Study and to receive community feedback. This project spans from Minnehaha Avenue and East Avenue to Palm Drive and East Avenue. The study is funded through a Florida Department of Transportation grant.
June 25, 6 pm, at the Clermont City Center, 620 W. Montrose St.
Focus: The next phase of the Master Plan redevelopment of the downtown-waterfront district. This meeting will focus on the improvements that will be made to Osceola Street and West Avenue.