Darren Gray

submitted by Donna Digennaro, Clermont Historic Society

Clermont City Manager, Darren Gray, was the featured speaker at the February meeting of the Clermont Historical Society.  Along with Public Information Officer, Kathryn Deen, Darren reviewed all the progress that is being made toward completing all the items from the city’s ten-year master plan.  Victory Pointe, adjacent to the Historic Village, was the first phase in the plan. Projects recently completed include the new boat ramp, the Kehlor Recreation Center and city Gateway features.  Currently, the city is working on the new Art Walk and improving the streetscapes on Osceola, Montrose, Minneola and the streets connecting them between Lake and West.  These will not only be ecstatically pleasing but will provide additional parking, and improved accessibility to downtown from Lake Minneola.

Darren also discussed many new businesses that have opened downtown and the many more that will be coming in the near future.  And then Darren introduced a new “pet project” that he and Toni Bell-Rescoe had discussed at the dedication of the new boat ramp.  The ramp is located on land that once was home to Bell Ceramics.  Darren would like to have a plaque put there recognizing the Bell family and their business.  From there, he would like to move on to recognizing other sites that are publically owned like City Park—the former home of Jenkins Auditorium and before that, the second Publix Supermarket owned by the Jenkins family.  After completing that phase, he sees moving on to privately owned properties.  Darren would like this to be a joint/cooperative project between the city and the historical society.

If you are interested in the history of Clermont and getting involved in Darren’s “pet project” or in history in general, why don’t you consider joining the Clermont Historical Society?  Membership is just $25.00 per person or $35.00 for a couple annually.  Visit our Facebook page to see what is happening at the Village or attend one of our monthly meetings.  Meetings are held on the second Monday of each month in the Train Depot at the Village.  The board meeting (open to the public) is at 6:00 pm followed by a presentation at 7:00 pm.  The next meeting will be March 9th.

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