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INVERNESS — During Inverness City Manager Frank DiGiovanni’s 15th annual State of the City address, he announced that 2013 was “a very good year.”
Among the year’s highlights:
+ A $500,000 grant application was submitted to the Florida Cultural Facilities Program for funds to complete work on the Valerie Theatre, which city officials hope will be open December 2014.
+ The city achieved debt-free status.
+ Saw an increase in “investment and building activity.”
+ Implemented a residential recycling, uniform Waste Management cart program at no direct cost to residents, and a commercial Dumpster sharing program that would reduce commercial rates.
+ New landfill agreement with Heart of Florida Environmental in Sumter County with a potential annual savings of $75,000 to $100,000.
+ Continued improvements to Whispering Pines Park facilities, including the addition of a “space net” piece of play equipment for kids; also planted eight cathedral oaks at Cooter Pond Park and put up new split-rail fencing.
+ North Apopka Avenue “Bicycle Boulevard” was completed and bike racks were installed around town and local parks. Also, 11 Big Belly solar semi-automated trash compactors were added in the city parks.
+ Phase 1 of the Wayfind sign program was completed.
+ The build-out upstairs of the Inverness Government Center was completed for office space for U.S. Rep. Rich Nugent; also build-out for the Department of Children and Families is nearing completion.
“Not to mention the number of events, ‘major’ and ‘more major’ that were added and enhanced to ‘kick up’ a yearlong calendar of events that are all free to the public,” DiGiovanni said. “We also saw, on a grand scale, the completion and opening of a Publix shopping center, a new O’Reilly’s auto store came to town and demolition and complete rebuild of a Wendy’s on the exact site took place.”
Contact Chronicle reporter Nancy Kennedy at 352-564-2927 or email@example.com.