Plenty of new projects to keep Plant City growing and evolving will either start or finish in 2021.
Plant City evolves year after year as it continuously lays the groundwork for the future of the community.
The city is juggling a variety of massive projects that will either be completed or will officially kick off in 2021. Here’s a breakdown of some of the most anticipated changes coming to town.
Parking lot overhaul
If you’ve ever parked in one of the two large parking lots in downtown Plant City along Palmer Street that hug either side of the Robert W. Willaford Railroad Museum, you’ve probably noticed they were in need of some TLC. Drainage issues plagued one lot and the other was riddled with cracked asphalt.
Luckily, some major upgrades are on the way. Each lot will be receiving a complete overhaul as the city essentially starts from scratch to make sure the frequently used lots are in top condition. The renovations will begin in February as there is one large event at the end of January the city agreed to let continue before it began its massive overhaul.
In the meantime, those who wish to come to downtown will have to park their vehicles in one of the many other smaller lots scattered throughout the area.
One project that is sure to please local parents of fur babies is the upcoming completion of the renovations to the Plant City Dog Park, 905 N. Knight St. The parking lot is going to be completely revamped and a bridge was installed at the end of November to connect the parking lot to the dog park itself. The project is expected to be completed by Tampa Bay Marine, Inc. for $289,500. Originally $237,500 was available in PK017 – Dog Park Pedestrian Bridge, so the city ended up transferring an additional $52,000 from a project in the CIT fund.
The new asphalt lot — which is replacing the current dirt parking area — will have 17 parking spaces, including two handicap spaces and there will a “stormwater pond with pipe culvert and drainage structures, signs and pavement markings, installation of a pre-fabricated pedestrian bridge with concrete foundations to allow for pedestrians to cross the existing canal and access the dog park, ADA sidewalk connection from the parking lot to the dog park, and LED site lighting for the parking lot area, the dog park facility and the pedestrian bridge,” according to Parks & Recreation Director Jack Holland.
In order to finish this project, the Plant City Dog Park will sporadically close at times from now through mid-March, when the city estimates it will be completed. Future access will be from Knight Street only.
One of the biggest changes we will see in the new year is a widespread focus on sprucing up local parks. Some of the highlights include the use of $150,000 for playground improvements. Sansone Park will receive $12,500 for its bike/nature trail and general park improvements have been slated for $40,000. Under these funds, ballfields and court lighting are getting $150,000 for refurbishments.
McIntosh Park Preserve is entering Phase I of its Trail Construction, which will require “development of a minimum two-mile pedestrian trail and a wildlife observation tower for the McIntosh Preserve,” according to the city report. This includes approximately 2.3 miles of “at-grade compacted aggregate trails” as well as a parking lot, parking amenities and an elevated steel observation tower. This should be done not too long after the start of the year.
Some other projects on the horizon include the plans to rebuild the Dort Street Basketball and Tennis Courts for $350,000 and to research and design a Spray Park for $100,000. The city is also planning to use an additional $350,000 to design and construct a new Tennis Center that includes restrooms, showers and other amenities.