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The City of Clermont held a public forum at the Clermont City Center in Historic Downtown Clermont recently to discuss the new Master Plan and the projects proposed in the Community Redevelopment Agency area (CRA).

Clermont City Manager Darren Gray and Clermont Economic Development Manager Jim Hitt were the presenters to the interested crowd which included local citizens and several dozen Downtown business and property owners.

Hitt, following the Enhance Connect Grow, City of Clermont Downtown & Waterfront Master Plan, also explained some of the specific currently in the works. Some 70 new benches are or will be placed on the waterfront area and many are being placed elsewhere in Clermont, he told the crowd.

Public parking signs are coming for placement at strategic places to direct drivers as well as 35-40 new signs are going up for drivers to reach Historic Downtown

Gray spoke of the plan noting that it is for the next 10-20 years and that nothing is set in stone but rather the plan is flexible.

"That means you have economic opportunities in Clermont and to make it better," Gray said.

He went on to say that affected citizens "come in and ask for Jim, who is on the third floor of City Hall, and talk about what you want and can do Downtown."

The plan calls for a entry on Eighth Street with lots of activity to funnel people downtown.

Hitt also mentioned the Incentive Program that the city has to fix up downtown buildings. It is a grant for exterior improvements. Windows, brickwork, awnings, for example can be funded up to $5,000 with 25 percent match from owner.

Hitt said that he would help anyone fill out the paperwork needed if they wanted to apply for the Incentive Program money.

Business and property owners gather to hear city's plans for the Historic Downtown Clermont area
historic downtown clermont
Jim Hitt is the Community Redevelopment Agency manager for Clermont. He recently addressed the public on the plans for the re-development of Historic Downtown Clermont. (Photo by Mike Corradino)
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