Developers that have built in Lake Mary will see where some of their impact fee dollars went as the city creates a public park that's funded, in part, by the municipal assessments that are paid for providing public services to new construction.
Heritage Park, at the east end of Lake Mary near its SunRail station, is planned to go out for bid for a general contractor in early summer.
The land that is being used was donated to the city for public use and currently contains trees and open space. It is at Greenleaf Laneand Palmetto Street, adjacent to Lake Mary Cemetery.
The project, planned on about an acre, will cost roughly $500,000 and be built in two phases.
The first part will cost roughly $185,000 and is expected to begin in the late summer or early fall.
The city will dip into its impact fees, which run into the tens of thousands of dollars for a typical project, to pay for this first phase of the park.
The initiative will include natural paths, paver walks, landscaping, shade trees, historical interpretive signs and benches. City officials expect this part of the park to be done about 90 days from the beginning of construction.
The second part, which is expected for 2019, will cost about $285,000 and feature a memorial containing a fountain with military emblems, a memorial wall and an homage to the police and fire people who have served the city.
A local civic group, the Lake Mary Trailblazers, has committed to raising funds for the Veteran's Memorial part of the park. Depending on their success with securing funding, the second part of the park could start sooner than 2019.
The park, while designed to be a welcome place for existing residents, could also play a bit of a role in aiding Lake Mary's appeal for those coming into the area, said Bryan Nipe, director of Parks and Recreation.
"This will beautify a corner in an area of the downtown district of Lake Mary that is beginning to see growth," he said.
The notion of a park has been in the works for several years as a way of highlight the history and heritage of Lake Mary.
A working group made up of interested residents was formed four years ago and they helped develop a concept for the open space.
The Lake Mary City Commission then voted to also integrate a Veteran's Memorial after discussing the park with local veterans.