Citizen input sought on ways to improve New Smyrna Beach's key intersection of US 1 and Canal photo by Henry Frederick and video by Sera Frederick / The former Dunn Lumber building off the intersection of US 1 and West Canal was torn down in December 2010 and vacant since then.

NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The city recognizes something needs to be done about improving the aesthetics of one of its key intersections: US 1 and Canal Street.

The community Redevelopment Agency will hold a meeting next Thursday in the City Commission Chambers, 210 Sams Avenue. Two hours have been set aside for citizen input beginning at 5 p.m.

The purpose of the meeting is to update area stakeholders and citizens on the progress of the project, share conceptual aesthetic treatment designs, and solicit design input, said Tony Otte, CRA director.

"This intersection is one of the busiest in the city," Otte said. "It's also an entrance into the Canal Street Historic District and the Historic Westside Community. It's a very important element in redevelopment of the community."

Planned improvements to the CRA property on the northwest corner of the intersection also will be discussed where the former Dunn Lumber building was before it was demolished.

The demolishing of the building in December 2010, was a major improvement for New Smyrna Beach's heaviest intersection with the Florida East Coast railroad crossing less than a hundred yards in on West Canal, city officials have said.

The City Commission in 2008, voted to authorize the Community Redevelopment Agency to spend $417,000 to purchase the former Dunn Lumber property at the city's key intersection, seen as the gateway to New Smyrna Beach's tourism route: Historic Canal Street and the Indian River to the east, along with tourist-trendy Flagler Avenue and the Atlantic Ocean, and to the west, State Road 44 corridor shopping and rural charm.

Commissioner Jim Hathaway questioned the need to pay so much, but then-Mayor Sally Mackay was adamant her colleagues not "quibble" over the cost. "It's the heart of our city," the mayor said. That is the center of New Smyrna Beach. It's where you live. It's where I live... I don't think we should quibble... The city needs to claim the center of this town."



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Henry Frederick is publisher of Headline Surfer®, the award-winning 24/7 internet newspaper serving the Daytona Beach-New Smyrna Beach / Sanford-Orlando metropolitan region via Florida's first around-the-clock newspaper was launched April 7, 2008, in New Smyrna Beach, initially as and Headline Surfer is a registered trademark of NSB News LLC. Headline Surfer® Publisher Henry Frederick, is recognized as one of Florida's top award-winning cops & courts reporters, who has received more awards for such coverage than any other reporter working in Central Florida. He's the top journalist in the Florida Press Club two years running with seven journalism awards for 15 breaking news and investigative stories, three blogs and top internet site. He's the only reporter to win awards for coverage of the Trayvon Martin slaying as well as the subsequent George Zimmerman murder trial acquittal in Sanford. He's also won state, regional and national journalism awards for his coverage of cops and courts fear 8 1/2 years at the Daytona Beach News-Journal, where he witnessed and reported on the execution of serial killer Aileen Wuornos and covered the civil trial brought by NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt's widow to keep his autopsy files sealed. Before that before he covered cops & courts for Gannett Suburban Newspapers / The Journal News in Westchester and Rockland counties in New York, where he won a highly-coveted Associated Press Award for breaking news. Before launching the 24/7 internet newspaper in 2008, he was an award-winning city editor for the Taunton Daily Gazette, in his native Massachusetts for two years, winning a national investigative award on municipal corruption. The first of Frederick's three books, for which he has secured publishing rights, is called "Creepy Ass Cracker" (840 pages, Xlibris), which will hit bookstores in September. His second book, "Wrestling ReWind," is expected to be published in January 2015. The third book is not yet titled.
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