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COLUMN

Council Watch

Billy Manes paying attention to local government so you don't have to

Item: The city approves a grant of temporary license with the Orlando Utilities Commission for installation of electric vehicle charging stations.

Translation:

Speaking of! What are you going to do with a bunch of do-gooder dead batteries after the joy of driving 73 miles without gas wears off? There’s another named initiative for that. The ChargePoint America Program – a joint venture between the U.S. Department of Energy and Coulomb Technologies – picked nine cities (including Orlando) to experiment with electro-car infrastructure. That means the city will be allowing OUC to install battery chargers in a bunch of city-owned parking garages; that also means that OUC will be billing you directly for how much juice you suck.

Item: The city approves specific action items from the Oct. 26, 2011, Downtown Development Board meeting – Development Review Committee.

Translation:DDB items are typically just a roundup of who is getting new shingles and who is not getting a new door – that is, when they don’t include giant new developments intended to completely change the complexion of downtown. Like, for example, that hotel development slated for the old OUC building (it’s a big OUC week!), which the city allowed a developer to purchase for just $2.8 million back in August? Well, it’s going to be called – wait for it – the A-Loft Hotel! Hilarious. The DDB also unanimously approved the vague notion of what exactly the Creative Village is going to be, or at least how it’s going to be built. This preliminary approval of the planned development master plan is a hot boilerplate of obvious laced with things like a master art plan (must be tasteful and excellent), street furniture (in “furniture zones!”) and bike racks. In essence, we’re still pretending that, because there’s a PowerPoint presentation about it, this hipster utopia is really happening. We doubt it.

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