A New Perspective 12-30-2004: Growth

Golden Gate Gazette

December 30, 2004

It seems like a slow year when you try to remember what happened over the past twelve months as we prepare for the annual Year-in Review edition.
The night before we finish the paper, I usually get a glance at the stories. After reading this years version I’m reminded how it always amazes me at how much does happen in a year.
The stories gathering the most print for the year were Jesse Hardy trying to keep his property from being taken by eminent domain by the DEP as they try restoration in the Southern Golden Gate Estates, water rates and quality for Orangetree, and FEMA flood maps.
We carried the PDF format of the LOMA list (the list that showed people that would be exempt from having to prove they wouldn’t have to pay higher flood insurance) and the bytes transferred during that time rivaled the largest newspaper sites in the world.
Ranking right up there in most print category was the Golden Gate Fire and Rescue District, as they tried to build new firehouses and training facilities. Also keeping them in the limelight was their extraordinary pay raises, while at the same time crying poor, understaffed, and needing to raise taxes.
Many different growth versus impact stories filled most of the editions of the Gazette in some format or another. This is a trend that will continue as bulk of the future growth of the county in population and dwelling units will be in our area.
Low estimates for population in our area are 200,000 additional people. County estimates bring that figure close to 500,000 new people.
There were three bridge stories that dealt with moving larger masses of people and more connectivity. That is bridges. The bridges making headlines this year were the bridge at 13th Street SW, the Bridge over the canal to the new Golden Gate High School off Tropicana Boulevard, and the planned bridges connecting more of the Estates in the future.
The bridge list will become a bigger topic in the future as congested driving will make them a necessity. If the bridges aren’t built it will make it so estates residents will need to purchase a helicopter if they are going to want to commute any where. Without a helicopter you will be stuck in traffic for too many hours a day. Do you want to put up with a bridge or buy a helicopter?
Decisions that will have the biggest effect on the area of the future were made this year. That would be the finalizing of a new Golden Gate Master Plan, and the additional areas set up for commercial development.
Getting the most ink overall, was the many pages and photographs dealing with local sports and the happenings of the many new schools that opened up in our area.
The schools eat up a good share of all of our tax dollars. We’re glad to be able to bring you the news of that entity at a level you will care about more than you have in the past. Afterall, these are now our schools and not the schools we send our children off to.
What plans are you making now to make the year 2005 the best yet?