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Wildwood to further discuss Village Green project in the Town Center

By: Mary Shapiro

Wildwood’s City Council, on Aug. 14, is set to further discuss possible legislation that would approve spending up to $5,500 for Stock and Associates engineering firm to prepare a preliminary concept plan for a Village Green project in the city’s Town Center commercial area behind City Hall off Main Street.

According to Councilmember Larry Goodson [Ward 8] added that the land is adjacent to city-owned property, so that about three acres total could be used for a Village Green.

During a council work session on July 24, only Councilmember Debra Smith McCutchen [Ward 5] opposed drafting the legislation. She objected to using tax dollars to pay for the project, instead asking that developers provide such a green space. McCutchen was not alone in her concerns.

Councilmember Tammy Shea [Ward 3] also said, “I don’t support the location – it would be terrible for a Village Green, a complete waste of our money. The property being considered is a retention basin, which is unsuited for development.”

Joe Vujnich, director of planning and parks, said the property could be used for a Village Green in addition to stormwater retention purposes. Vujnich said the property was selected based on cost, proximity to complementary uses, ease of development and potential partnerships with other property owners to complete the project.

“A Village Green has been discussed for 20 years, and I think it will be money well spent to determine if this is a viable option,” Councilmember Dave Bertolino [Ward 5] said.

Vujnich said that, while the city doesn’t own the property, it has discussed this possible use with the owners to maintain the site.

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