Lake Clinch Parking to Remain Free, For Now
Frostproof City Council to Decide Next Steps Monday
Last updated 4/26/2023 at 3:44pm
Problems with parking and litter that has plagued Frostproof's popular Lake Clinch Beach drew plenty of public comments at a Monday workshop. The meeting followed a suggestion that the city reinstate parking pass requirements, a step which has not been enforced in several years.
Both parking permits and trash collection will require further discussion which will take place at the next city council meeting on Monday, May 1, at 5:00 pm.
Mixed opinions and a variety of suggestions were heard at Monday's Workshop, leading the Frostproof City Council to decide against making changes for now while agreeing to place additional trash cans and signage in hopes of alleviating some of the largest concerns with the beach-front.
All five Council members were in attendance for the workshop to hear Vice-Mayor Austin Gravley describe conversations with citizens who had complained to him that parking is overcrowded, the beachfront is trashed every weekend, vulgar music is blared loudly, and a concerning amount of illegal activity, including speeding and marijuana use, occurs regularly along Lake Boulevard.
City Manager Nicole McDowell said she has requested the Sheriff's office to provide additional police detail on weekends, and there was some agreement that an improvement has already been noted. Both parking permits and trash collection will require further discussion which will take place at the next city council meeting on Monday, May 1, at 5:00 pm.
Beachfront parking permits became a requirement in 1980 and the ordinance is still on the books but hasn't been enforced in years. The Frostproof Police Department was dissolved and Frostproof now contracts with the Polk County Sheriff's Office for law enforcement.
Gravley also advocated for a pavilion reservation system, saying that the city spent around $40,000 on cleaning and maintaining the beachfront in the 2022 fiscal year.
Gravley is largely seeking to implement parking permits as a revenue generator specifically aimed at those who enjoy the well-maintained beach-front He suggested that if permits were implemented they should be free of charge for those who live within the city.
Councilwoman Tashana True expressed her concerns about littering and the speeding. After witnessing 98 vehicles crowding the beachfront parking on the previous Saturday, True wondered how the logistics of implementing parking passes would work.
Councilman Mike Hutto opined that parking permits will not address the biggest concerns of residents, which appear to be the littering and speeding.
Resident Sandra Sackett addresses the Council to ask if requiring permits and reservations of the pavilions would create more work for city employees and end up costing the city more money than would be made.
Sackett suggested starting simple, with signs specifying a more ideal way to park to fit more vehicles along the beachfront, or even moving the already existing posts preventing vehicles from parking on the water a foot or two west to allow for longer vehicles to park perpendicular to the lake instead of parallel.
Sackett pointed out that the lakefront brings customers to local businesses too, so more than city revenue is to be considered in the decision.