Who needs a lake?
LAKE CITY — While Lake City lacks an actual lake — “Everything but the lake” is seen on signs welcoming visitors to the community — it does have a recently renovated place to not only swim, but enjoy a trip down a water slide.
City Administrator and Clerk Eric Wood said the improvements were up and running for the 2017 swim season.
“We’ve added a slide and lights,” he said. “It’s completely done.”
Located in the town’s park on the west side of Lake City, it has a great deal of potential and Wood said that preliminary work is being done to improve other areas.
“The tennis courts there,” he said. “We would like to resurface those. It’s part of our long-term plans. We want to make the whole park nice, we would like to make that a destination.”
The town is also exploring a City Hall remodeling project that, among other things, would give the Lake City Betterment Association a new home there. The group would be able to take advantage of the already-in-place Wi-Fi and other utilities. In addition, since the Betterment Association and the town share many common goals, the close proximity would benefit both.
“What’s good for one is good for the other,” Wood said. “We’re really excited for having their office.”
Several existing businesses, including the Capri Theater, which is a community effort, are doing well too.
He’s also excited that soon he and other residents will be able to enjoy Mexican food. A new restaurant is scheduled to open in the renovated Carnegie Library building. Additionally, the Wagon Wheel Restaurant is under new ownership, Tammy Green’s CPA firm has renovated and moved into a downtown building, and a powder-coating firm called Mickey Johns has opened a manufacturing business. They make an in-house-designed step for RVs.
“They’ve been going good,” Wood said.
The town has also been helping local businesses with loans from a fund generated by its local option sales tax. It has made five-year loans totaling almost $10,000 to three local businesses to help them make improvements and needed repairs.
“We are giving back to the community,” Wood said.
One of those businesses is the fitness center and chiropractic practice of Dr. Jeff Redenius on the south side of Lake City’s downtown square.
Redenius said the response to his fitness center has been very positive.
“It’s going very well,” he said. “A fitness center is new to the area. The concept is being received well. People are seeing the benefit of exercise and it ties in well with my practice.”
Redenius does a lot of physical therapy and athletic training. Having the center next to his office gives him a convenient location to help his patients.
“It’s not just the adjustment table,” he said of his work.
Redenius lives in the community with his family and he’s a strong supporter of giving back. This spring, he will renovate the front of his building.
“We’re putting in new stonework,” he said. “It will get a complete facelift. We take giving back to heart. You have to do your part to make sure the square looks good.”
He’s also living proof that Lake City does, indeed, have everything but that infamous missing lake. He seldomly leaves.
“I don’t think I’ve put more than 120 miles on my truck in the last two months,” he said. “We have a great store. I’m at the hardware store at least twice a week.”
Another thing that Lake City provides its residents is a large, well-stocked library run by Library Director Michele Deluhery.
ThIt has done some upgrades and improvements too.
“We got a grant from the Calhoun County Community Foundation,” she said. “We used it to buy new computers. They’ve been very generous.”
Previously, the library had used grants to add new shelving and other improvements to better serve the community.
Deluhery has applied for a grant to add some more science technology engineering arts and math items to the collection.
“We hope to add some books, development toys and offer some get a class going in basic computer programming,” she said.
It also has some new material to help children learn about agriculture.
“We got a $500 grant from Farm Credit Services of America in Carroll,” she said. “We got some ag-related books and materials, which was wonderful. We didn’t have a lot of those.”
The library provides computers for patrons and Wi-Fi. The computers are seeing less use.
“Not as much as we used to,” she said. “A lot of our patrons use the Wi-Fi or even sit outside and use it.”
They also offer audio books and ebooks through the Bridges program.
“Enjoying an audio book is just as beneficial as reading a book,” she said.
In addition, the audio format is ideal for those with vision problems and the ebooks offer the option of increasing the type size for easier reading.
She said that the library’s Maker Space has been very popular with patrons too. She is currently in the process of adding an embroidery machine as well.