I wasn’t here at the time, but I’m told “beautification” was the buzz word during the most recent mayoral election, and it was mentioned (but not at the forefront) during the most recent city council election back in November.
Currently, we have a poll at sanfordherald.com that asks readers to grade Sanford’s beautification.
My grade right now: C
I think our city has a lot going for it … the recent effort to beautify Horner Boulevard (which needs it) from U.S. 1 to the Washington Ave. railroad bridge; the soon-to-be started Endor Iron Furnace greenway, which will begin in Sanford and wind through much of Lee County; and I think the work being done on and around the new bypass has been done with greenery and aesthetics in mind.
Sanford’s west side, which is considered its “rich side,” and that’s no secret has its moments. Several neighborhoods in the area are a joy just to drive through, but visitors to Sanford rarely get to see this side.
My “C” grade comes because of some of the plight we’re seeing downtown (don’t get me wrong, great efforts are being made in some areas, but there are still too many empty buildings, unkept streets and more for the grade to be any higher). My “C” grade comes because of the way many businesses along Horner Boulevard have completely let their store fronts go. My “C” grade comes because of the plight you see in portions of the eastern side of Sanford, where nice well-kept homes are mixed with rundown homes and empty boarded-up lots.
I’m interested in hearing your thoughts — the good and the bad of Sanford’s beautification efforts. Out of 138 voters so far, 38 percent have given the city a C, 20 percent a B, 18 percent a D and 17 percent an F. Only 6 percent have given the city an A.