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Who’s Who in Celebration?

Last month, the Celebration Area Council held a Who’s Who in Celebration? panel event to help build a bridge between the Celebration residential and business communities, and provide education on the functions of Celebration’s “alphabet soup” of governing organizations. Attendees at the event enjoyed a lunch catered by Shoney’s at Old Town and heard from David Anderson with the Celebration Residential Owners Association (CROA), Cassandra Harris Starks with the Celebration Community Development District (CCDD), Charles Castellon with our own Celebration Area Council (CAC), and Heather Timm with the Celebration Foundation (CF).  Here are a few highlights.

When we last met with these groups, they had just been asked by the state to explore the possibility of incorporation in Celebration. Most recently a consultant has been hired for further research and they are awaiting results.  They are not required to incorporate, but rather explore their options.

CROA has implemented improvements on pay as you go for residents.  They are excited for a big initiative for a new community center.  There has been a call for one for many years, and one possibility is the former AMC Movie Theater space.  The theater is in pristine condition with cups still in a cup dispenser.  A group of residents has been assembled to look this and other options.  This group of eight residents is looking at other options for the theatre as well.  Lexin will not sell the space and are looking at tenants that would pay what AMC paid.  The group is considering what different tenants might offer.

They are also looking at revamping the 851 building which needs work.  The new neighborhood that is under construction, Island Village, is a mile past Celebration High School on Celebration Blvd.  CROA will own and manage the pool and club house in the new neighborhood, which will include apartments, single family homes, and townhomes.  A new shopping center is going in at the end of World Drive and a new elementary school will open in fall of 2023.  CROA wants to make sure communications are broad and utilize different mediums and they are looking at electronic signage and are running options by Disney.

The face of Celebration is its events, and they can be found in the Celebration News.  CROA will share anything that is good for the community in the Flash Friday

The Celebration Foundation shared that they underwent many changes during COVID, including transferring much of their programming to Zoom.  This year they will move to a hybrid model.  Their concert series has already come back in person and the Holiday Home Tour will be back this year.  The concert schedule was announced in this month’s Celebration News.  Heather shared that the Celebration Foundation would love to see some of the activity and vibrancy going on further west on Highway 192 extend to the Celebration area.  They always welcome volunteers from high school age to seniors.

The CCDD is making residents aware of the Poinciana Parkway extension and encouraging them to make their voices heard.  Traffic is always a concern.  They, like their counterparts in CNOA and CROA, turn to The Celebration Company to advocate on their behalf when something concerns them on the County or state level.  The former Stetson building is still vacant.  It is limited to education, civic, or businesses uses.  CCDD owns and maintains the parking lot outside that building.

You can follow along with these organizations at their meetings and websites, and they can be reached by email or phone.  The CCDD meets every fourth Tuesday of the month at 6:00 pm and recordings of their meetings can be requested.  CROA maintains The Celebration News, a revenue-neutral monthly magazine that conveniently features copy from each of the other organizations, as well as Sheriff Lopez and District 1 Commissioner Choudhry in each issue.  They also meet monthly in person and stream their meetings online.  The Celebration Foundation has a section in the Celebration News.  Their offices are located at 610 Sycamore.  The Celebration Area Council Board of Directors meets monthly at Windsor at Celebration and their contact info can be found on the Chamber website.  In addition, the Celebration Non-Residential Owners Association (CNOA) meets weekly.

 

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