Local News

Sebring spruces up City Pier Beach

SEBRING - Cheyenne Williams sat on a wall and watched Wednesday as her two godsons played in the sand at City Pier Beach and swam in the water. When she used to swim at the beach, it (the water) used to come up to here," she said. Williams said she's happy the city reopened the beach and is making improving improvements to the area. The beach reopened in May after having been closed since 2008 when a man drowned in a dredge hole. Earlier this year, workers plugged the hole.
As the long-awaited reopening moved toward reality this year, Community Redevelopment Agency officials talked about sprucing up the area around the beach and holding a celebration at a formal reopening. The reopening celebration idea never gained traction, said Casey Wohl, who does marketing for the CRA. But, that doesn't mean future community events won't focus on City Pier Beach. Wohl, has advocated making good use of the beach in efforts to promote the CRA and downtown. "It's a prime location to hold an event," she said, adding that she expects several events she's helping to plan for during the next year will likely involve the beach area. Although the reopening celebration for the beach never occurred, improvements are expected to be completed in the next two weeks. Kenneth Fields, public works director for Sebring, said about $15,000 is being spent to make improvements to the Pier beach and Rotary Park area. He said the work includes painting railings on the pier, doing pressure cleaning and making repairs to columns. He also said that the project includes planting more trees in the area, trimming existing trees and adding landscaping and sod. Fields said that once the work is completed, he believes his department can keep the area maintained. That the area was even open made Williams happy. She said she hadn't been to the beach for quite a while because of the closing. "The was the first day I found out it was open," she said. Selina Olguin, who came with a friend to eat lunch near the beach, said the area is more attractive with the dredging being completed. She said she's happy the city wants to improve the area. jmeisel@highlandstoday.com (863) 386-5834