By Mary Thurwachter

    It may appear bleak now, but soon the green space at the Lantana Beach facing A1A and east of the drainage ditch swale will be undergoing a spruce-up courtesy of an anonymous resident.
    At the March 23 meeting, the Lantana Town Council gave two big green thumbs up to a proposal to purchase vegetation to replace what had been removed when the parking lot was reconstructed and to extend the existing irrigation system to cover the new plants.
    The project will cost $9,769, according to Town Manager Deborah Manzo. Tropical Landscapers Inc. will do the work.
    “An individual who wants to have the beach beautified immediately and doesn’t want to wait until we have funds is making the donation,” said Mayor Dave Stewart. “This is not uncommon in this town. In the past, Generoso Pope (founder of The National Enquirer) gave us a fire truck and fireworks and (car dealer) Wayne Akers also gave us fireworks.”
    There is, Stewart said, “no quid pro quo.”
    Salt-tolerant plants were recommended by a landscape architect and will include variegated arboricola, coco plums, crinum lilies and thrinax.
    “We wanted something low-maintenance,” said Mike Greenstein, the town’s director of operations and arborist.
    Council member Phil Aridas said he preferred planting a line of 7-foot palm trees, but Manzo said that could interfere with overhead power lines.
    Work is expected to begin early in April.

    In other action:
    • Stewart, who was unopposed in the recent election, was sworn in. This is his 15th year as mayor.
    • The council approved a modification to the site plan for Aura Seaside (on the former Cenacle property) to allow for two more units and four more parking spaces, for a total of 246 apartments and 621 parking spaces. The modification will not mean a change in the project’s footprint. Construction on the luxury apartment complex is scheduled to begin as soon as summer.
    • The council approved of a site plan for the Lantana Sports Complex to include three baseball fields, two soccer fields, a maintenance shed, a concession/restroom building and 150 parking spaces. The complex, on land previously known as the A.G. Holley Complex, will be built at 903 N. Eighth St. in the mixed-use industrial district.

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