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Council's Corner

Posted on: April 9, 2021

April 2021 Council Updates

A picture of all the Destin City Council members

All City Council meetings may be viewed at www.youtube.com/cityofdestin.

April 5th Council Meeting Recap

Funding Request from Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation: 5-1, motion passed to direct the City Manager to coordinate with the City’s Finance Director to identify the appropriate budget account from which to take the $25,000 they can make available to the Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation. Councilmember Destin requests staff bring information back at the next Council meeting.

Presentation of the Public Works & Safety Committee's 2021-2022 Work Plan: 6-0, motion passed to accept the Public Works / Public Safety Committee 2021-2022 work plan.

City Manager Report:

Land Development Code: 6-0, motion passed to approve the proposed Land Development Code update scope of work and the contract with 3TP Ventures, LLC, to furnish professional planning services to the City in the amount not to exceed $90,000.

Evaluation of the Impacts of the Cross-Town Connector at Intersection of US 98/Stahlman Ave: 6-0, motion passed to direct the City Manager to schedule a City Council workshop within the next 30 days to discuss issues relating to the cross-town connector and other factors they can include on the cross-town connector to make it a truly multi-modal section of the road and get the maximum use out of it; and direct Atkins to delay creating the design until after the workshop.

Resolution 21-03 - Transportation Regional Incentive Program (TRIP) Agreement - Crosstown Connector EN615: 6-0, motion passed to adopt Resolution 21-03, authorizing the City Manager to execute the TRIP Agreement with FDOT and amending the City’s Fiscal Year 2021 Budget accordingly, and directing the City Manager to deliver all necessary documents to the FDOT; and to allow Atkins’ right-of-way acquisition portion of the design project to move forward.

Zerbe/Calhoun Phase 2 Project: 6-0, motion passed to approve Option 2 for the Zerbe/Calhoun Pedestrian Improvements Phase II. Councilmember Destin recommends the City obtains a Scope of Services and proposals from all three continuing services consultants – Dewberry, Baskerville-Donoval, and Volkert – for the project, and bring back staff’s recommended contract for Council’s consideration.

Pine Street Safety Concerns: 6-0, motion passed ask the Sheriff’s Department to pay special attention to speeding on Pine Street in the short term; and in the long term, consider some of the ideas presented by the City Engineer at a workshop later this year.

Captain Royal Melvin Heritage Park and Plaza Kayak Launch: 6-0, motion passed to authorize the City Manager to request the removal of the kayak launch from the project and take whatever additional steps are necessary for processing the request with the FCT, Okaloosa County and the US. Treasury.

Zerbe-Calhoun Pedestrian Improvements Project, Boardwalk section: 6-0, motion passed to to table this matter until the next meeting to allow staff time to obtain some answers on the ADA compliance issue.

Announcements:

  • The DWU is working closely with City staff to coordinate the installation of new reclaim water lines that would require the closure of portions of Airport Road between April 19th and 23rd.
  • Groundbreaking ceremony scheduled to be held at Shore at Crystal Beach Park on April 12th at 10:00 AM.
  • Due to unavoidable delay in conversion to EnerGov system, staff requests Council delays the reopening of the Annex Facility to full 5-days a week until they get the program up and running. Motion to delay the reopening of the Annex Facility to full 5-days a week to the end of April 2021 passed 5-1, with Councilmember Schmidt dissenting.
  • The City Manager will be away on vacation from April 15th to 25th. Deputy City Manager Webb Warren will be Acting City Manager during that period.

Council Comments:

Funds for Watersports Safety Videos: 6-0, motion passed to direct the City Manager to work with the Finance Director to find $8,000 to contribute towards the water sports safety videos.

Nomination/ Appointment of Mr. Jim Bagby to the Board of Adjustment: 5-1, motion passed to appoint Mr. Jim Bagby to the Board of Adjustment.

Project Management Protocols: The City needs to have someone that oversees projects, large or small, to ensure job efficiency, avoid any confusion, and ensure that even the minutest details are not being overlooked. Since the City is already understaffed, recommend Council authorizes the City Manager to start looking into hiring a construction management firm or a continuing services contract for construction manager that will have the project oversight responsibility. Councilmember Destin will draw on his experience as the County Schoolboard liaison to a construction management team and work with the City Manager in finding a firm interested in entering into an agreement with the City.

Cemetery Plots: Councilmember Schmidt asked staff to compare the Destin cemeteries with other municipality and privately run cemeteries in terms of the number of residents and the number of available cemetery plots and provide information to Council.

Airport Road/US Hwy 98 Turn Lane Notice: Staff to continue working with FDOT in determining the appropriate solutions to the safety issues that exist in this turn lane.

Nomination/Appointment of Mr. Harvey Hurst to the Harbor & Waterways Board: 6-0, motion passed to appoint Mr. Harvey Hurst to the Harbor & Waterways Board.

Harbor Capacity Study Steering Committee recommendation to widen and move the harbor channel - Request authorization from City Council: 6-0, motion passed to authorize the City Land Use Attorney to contact the appropriate federal authorities to determine the process involved in widening and moving the harbor channel.

April 19th Council Meeting Recap

Arbor Day Celebration - Mayor Gary Jarvis read a Proclamation designating April 29th, 2021 as Arbor Day in the City of Destin.

City Manager Report:

Utility Undergrounding - Utility Consultants of Florida - Task Order 1: 7-0, motion passed to execute Task Order 1 of the Destin Utility Undergrounding Project Management Agreement with Utility Consultants of Florida.

Support of Bill to Consolidate Utility Poles - SB 1944/HB 1567: 7-0, motion passed to authorize and direct the Mayor and City Manager to send the letter of support for SB 1944 and HB 1567 to the State legislature.

Funding requests from Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation and Okaloosa County Watersports Operators Coalition: 7-0, motion passed to approve the recommended internal budget transfers and direct staff to coordinate a donation of $25,000 to the Emerald Coast Fitness Foundation for operations and a donation of $8,000 to the Okaloosa County Watersports Operators Coalition for production of water safety videos.

Flood Plain Map and Development Issues: 7-0, motion passed to direct staff to proceed with the proposed changes to Ordinances 18-05-LC and 18-05-CC.

Zerbe-Calhoun Pedestrian Improvements Project, Boardwalk section: 7-0, motion passed to direct the City Manager to work with the contractor to install a sidewalk section in the interior of the park instead of the elevated boardwalk sections along Calhoun Avenue.

Direction on Enhancing Payment Technology for Harbor District Parking Lots: It was the consensus of the Council to have staff take a comprehensive approach in pursuing additional payment options, compatible with the existing passport system, through the FY 2022 budget process, and target to implement any good solutions in the fall during the off season. Staff to bring back a report on directional signage and other means of informing people of public parking lot locations that can be implemented before Memorial Day.

Announcements:

  • Crosstown Connector Workshop on Monday, May 10th, at 5:30 PM.
  • Beginning Tuesday, April 20th, DWU will continue their installation of reclaim water main across Airport Road, which will impact surrounding roadways in the area. Motorists are encouraged to avoid Airport Road during this construction.
  • The City recently hired a planner and a building inspector.

Council Comments:

Request approval of Councilmember Teresa Hebert's enrollment in the Destin Chamber of Commerce Destin Forward Class: 6-0, motion passed to approve. Councilmember Hebert abstained from voting.

Gulf Shore Drive extension update - Councilmember Ramswell asked that Council be kept apprised on the progress of the ongoing access issue.

Memorial Plaque for Kohltan Ward - Motion to use Council funds to erect a “Kohltan’s Korner” memorial plaque at the intersection of Main Street and Kelly Street.

Councilmember Ramswell requested a map showing locations in Destin where cell towers are being placed.

Councilmember Ramswell asked staff to investigate the closure of the west side entrance to the Emerald Grande which is causing traffic back-up over the Marler Bridge.

Councilmember Braden asked staff to also investigate complaints from several people about Oak Trees planted in the same area that are blocking their view of the red traffic light around the curve as they come off the Marler Bridge.

Councilmember Ramswell requested that the following items be placed on the next Council meeting agenda:

  • Determining the Harbor CRA Boundary Line.
  • Have the Capacity Study identify the number of boat slips in the harbor.
Nomination/Appointment of Ms. Daniella Piper to the Board of Adjustment: 7-0, motion passed to appoint Ms. Daniella Piper to the Board of Adjustment.

Recommend boardwalk in front of Tailfins be delayed until November and any immediate boards that are damaged be replaced but not a full replacement until end of season: Motion to delay repair of the boardwalk in front of Tailfins until November and any immediate boards that are damaged be replaced immediately but no full replacement be made until end of season failed 3-4 (King/Hebert/Ramswell – “yes”; Schmidt/Overdier/Destin/Braden – “no." 7-0, motion passed to continue this item to the next meeting.

Councilmember Schmidt requested an update on the Airport Road curve at the next meeting.

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