MADEIRA BEACH – The city moved forward in establishing its own building department by selecting Quorum Services of Tampa to provide a building official, plan review and inspection services.
Community Development Director Lynn Rosetti and her staff will handle the initial permitting process at city hall.
Quorum beat out two other “very qualified firms” based on their customer service capabilities, City Manager Shane Crawford told the Madeira Beach City Commission at its Sept. 5 regular meeting. Crawford said the company was not the low bidder, but “far exceeded the others in customer service and orientation.”
Rosetti said Quorum had “a good understanding of Madeira Beach’s situation and offered some solutions.”
“They are ready to go,” she added, and could even have provided post-disaster services if needed following Tropical Storm Isaac.
Start date for the new building services arrangement is Oct. 1. The City Commission gave a unanimous approval for Crawford to begin working out a contract that calls for Quorum to do inspections, building plan reviews and meet with contractors, citizens and city staff members as needed. They will work three 8-hour days a week at a fee of $1,560 per week.
The other bidders were Nova Engineering and Environmental of Tampa at $1,536 to $1,776 per week and M.T. Causley Inc. of Homestead at $1,400 per week.
All three finalists were private contracting firms. The commission had voted earlier in the meeting to terminate its current building services contract with the city of Treasure Island.
A “seamless transition plan” to transfer building services has been worked out with Treasure Island, Crawford said.
Quorum Services president Shaun Brooker said his company has building services contracts with Pinellas and Hillsborough counties as well as beach communities which he did not name.
Quorum’s biggest asset, Brooker said, is the ability to “work with your contractors and citizens to provide the services they need to keep a job going.”
“We will minimize any issue before it gets to your desk,” he promised. Brooker invited commission members to “call our references” to gauge their experiences with the company.
Vehicle burglars caught
Juveniles responsible for numerous thefts from vehicles in the city have been located and arrested, Community Policing Deputy Shawn Heffner reported.
A high majority, if not all of the burglaries were from unlocked vehicles, he said.
“The two juveniles were just going around, pulling on car doors,” Heffner said.
He warned residents to keep their vehicles locked at all times.
Millage rate lowered slightly
A modest downward adjustment in the city millage (tax) rate, from 1.7954 to 1.7900, was approved by the commission.
Mayor Travis Palladeno saw the slight lowering of the rate despite a tough economic climate as a significant accomplishment.
Palladeno said property values were down from last year, “but we were able to lower the millage.”