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Dunedin Beacon
Dunedin Commission actions from Feb. 20
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Streets closed for Highland Games March
DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission on Feb. 20 unanimously approved road closures for the Dunedin Highland Games March on Friday, April 4, 4 to 8 p.m. to accommodate setup and breakdown of traffic barricades and signage on several streets.

This is the 48th year of the games, and the Dunedin Highland Games & Festival Committee wanted to let the citizens of the city enjoy what a celebrated event it has become by bringing a march through the downtown area the night before the games begin, according to a memo to the commission from City Manager Rob DiSpirito. Participants of the march would include the pipe bands, athletes, dancers and Clan Members, as well as other dignitaries in full dress regalia.

The march is from 6 to 7:30 p.m., and roads closed will be Douglas Avenue from south of the public parking lot to Scotland Street; Virginia Lane from Douglas Avenue to Main Street; Monroe Street from the Pinellas Trail lot to Douglas Avenue; Highland Avenue from Grant Street to Scotland Street; Louden Avenue from Main Street to Wood Street; Virginia Street from Highland Avenue to Louden Avenue; and Grant Street from Douglas Avenue to Highland Avenue.

Methanol contract approved
DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission unanimously approved the purchase of technical grade methanol on Feb. 20 by awarding a contract to Florida Chemical Supply, Inc. of Tampa for the purchase of about 55,000 gallons of methanol. Cost is estimated at $121,324 and is budgeted from the water and sewer utility fund. The budget estimate for this fiscal year is $89,870.

“The city’s Wastewater Treatment Facility uses methanol as part of its daily operation,” according to a memo to the commission from City Manager Rob DiSpirito. “Historically, the city has purchased this chemical through a cooperative contract with Hillsborough County. Recently, Hillsborough County discontinued the use of methanol in their wastewater processing operation. Therefore, the contract is no longer available. The city of Tallahassee has an existing contract for the purchase of methanol, technical grade, with Florida Chemical Supply, Inc. The contract is effective through Dec. 24, 2015 and may be renewed for a one-year period.”

Pricing is based on the market cost of the chemical, plus $0.30 per gallon, the release said, and cost is adjusted on a quarterly basis. The current total price per gallon is $2.20.

Street sweeping agreement OK’d
DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission unanimously approved on Feb. 20 the annual Florida Department of Transportation maintenance agreement for street sweeping. Cost for services is $49,900 and will come from the stormwater utility fund revenue. The current agreement expires on March 26, and this approval will expend the agreement through March 26, 2015.

City manager gets another great review
DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission gave City Manager Rob DiSpirito another glowing annual review on Feb. 20.

“I’ve looked at a variety of expectations that we had regarding our city manager and the vision we expect the CEO of the town to express toward the community,” said Commissioner Ron Barnette. “And I think Rob has done an excellent, excellent job on all fronts. Clarity of vision, certainly a responsiveness to – I won’t speak for others but certainly my questions. He’s prompt; he gets back and explains with crystal clear reasoning the decisions and the processes that are underway. He has a good sensitivity in relation to staff. And a good sense of humor, which I always find valuable for one cast in a leadership role.”

Commissioner Heather Gracy agreed, saying she thinks he has done an excellent job in his vital role as executive manager of the city. She said for her, she had been anxious about the various vacancies of city positions, but DiSpirito was a calming force, assuring her that while the positions needed to be filled, that it was worth being patient and thorough to ensure that the right person for the right job was chosen the first time around. In the end, Gracy said that she sees that he was right, and she is extremely pleased in his selections for these positions.

“I’ll tell you, one thing I can say about Rob is he is probably one of the hardest workers,” added Mayor Dave Eggers. “He demands it of his workers, but it’s one thing to demand it and it’s another thing to also be a hard worker.”

One of the things in years’ past that the commission had asked DiSpirito to change or improve was to try to cut back on thelate hours that he worked because they know he has small children and they don’t want him to get burned out. He said that DiSpirito has gotten much better about this, and that he had addressed everything that Eggers and the commission had asked him to work on. Therefore, none of the commissioners had any complaints for him this time around. They also unanimously approved his pay raise, which is on par with the incremental raises that other city staff would receive.

Mixed-use development design plan approved
DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission unanimously approved on Feb. 20 the request for a final design review for a mixed-use retail and residential development at 479 Main St.

This project is estimated to generate about $11,803 in ad valorem taxes to the CRA Fund, according to a memo to the city commission from City Manager Rob DiSpirito.

Commissioner Heather Gracy said that this will be a signature piece in downtown and that she can’t wait to see it. Mayor Dave Eggers also said he is excited about the project and that it will fit perfectly in the city.
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