DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission March 20 unanimously voted to approve the first reading of Ordinance 14-08, which is to correct errors in the city charter regarding the transition period for City Commission seats 2 and 4.
The voters approved an amendment in 2010 to the charter to have four-year terms for Dunedin’s mayor and city commissioners.
“Seats 2 and 4 were automatically filled by the qualification of the incumbents for the March 8, 2011 election and no other candidates qualified for those seats; therefore the incumbents were automatically elected to serve their new three-year term at the time, allowing for the transition into a four-year term,” according to a memo to the commission by City Attorney Tom Trask.
An ordinance then was amended to provide for term limits and change the city office elections from March to November. However, the charter did not clarify that the immediate term would be a three-year term, and only then would terms be changed to four years. This ordinance will add those clarifications.
Potassium permagranate contract approved
DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission March 20 unanimously approved a bid to renew a contract with American International Chemical of Framingham, Mass, for $29,427 to supply potassium permagranate to the city’s water division. This is less than the $33,000 amount budgeted for this chemical from the utility fund. The water division uses this chemical to remove iron from raw water. This company had initially had a one-year contract, which may be renewed up to three times for an additional one-year contract.
First steps on mixed-use development approved
DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission unanimously approved a request for development agreement on March 20 for the property at 200 Main Street. City Manager Rob DiSpirito received a request from Hill Ward Henderson, attorneys at law, who represent the developers of this property, requesting to build a vertical mixed-use development.
The development agreement’s purpose is to ensure the plan complies with Florida Statutes and Dunedin’s land development code. According to a memo to the commission, the key topics to be addressed include complying with the provisions of the downtown core zoning district; to agree on the use or mix of uses for the property; to determine the public benefit necessary for the commission’s approval of a fourth story on the west end of the building; addressing any special requirements; and if approved, to determine the amount of additional LDO discount available for this type of project.
Waterfront Task Force presentations approved
DUNEDIN – After months of research, meetings and talking with the public and countless stakeholders, the Dunedin Waterfront Task Force presented its final presentation to the Dunedin City Commission March 20. This last topic was regarding waterfront parks.
The task force was led by the volunteers, John Tornga, Kim Beaty, and Diana Carsey, who presented their findings at the commission meeting. They identified 10 city parks along the water, two parks on county land, as well as the large state parks – Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island – and also a dozen small islands that all are considered waterfront parks.
Carsey said the task force ultimately recommends the following: improvements for kayakers; maps showing parks and businesses – including interactive maps online; providing connectivity to all parks, using all modes of transportation; establishing an Adopt a Park program; causeway management improvement; and a plan to acquire waterfront property when it becomes available. The group also encourages using partnerships whenever possible, including public-private partnerships, user fees, various grant opportunities, public-private agreements with third parties, and using the Land Dedication Ordinance.
In regards to the kayak recommendations, the task force had several suggestions, including to improve a muddy kayak launch by clearing away overgrown mangroves and building a small dock; identify more kayak launch sites in more parks; and to reconstruct the north wall at Weaver Park so it is easier and safer to launch boats there. The group also identified where one can launch and rent kayaks in Dunedin and created a map that illustrates these locations. Carsey said they would like to cerate interactive maps so the public could go online and – for instance – click on an activity such as kayaking and find all of these locations.
The commission liked their ideas and thanked the task force for all of their work. Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski said it easily could have cost the commission $100,000 or $200,000 to hire consultants to do the same type of work, and City Manager Rob DiSpirito agreed with that statement.
City staff will look at the various suggestions of all of the presentations and will come back to the commission in a timely manner with what they deem feasible immediately, what could be longer-term goals, and what is not possible at this time.
City approves bids and contracts
DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission unanimously approved several bids and contracts at its March 20 meeting. The first was to accept and approve a proposal from Duke Energy for decorative street lights on Patricia Avenue from Lyndhurst Street to Lexington Avenue.
This is part of the overall plan to improve and beautify this are of town, and Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski said she is excited to complete this phase.
Bob Ironsmith, director of economic and housing development, said the city had looked into installing solar lights, but that would have cost upwards of $235,000. The commissioners said they appreciated that he looked into this environmentally friendly measure, but they agreed that it is not feasible at this time.
The commission unanimously approved this proposal, which will cost $106,972.
The second contract went to Augustine Construction, Inc. of Tarpon springs to construct the streetscape improvements to North Douglas Avenue for $387,106. These improvements will be between Grant Street and Skinner Boulevard, Ironsmith said, and include brick pavers on both sides of the road, road narrowing, street lighting and landscaping. This project kicks off on Cinco de Mayo and is set to wrap up in September.
The final item was to approve the purchase of 33 vehicles for fiscal year 2014 for fleet replacements. The city has deferred these purchases for as long as possible, and now it is catching up with necessary replacements, Fleet Director Randy Moore explained. The total cost is $1.2 million.
Moore said he carefully documents each time vehicles are brought in for repairs as well as the parts purchased and the costs. Also, each time a vehicle needs to be replaced, staff reassesses to ensure the right size vehicle is purchased for each job and funds are used as efficiently as possible.
“I know that the last several years you have worked hard to not do this,” said Commissioner Julie Scales. “But sooner or later you have to, and we all understand that. I know that in our conversation, you talked about how you are getting smaller vehicles so they are more efficient.”