Stormwater rate increase will help fund key projects DUNEDIN – The City Commission on Sept. 13 unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance for a stormwater rate increase of $0.50 per month.
Doug Hutchens, city public works director, noted that this is actually half of what was anticipated a year ago, and these funds will go a long way, allowing for several important city projects.
“These funds will allow us to do several key projects,” Hutchens said. “One is going to be our pipe rehabilitation work. It’s a half-a-million-dollar ongoing project. … Another is the President Street outfall. Several million dollar project with the master drainage plan that we want to accomplish this fiscal year and we’re pretty sure we’re going to get some funding from the Southwest Water Management District to do that as well. We’re wanting to tackle the Amberly subdivision water situation. They have had some localized flooding. … We also have the seed money this next fiscal year for the Cedar Creek and Curlew Creek work.”
Additionally, Hutchens said, the city is looking forward to working on overall maintenance and that it is important that areas are taken care of to minimize flooding during storms.
Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski pointed out that now former director of finance, Jeff Yates, helped rework the way the city does the rate model to be more efficient and truly applicable to the city’s actual needs. Before, the city hired a contract company to design a rate plan for a number of years out, and then the city stuck to that plan. However, under Yates, he helped the city by analyzing the city’s actual needs each year and then adjusting rates around that. Therefore, even though the rates will go up again this year, it is only half of what had been initially estimated.
Bujalski said she is particularly glad to see the President Street outfall project on the books, as this has been on the to-do list for about 30 years now.
Mayor Dave Eggers said he, too, is pleased with the projects that will be getting done in the next fiscal year. He noted that the San Mateo Drive and San Salvador Drive project is good because that pipework needs help. He said he knows some residents on those streets have had to redo their homes several times because of flooding, and he is glad as this should fix that problem. The final vote on this item was set for Sept. 27.
City approves agreement for Achieva headquarters DUNEDIN – On Sept. 13, the Dunedin City Commission unanimously approved an agreement between Achieva Credit Union and the city to initiate development of Achieva’s new corporate headquarters at 1659 Virginia Avenue. This was where Nielsen Media Research had been located.
Commissioner Julie Ward Bujalski asked city staff if various concerns were being addressed, such as working with the Florida Department of Transportation on the turn light by the building as well as addressing the traffic concerns that residents in neighboring communities had brought before the commission. Bob Ironsmith, economic development director, said that the city and Achieva indeed are working on all of these things and that traffic should not have more of an impact on the area than it did when Nielsen was located there.
Commissioner Dave Carson said he is glad that Achieva is coming to town, noting that this will add 140 jobs and that the company is investing over $12 million into the property. Gary Regoli, president and CEO of Achieva Credit Union, said he has enjoyed working with the city and that this is the perfect example of public-private cooperation.
Citywide recycling starts in October DUNEDIN – At the Sept. 13 Dunedin City Commission meeting, the city got an update from Bill Pickrum, solid waste director, on the citywide recycling initiative that begins the first week of October.
All residents should have received their blue recycling bin in September, and the city has made many efforts to get the word out about the program, Pickrum said. Starting in October, all single-family Dunedin residents will be part of the program, and they are urged to throw all of their recyclables in the blue bin and put it out on their bulk trash pickup day.
Fliers were going out to all residents to help explain the details of the program, Pickrum said, and there are stickers on top of the bins to help educate residents on what can and can not be recycled.
Several commissioners were concerned that multi-family residents and businesses are being left out of the program. Doug Hutchens, public works director, explained that they gave information to these facilities, but under state law, they are open-market areas, so the city is not allowed to automatically sweep them up under the citywide plan. However, should these entities wish to join the program, they are welcome to decide to join or else go out to bid and find a different recycling program to contract with, he said. For more information, visit www.dunedingov.com.
Property annexed into city DUNEDIN – The Dunedin City Commission Sept. 13 unanimously approved the final reading of the annexation, land use plan and zoning of a single-family residential property at 3250 County Road 1.
The owners wanted to become part of the city particularly because their well had become contaminated so they wanted to tap into the city water system, said Greg Rice, planning and development director. This property is 0.45 acres and was given the urban residential land use and zoned for single family residential.
City moves to annex property DUNEDIN – The City Commission on Sept. 13 unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that will allow the city to annex the property at 1 Bogie Lane.
The owners of this single-family home requested to be connected to the city’s water and sewer line. Greg Rice, planning and development director, said that the annexation fee has been waived, but they will still pay for utilities and the impact fees. The city already has a water line along Curlew Road that will easily be used for this family, and the city will use the impact fees to construct a sewer line along Bogie Lane. Therefore, others along the road can also tap into that if they choose to annex into the city, Rice said. The final reading of this item was set for the Sept. 27 meeting.