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Funds designated for Waterfront Park
Council expends $250,000 in CIP, reserve funds for the project’s first phase
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SEMINOLE – At its June 24 meeting, the Seminole City Council voted unanimously to expend $250,000 in Capital Improvement Project and undesignated reserve funds for the grading, drainage and general improvement of the site that will become Waterfront Park.

This includes $150,000 in CIP funds and $100,000 in reserve funds. This is the first phase in the project, which will eventually include a kayak and canoe launch.

Located at 10400 Park Blvd., the site is an empty, 8-acre lot next to Home Depot. The city received $200,000 in state funding specifically for constructing water access and a launch for kayaks and canoes, which will be the park’s primary use. Other possible elements of the park are being considered and there is no master plan for the site yet.

The city’s Public Works Departments recently solicited bids for the grading and drainage work required on the western portion of the waterfront property. MTM Contractors Inc. offered the lowest bid for grading and site improvement services – $230,391 – and was awarded the project.

The site will also be built up so that it blends better with the nearby Home Depot property, said City Manager Frank Edmunds. In return for the store’s permission to do this, the city will assist them in removing several Australian pines from the store’s property.

This long-term project will be completed over five years in several phases. Each portion of the project will be paid for separately, Edmunds said.

The next step is to create a master plan for the Waterfront Park.

“Once we pursue a master plan we can pursue grants,” Edmunds said.

In other action items, the council:

• Added proposed charter amendments to the Nov. 4 ballot to put them up for referendum vote.

These proposed amendments came after a Charter Review Committee reviewed the City Charter over the past four months. The Charter Review Committee is established every five years to review the charter and recommend changes.

There are 12 proposed changes to the charter. These changes include deleting the language “or any of his subordinates are” in Section 3.06(a) to clarify that the city manager has sole authority to appoint or remove administrative officers or employees, increasing the time to fill a vacancy on Council from 30 to 60 days in Section 3.07(c)(1) and adding Section 5.02(b), which provides that the city manager may be removed from his position by the affirmative vote of four members of Council.

“A lot of work has gone into this,” said Mayor Leslie Waters. “We’ve given this a lot of consideration.”

Councilor Patricia Plantamura was the sole no vote when the Council voted to add these amendments to the November ballot. She said she has “concerns with a couple of the proposed charter amendments,” which she’s brought up in workshops, and was “voting no on principal.”

• Amended the joint-use library intergovernmental agreement between the city of Seminole and St. Petersburg College, which was initially made over 10 years ago.

That document was designed to “guide us into the future,” Edmunds said, and focused on operation, funding and staffing issues.

“It has survived for more than 10 years and we did decide this year that it would be a good opportunity to revisit the document and make sure it describes our current operations,” he said.

The updates to the agreement reflect minor operational changes, he said. “Nothing of real substance was modified.”

• Selected Vice Mayor Thom Barnhorn to represent the city as its voting delegate during the upcoming Florida League of Cities Business Conference, set for Aug. 14-16 in Hollywood, Florida.
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