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Council's Corner

Posted on: May 7, 2021

May 2021 Council Updates

A picture of all the Destin City Council members

All City Council meetings may be viewed at www.youtube.com/cityofdestin.

May 3rd Council Meeting Recap

Proclamation - Food For Thought Day: The Mayor Pro Tem read the Proclamation recognizing May 18, 2021 as Food for Thought Day, and then presented it to Ms. Jessica Roberts, Director of Food For Thought Outreach.

Proclamation – Drinking Water Week: The Mayor read the Proclamation proclaiming May 2-8, 2021 as Drinking Water Week and then presented it to Mr. Lockwood Wernet, General Manager of the Destin Water Users.

City Manager Report:

September Meeting Schedule: 6-0, motion passed to approve the FY 2022 Budget Calendar and to set the Budget and Millage Adoption Public Hearing #1 for September 9, 2021 at 5:30 PM in the City Hall Annex Council Chambers at 4100 Indian Bayou Trail.

RFP 21-03-FIN Tax Exempt Loan Financing: 6-0, motion passed to accept the proposal of Key Government Finance, Inc. in response to RFP 21-03-FIN and authorize and direct the City Manager and Mayor to execute all documentation necessary to consummate the transaction.

Fill Vacated Council Seat: 6-0, motion to schedule the appointment of an interim councilmember at the next City Council meeting.

Announcements:

  • Crosstown Connector Workshop is scheduled for May 10th at 5:30 PM.
  • CRA Board Meeting is scheduled for May 17th at 5:30 PM.
  • The building that was located on the far eastern parcel in the Shores at Crystal Beach Park was demolished. The debris will be removed, and the work will be completed shortly.
  • Lauren Witt, the City’s Principal Planner for 2½ years will be leaving the City shortly. She will be sorely missed.
  • The City has recently hired a new planner and a building inspector.
  • The Community Development Department is now open 5 days a week, from 8 AM to 5 PM.

Council Comments:

Councilmember Ramswell/Water Quality Study: 
Councilmember Ramswell noted a concern by many that water quality in many areas of the harbor is so horrible people do not want to swim in it. Different elements (mineral, metals) that are currently being tested are not the same as those that have been tested in the past. Past findings were so concerning there was actually a moratorium on building slips and any sorts of development along the harbor. Councilmember Ramswell asked staff to investigate the following:
• A comparison between what elements were tested back in 1999, what elements were tested in 2009, and what elements are being tested today. What is actually included in the water quality study being conducted periodically.
• What is the difference in terms of the elements? Why those elements tested in the past are no longer being tested?


Councilmember Destin: Time Saver Oil Change on Mountain Drive has closed. They were under contract with the City to take used oil from people who change oil on boats. He asked staff to come up with a course of action to provide a safe and environmentally safe and lawful place for people to dispose their used oil and advertise accordingly.


Councilmember Schmidt/Nomination of Mr. Alexander Santos to the Town Center CRA Advisory Committee: 6-0, motion to appoint Mr. Alexander Santos to the Town Center CRA Advisory Committee passed.


May 17th Council Meeting Recap

Proclamation - National Public Works Week - Mayor Gary Jarvis read the Proclamation designating the week of May 16 – 22, 2021 as National Public Works Week in the City of Destin, and then presented it to the City’s Public Works Director Michael Burgess.

City Manager Report:

Cross Town Connector ROW Scope and Fee Approval: 5-0, motion passed to approve the proposed right-of-way scope and fee addendum from Atkins of North America, Inc. and authorize the continuation of the re-design incorporating the multimodal element discussed at the May 10, 2021 Council workshop session; to include the direction to insert a multi-modal pathway into the right-of-way; for Atkins to look into the concept of trying to slow the speed down on Airport Road which is an integral part of the crosstown connector and other methods to slow the traffic down and make it more appropriate for the interior neighborhoods in Destin throughout the direction of the length of the crosstown connector.

Motion to designate the portion of the Old Destin Campground property that is not part of the right-of-way for the crosstown connector as green belt/park and Council will provide the details as money becomes available passed 5-0.

Approval of Resolution 21-05 setting the date and the qualification period for the City of
Destin Special Election: 5-0, motion passed to approve resolution.

Approval of contract with Okaloosa County Supervisor of Elections to conduct Special Election for the City of Destin: 5-0, motion passed to authorize and direct the Mayor to execute the Election Services Agreement by and between the City and Supervisor of Elections and elect the following Optional Services:
1. The Supervisor providing all legal advertisements required under the law for the Special Elections with the City paying actual costs for such advertising; and
2. The Supervisor handling all candidate qualification filings and managing all the campaign finance filings for the Special Election with the City paying $100 for each qualified candidate or $500, whichever is greater.

Appointment of Interim City Council Member: 5-0, motion passed to appoint Chatham Morgan as Interim City Council Member.

Appointment of Council representative to local and regional committees

  • Motion to appoint the following individuals as Council representatives to the Economic Development Council (EDC) Policy Board passed 5-0:
    Primary: Councilmember Ramswell
    Alternate: Councilmember Hebert
  • Motion to appoint the following individuals as Council representatives to the Okaloosa-Walton TPO passed 4-0 (Councilmember Braden was absent during the voting)
    Primary: Councilmember Hebert / Councilmember Braden
    Alternate: Councilmember King.
  • Motion to appoint the following individuals as Council representatives to the Tourist Development Council (TDC) passed 4-0 (Councilmember Braden was absent during the voting)
    Primary: Councilmember Hebert
    Alternate: Councilmember Destin
  • Motion to appoint the following individuals as Council representatives to the Emerald Coast Regional Council (ECRC) passed 4-0 (Councilmember Braden was absent during the voting)
    Primary: Councilmember Ramswell
    Alternate: Councilmember Hebert
Wayfinding for Harbor District Parking Lots: Councilmember Destin recommends placing a temporary sign at the Marler Parking Lot for Memorial Day that is visible to the public.

Announcements:

The City Manager made the following announcements:
  • Okaloosa County League of Cities Dinner on Thursday, May 20th.
  • May 31st - Annual Memorial Day service will be held in conjunction with the American Legion, at the old cemetery in Destin beginning at 11:00 am.
  • The City is facing some challenges at the Capt. Royal Melvin Heritage Park, and staff is trying to work through them the best they can.
Council Comments:

Councilmember Ramswell: Motion to make livery vessel permitting process a priority, and to increase the City Manager’s spending authority to $30,000 to pay the consultant assisting in the process passed 5-0.

Councilmember Ramswell: Wants to know about the new Crab Island licensing that will be required.

Councilmember Ramswell: Requests maintenance of right-of-way along Commons Drive be placed on next Council meeting agenda and for staff to bring back a report and some options for the City going forward.

Councilmember Ramswell: Requested a follow up to her previous request. Different elements (mineral, metals) that are currently being tested are not the same as those that have been tested in the past. Past findings were so concerning there was actually a moratorium on building slips and any sorts of development along the harbor. She asked staff to investigate the following:
• A comparison between what elements were tested back in 1999, what elements were tested in 2009, and what elements are being tested today. What is actually included in the water quality study being conducted periodically?
• What is the difference in terms of the elements? Why those elements tested in the past are no longer being tested?

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