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The original item was published from 7/26/2021 12:43:00 PM to 11/1/2021 12:00:02 AM.

News Flash

Council's Corner

Posted on: July 14, 2021

[ARCHIVED] July 2021 Council Updates

A picture of all the Destin City Council members

All City Council meetings may be viewed at

July 6th Council Meeting Recap

City Manager Report:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Approval of Contract with 3TP Ventures, Inc., for Mobility Plan, Including Fee Schedule and Scope of Work - 5-0, motion passed to approve proposed contract with 3TP Venture, Inc.

Approval of Resolution 21-07 - Determining the necessity to acquire certain property for public use - 5-0, motion passed to adopt Resolution 21-07.

Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) - 5-0, motion passed o pull item 4C from the agenda and continue it to the next City Council meeting.

Regulations relating to electric bicycles - 5-0 motion passed to pull item 4D from the agenda and continue it to the next City Council meeting.

Franchise and Undergrounding Agreements with Gulf Power - Special Counsel Schef Wright - 5-0, motion passed to enter into one undergrounding agreement (one phase) within the first 2 years following the franchise effective date, with the same one-year election period beginning at the end of the initial 2-year period.

Capt. Royal Melvin Heritage Park Change Order Approval - 5-0, motion passed to approve Change Order #8 and authorize the City Manager to execute the change order.

Implementation of Countywide Tourist Development Taxing District – Update from Legal Team - 5-0, motion passed 
to authorize the drafting of a resolution that will institute the commencement of the local government alternative dispute process under Chapter 164, Florida Statutes, due to a clear dispute between the City of Destin and Okaloosa County and to bring the proposed resolution back at the next City Council meeting for public comments, council discussion, deliberation and a possible vote. Councilmember Destin asked Special Counsel Jeffrey Burns to explore ways to slow down the county’s ordinance process related to the proposed taxing district expansion; as well as to look into the county’s ability to go forward with the ballot language with a resolution versus an ordinance. Councilmember Ramswell asked the City Attorney to investigate complaints from citizens that their receipts from certain businesses indicate “resort tax” payments; and the legality for certain local businesses to impose this tax.

Special Counsel Agreement – Attorney Jeffrey Burns - 5-0, motion passed to approve the Special Counsel Agreement.

Update: Tour Helicopters - Land Use Attorney Kimberly Kopp provided an update on the contract negotiations between Timberview Helicopters and Okaloosa County. Councilmember Schmidt requests the City Manager reach out to the owner of Timberview Helicopters and/or the county to come to a meeting and provide the Destin City Council a status update on the contract negotiations.

Longevity Award - 5-0, motion passed to direct staff to bring back additional details for a one-time longevity award program at the soonest possible council meeting. Councilmember Hebert recommends setting up an annual Christmas compensation funds for city staff as part of the annual budget. Councilmember Destin pointed out they will need a reoccurring fund source if they include this initiative as part of the annual budget. He recommends having the City Attorney investigates this matter from a legal perspective.


1. Budget Workshop #2 on July 12th at 5:30pm.
2. The Harbor Capacity Study will be getting underway this month.
3. Airport Road curve safety improvements update.
4. Community Center will be closed July 6,7 & 8 whiled the gym is being re-striped.
5. Reminder: July is National Parks & Rec. month, get out and enjoy your parks!
6. Code Compliance Update
7. Kris Mercurio – hired as Deputy Director of Code Compliance Director.

Council Comments:

Councilmember Ramswell - 5-0, motion passed to direct the City Manager to have staff come back at the next meeting with some recommendations on a process for follow up periodic inspections of properties following issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

Councilmember Herbert - Public/Private cooperation to commission murals in areas around the city in need of revitalization.

Councilmember Schmidt - Recommends staff acknowledge and respond in some manner to every complaint they receive from citizens.

Mayor Gary Jarvis - The mayor provided an update on the result of the meeting he and Commissioner Mel Ponder had with the Eglin Commander related to the Eglin property. The mayor directed staff to review Florida Statutes to differentiate between livery vessels and charter vessels and report back to council. Councilmember Schmidt requests more explanation as to why a cease-and-desist order was issued for immediate shutdown of a business without proper warning. The Land Use Attorney will investigate and report back. Councilmember Destin offered the following advice:
• It is not proper for the council to interfere or interject themselves on code enforcement matters in public.
• The mayor’s direction to staff to investigate and differentiate between livery vessels and charter vessels is better directed to the Land Use Attorney for legal advice.

July 19th Council Meeting Recap

Replacement for Major Mike Howell as District 3 Commander and City of Destin Liaison, Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office - Major Mike Howell introduced Capt. Matt Abbott, the new District 3 Commander and City of Destin Liaison.

City Manager Report:

Consideration of a Joint Resolution Between Okaloosa County Municipalities to Address TDC Expansion Concerns - 6-1, motion passed to adopt Joint Resolution 21-01, with Councilmember Braden dissenting.

Consideration of resolution for the option of commencement of local government alternative dispute process under Chapter 164, Florida Statutes - 7-0, motion passed to adopt Resolution 21-08. It was the consensus of the council to designate Council members Ramswell and Schmidt as the formal council representatives for the first public meeting with the Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners.

Adoption of 2021-2022 Strategic Plan - 7-0, motion passed to approve the Strategic Plan and Strategic Goal Poster as presented.

Establishing the FY2022 Tentative Millage Rate and Budget Public Hearing Dates - 7-0, motion passed to set the tentative millage rate for ad valorem taxes at 1.6150 mills which is more than the roll-back rate of 1.5566 mills and confirm the dates and times of the public hearings for the FY 2022 Budget on September 9, 2021 at 5:30 PM and September 20, 2021 at 6:00 PM.

Capital Project Status - The finance director provided a summary of the current capital improvement projects, with status and year-to-date expenditures and encumbrances

Operations Financial Report - The finance director presented the year-to-date budget versus actuals for the General Fund and the Harbor and Town Center CRAs.

Low Speed Vehicles - 5-2, motion passed to advertise proposed ordinance on low-speed vehicles and bring it back to council for first reading passed, with Councilmembers Schmidt and Destin dissenting.

Regulations relating to electric bicycles - No action from council.

Update on Proposed Building Integrity Reports Post Certificate of Occupancy - Extensive research for potential processes for periodic follow-up inspections of properties after the Certificate of Occupancy has been issued is currently ongoing. Staff will compile all information and provide council a proposed ordinance recommendation at the August 2, 2021, City Council meeting.

Council Approval of All Way Stop Signs at Regatta Bay Road (Dolphin St) and Woodwind/Windstarr Drive - 7-0, motion passed to direct the city manager to implement an all-way stop sign at the intersection of Regatta Bay Road (Dolphin Street) and Woodwind / Windstarr Drives. Councilmember Schmidt recommends they also consider implementing an all-way stop sign in the Crystal Beach area, which Mr. Bagby spoke about earlier in the meeting.

Council approval of Cross -Town Connector Multimodal Options - 6-1, motion passed to direct the city manager to implement Option No. 1 and to bring forth a contract amendment to amend Atkins contract scope and fee, not to exceed the option selected; with Councilmember Ramswell dissenting. The deputy city manager provided a brief demonstration on how to launch the COMPASS system and conduct a search on the city’s website.


1. Special Election for vacant Destin City Council seat will be held on Tuesday July 20th, 2021 from 7 am to 7 pm.
2. Budget workshop #3 tentatively scheduled on August 9th, 2021, at 5:30 pm in the Council Chambers.
3. COMPASS can be accessed from the City's website if you would like to research the current status of new items in the system.

Council Comments:

Councilmember Ramswell - Voting delegate at the Florida League of Cities Annual Conference - 7- 0 motion passed to designate Councilmember Ramswell as the voting delegate to the Florida League of Cities Annual Conference in August 2021.

Councilmember Destin - 7-0, motion passed to ask the city manager to place a slightly raised, Crystal Beach-style pedestrian walkway, on the corner of Zerbe Street to Calhoun Avenue, and across toward Captain Leonard Destin Park.

Councilmember Schmidt - A company that looks at budgets and expenses and provides cost saving options recently met with the city manager and finance director. Councilmember Schmidt requested that the city manager share any information and advice received from the company at the next council meeting. The city manager will provide a summary and seek further direction at that time. Councilmember Schmidt asked staff to get an update on the contract negotiations between Timberview Helicopters and Okaloosa County and if and when a meeting has been held between the two parties.

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