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Council's Corner

Posted on: August 4, 2021

August 2021 Council Updates

July 2021 council poster

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

August 2nd Council Meeting Recap

State Representative Patt Maney sworn in newly elected council member Jim Bagby.

City Manager Report:

Building Fund - Motion passed 5-0, to adopt Resolution 21-10 to establish a Building Fund as a Special Revenue Fund effective immediately and approve the internal budget transfer included as Exhibit A to Resolution 21-10

1st Quarter Financial/Investment Report - Mr. Brian Haugen and Mr. Steve Cann of Raymond James briefed the City Council on the current status of the city investment accounts with Raymond James.

Post Certificate of Occupancy Building Inspections - Motion passed 5-0, to direct staff to draft an ordinance requiring inspections be performed every 10 years on any structure identified as a threshold building as defined in Florida Statutes 553.71 Section 12 at the expense of the property owner or the homeowner’s association, whichever is applicable. The inspection is required to be performed by a Florida Certified Special Inspector as defined by Florida Statutes 553.71 Section 9; and include inspection of the building’s foundation and sub-surfaces. The report must be written under seal of the Special Inspector and attest to the required maintenance, structural integrity, useful life, and replacement costs of the common elements. A copy of the inspection report must be provided to the City of Destin within 90 days of the end of the 10-year period with any necessary repairs required to be completed within 180 days after the inspection. Buildings already surpassed the 10-year mark will be allowed one year to complete their inspection.

Cross Town Connector Update - Motion passed 5-0, to accept Contract Amendment No. 2 for Atkins North America, Inc to implement the multimodal elements and right-of-way options selected by the council for an additional amount not to exceed $147,000. 

FY22 Health Insurance Renewal/Upgrade - Motion passed 5-0, to direct the City Manager to execute a contract for health insurance effective September 1, 2021 as proposed by Acentria. 

Business Performance Consulting Services - Motion passed 5-0, to direct the City Manager to contact other municipalities or governmental entities in the state, particularly in North Florida, to see if anyone is utilizing a business performance consulting services and the results they have, and report information back to council. 

Appointment of representative to the Tourist Development Council (TDC) - Motion passed 5-0, to appoint Councilmember Dewey Destin as the city’s representative to the TDC. 

Announcements: 

Public meeting – Timberview Helicopter Agreement – in the Annex Chambers on Tuesday, August 3rd at 5:30 PM.

Annual Big Truck Day event scheduled for Friday, August 6th, 9-11 a.m., in the Destin Community Center parking lot.

School starts on August 10th.

Grand opening of the Destin High School scheduled for Thursday, August 5th, at 6:00 PM.

The city is monitoring CDC guideline and the health department directive relative to the resurgence of COVID. No further action being contemplated at this time.

A third budget workshop is tentatively scheduled for Monday, August 9th. It was the consensus of the council to wait until after the individual budget meeting with staff to decide whether a workshop is necessary.

Council Comments: 

Councilmember Ramswell - There had been some old piling from the Crystal Beach pier that washed away in 1974. Overtime a lot of the wood structure had rotted away resulting in exposed rebar. Many are concern this could result in serious injury to people. Councilmember Ramswell asked staff to determine whether there is an existing submerged land lease, or who has the authority that can action to rectify the situation. The City Attorney has spoken with the general counsel for FDEP and the Okaloosa County attorney about this issue. Both entities are looking into it. He will work with them and inform the council of their findings. Councilmember Ramswell asked for livery vessel update to include the number of permits that have been issued. The City Manager will obtain information from the Code Compliance Manager and send it to council via email.

Councilmember Bagby - Councilmember Bagby requests the topic, “Discussion on staff attendance at council meetings and workshops” be placed under his name on the next council meeting’s agenda; and “Staff Reporting Matrix” on the September 20th council meetings agenda. Councilmember Bagby asked staff to find out the last time the County TDC conducted a survey of the Crystal Beach Erosion Control Line.

Councilmember Hebert - Councilmember Hebert inquired as to the next City Manager‘s evaluation. HR Manager noted that the evaluation will be conducted in October 2021.

Councilmember Schmidt - Place on the next meeting agenda under his name “Discussion on Capt. Royal Melvin Heritage Park” and invite the general contractor to the meeting to provide status of the project, address the list of the issues, as well as the city’s expectations moving forward.

Mayor Jarvis - Mayor Jarvis requests motion from the council to lower speed limit on all city owned street and roadway to 30 mph with the exception of those with lower speed limit already in place (Councilmember Destin agreed to place this item under his name on the next meeting agenda). 

Traffic stoppage at Whataburger, Krispy Kreme and Chick-fil-A - Councilmember Hebert requests discussion of the drive-thru’s of the above businesses be placed under her name on the September 7th council meeting agenda.

Land Use Attorney - Motion passed 5-0, to excuse the absence of Councilmember Rodney Braden. 

August 30th Council Meeting Recap

Mayor Gary Jarvis presented the 2021 Proclamation for Constitution Week - West Florida Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) Chapter

Captain Royal Melvin Project Update - Motion passed 7-0, for the City Manager, Project Manager, and the GLC, Inc., contractor to meet and discuss the situation until they come up with an agreed upon solution or plan that they can execute to remedy the problems, and for the City Manager to report that plan to council at the next council meeting. 

City Manager Report:

Operations Financial Report - The Finance Director discussed year-to-date budget versus actuals for the General Fund and the two CRAs.

Capital Project Status - The Finance Director provided a summary of the current capital improvement projects, showing status and year-to-date expenditures and encumbrances.

FY 2022 Tentative Budget - The Finance Director provided a summary of the proposed balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2022. Councilmember Bagby recommends not having to rely on staff to determine the renewal and replacement costs for city facilities, components, or systems, and instead hiring an expert who is certified to conduct reserve studies for renewal and replacement costs. Also, to consult with the Florida League of Cities for a comprehensive list of qualified firms, determine the cost for hiring a consultant, and then put out an RFP.

Authorization of payment for Harbor Pump Repairs and Improvements to Gilbert Pump and Mechanical Inc., Fort Walton Beach - Motion passed 7-0, to authorize the City Manager to execute the agreement with GoForth Williamson, Inc., also known as Gilbert Pump Company, to complete repairs to the Harbor Pump not to exceed $167,683 as an emergency purchase as provided for in the city’s purchasing manual.

Resolution 21-10 - Longevity Award - Original Motion: Approve Resolution 21-10 – Longevity Award, as proposed. Amended Motion: Approve Resolution 21-10 – Longevity Award, increasing each award payment by 12% to offset the taxes passed 7-0.

Compensation Study, Evergreen Solutions, LLC. - Motion passed 7-0, to move forward with the compensation study as proposed by Evergreen Solutions, LLC, with the amendment identified in Task 6.0 of the Evergreen Solutions proposal letter.

Proposed Tourist Development District Expansion Update - Motion passed 7-0, to direct the city’s legal counsel to proceed with the terms as discussed and present it to the county; and to include the City Manager as part of the city’s negotiating team. Councilmember Destin recommends having an interlocal agreement to accompany the ordinance once the terms are memorized in the form of an ordinance. Councilmember Bagby proposed adding a severability clause in the interlocal agreement giving the city the right to withdraw from the county-wide taxing district via a vote by 15% of its registered voters. In addition, to have the county’s tourism plan be updated every 24 months and to afford the city the right to review the plan.

Announcements:

Per council’s direction, the city contacted other municipalities or governmental entities in the state, to see if anyone is utilizing a business performance consulting service, and the city received no positive responses from other jurisdiction. Staff is seeking further direction from the council on how to proceed. Councilmember Schmidt moved to engage Optimally, a business performance consultant, to help save the City of Destin some money. Motion dies for lack of a second.

The next regular city council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 7th, at 6:00 pm.

The second meeting regarding the proposed TDD expansion with all municipalities participating is scheduled for Wednesday, September 8th, at the Convention Center.

The first budget hearing for the adoption of the FY 2022 budget is on Thursday, September 9th, at 5:30 pm.

The Destin Fishing Rodeo trailer will be displayed at the Destin Community Center parking lot from September 7th to 13th until they receive approval to move it down to the harbor.

A big “thank you” to Public Works, Parks and Recreation, and Code Compliance department personnel, and the entire city staff for their roles in protecting the city as they encountered storms over the past two weekends.

Thoughts and prayers to the neighbors to the west.

Council Comments: 

Councilmember Ramswell - Resident vs. Non-Resident Distinction: Place item on the next agenda. A citizen lives in Kelly Plantation but jointly owns other properties throughout the city. He is required to pay fees when he visits Joe’s Bayou and other places in the city. She asked staff to look at this issue for discussion at the next meeting.

Councilmember Destin - Lowering the speed limit on all city-owned streets and roadways to 30 mph: Motion passed 6-1, to direct staff to bring back a separate ordinance lowering the speed limit on all city owned streets and roadways to 30 mph with the exception of those with lower speed limit already in place. Councilmember Braden dissenting.

Councilmember Bagby - Discussion on staff attendance at council meetings and workshops: Councilmember Bagby urged the other members of the council to conduct the exact due diligence expected from staff when they place an item on the agenda. To have some backup materials available for the council and staff to read about the issue to be discussed to provide ample time to conduct necessary research. This will ensure transparency for the citizens and prepare other members of the council to discuss the issue and take the necessary action.

Councilmember Hebert - Recommends moving the Welcome to Destin sign somewhere on the other side of the bridge where it can be better viewed and allow people to have their pictures taken in front of it.

Councilmember Schmidt - Recommends staff calling the council before rescheduling council meetings in the event of an emergency. Requests the City Manager bring back better procedures for conducting Special Magistrate hearings within the next month or so.

Destin Executive Airport Zoning: Motion passed 7-0, to direct staff to prepare an ordinance to remove section 4H79 from the Airport Zone A Table 7-2 as a permanent use. 

Land Use Attorney - Property Rights Elements Ordinance: Motion passed 7-0, to direct the City Land Use Attorney to proceed with the current proposed ordinance and advertise the ordinance for consideration by the LPA.


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