December 4, 2017

7:00 PM


Elected Officials Present:

Shirley Groover Bryant, Mayor

Brian Williams, Vice Mayor, Commissioner, Ward 3

Tamara Cornwell, Commissioner-at-Large 2

Jonathan Davis, Commissioner-at-Large 1

Harold Smith, Commissioner, Ward 1


Elected Officials Absent:

Tambra Varnadore, Commissioner, Ward 2


Staff Present:

Mark Barnebey, City Attorney

Jeff Burton, CRA Director

Jim Freeman, City Clerk

Allen Tusing, Public Works Director

Scott Tyler, Chief of Police

Amber LaRowe, Assistant City Clerk


Mayor Bryant called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m., followed by a moment of silence and the Pledge of Allegiance.


All persons intending to address the City Commissioner were duly sworn.


RECOGNITION: The finalists for Employee of the Year were:


                                    Detective Richard Wilson, Employee of the First Quarter

                                    Kathy Riley, Employee of the Second Quarter

                                    Nixa Haisley, Employee of the Third Quarter

                                    Detective Sgt. Ryan LaRowe, Employee of the Fourth Quarter.


A ballot was given to each employee and the votes were collected and counted on November 30, 2017. Detective Richard Wilson received the most votes and is the Employee of the Year.





Motion:           Commissioner Davis moved, Commissioner Williams seconded, and the motion carried 4-0 to approve the December 4, 2017 Commission Agenda.








            A. Mayor’s Office

                        1. Ratification of the General Employees’ Pension Board Trustees  

                        2. Ratification of the Police Officers’ Pension Board 5th Trustee     

B. Clerk’s Office

                        1. November 6, 2017 Minutes                                                           

                        2. Special Function Permits:  

                                    a. Martin Luther King Jr. Parade 1/13/2018                          

                                    b. Falcon 5K Riverfront Run 2/3/2018                      

                                    c. MSA Rocks 4/14/2018                                           

                        3. Grant Funding Management Services Agreement             

Motion:     Commissioner Davis moved, Commissioner Smith seconded, and the motion carried 4-0 to approve the December 4, 2017 Consent Agenda.





·         City Hall: Mr. Freeman presented some pictures to show the work that has been performed on the Carnegie Library at the Palmetto Historical Park.  The City/Historical Park obtained a grant from the State last year to refurbish the windows at the Library. The pictures showed how badly the windows needed to be repaired and how they look now. The windows that are in the Carnegie are the original windows, not new windows.  The project is about 75 percent done with American Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements to still be done on the out buildings in the Park.  These projects are to be completed by June 2018.


Mr. Freeman also discussed the Community Development Block Grant that was applied for and the City has been awarded; no contract has been signed as of this date. This will be forthcoming. This grant is a $750,000 Federal Grant for the replacement of water mains and other utility work between 10th Avenue West and 13th Avenue West, and 10th Street West to 17th Street West. This will be further discussed by Mr. Tusing in his update.


The City will be submitting the budget book to the Florida Government Finance Officers Association for the budget award this week.  A copy of the budget book will be given to Commission as well. 


The budget was established for the redesign of the City’s website this fiscal year and is set to begin after the New Year.  The same company is being used, Civic Plus, and they will be assisting with new technology and a new platform for the website.


Staff is working on revisions to the Personnel Policy that should be presented to the Commission at one of the meetings in January for discussion and adoption.  The Fund Balance Policy is also being drafted to be presented to the Commission after the New Year as well.


Mr. Freeman would like to continue having the Half-Cent Sales Tax discussion at the next workshop and would like to set up meetings with each Commissioner individually to discuss what they would like to see on the project list as well as an estimated timeline.


The Employee Appreciation Party will be held on Thursday at 11:30 a.m. at the Woman’s Club. Please attend if you’re available.



·         Public Works: Mr. Tusing discussed the LAP Agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for work on 17th Street and 14th Avenue. He stated that this project has been in “delayed status” due to utility conflicts; however, work should be started tomorrow and set to be complete by the first of the year.


Two other projects funded by FDOT are the Safe Route to Schools 14th Avenue sidewalk extension project and the Safety Improvement project on 10th Street and 2nd, 3rd, and 5th Avenues.  This specific project includes railroad crossing improvements. 


Mr. Tusing discussed the system 4 project as outlined in the Capital Improvement Plan. This project for the lining of system 4 is complete. 


He discussed the Community Development Block Grant project as mentioned by Mr. Freeman in his report earlier.


Mr. Tusing is working on the EQ Basin which is proposed to be a 3 tank rectangular system and he is also working on hiring a Deputy Director for Public Works.



·         Planning and Zoning: Karla Owens, Department Services Director, discussed the projects that have been coming through her Department.  The following projects have been approved and are under construction:

§  First Baptist Church Welcome Center

§  Impact Community Church addition

§  Hideaway Storage addition

§  Terra Ceia Townhomes

§  Constantine Medical Plaza

§  Sanctuary Cove 180 homes

§  Contarino Office Building on 7th Street (certificate of occupancy has been issued for this)


Mrs. Owens stated that the Detweiler’s grand opening should be in May 2018. The Heartland Fertilizer property has been sold and the purchaser plans to come to the City for a rezone for market rate apartments with some limited commercial along the perimeter.


She explained that the Lawson property is scheduled to do a 5-unit office building with street-scaping, and the property owner is working with the CRA for incentives, if any. 


She has been in discussions regarding some outdoor seating for a downtown restaurant, an urgent care facility on U.S. 301, a hotel on U.S. 301, a restaurant on U.S. 301 and market rate apartments on north U.S. 301.


Mrs. Owens updated the Commission on various code enforcement issues which include temporary shelters, tagging and towing abandoned vehicles, and dilapidated buildings.  Her Department is also working on updating older ordinances, updating the Downtown Guidelines, a fence ordinance, and a dilapidated vehicle ordinance.


The Building Official is currently working with FEMA and the County on updating the flood regulations. The Comprehensive Plan discussion/process is scheduled to begin sometime in January and to be presented to Commission sometime in April.



·         Police Department: Chief Tyler stated that statistical data shows that the City is down 8.5 percent as compared to last year for part-one crimes.


He discussed the turnover for the Police Department and announced that the Department is down 7 sworn officers out of a Department of 35. He discussed Community Policing and informed Commission that the Department recently received an FDOT grant to allow officers to have overtime as it pertains to traffic/crash related incidents.


He is looking forward to a new Police Department Building. He and Attorney Barnebey have been working on the park ordinance and should be brought forward to a workshop soon for discussion.


Chief Tyler is continuing to work on getting some documentation in place to have the Police Department work with the Coast Guard Auxiliary to get officers out to the abandoned vessels in the River.



·         City Attorney: Attorney Barnebey reviewed the Amberwynd case, explaining that the motion to dismiss was not granted. The defense has responded with 19 defenses that the City will be responding to.  The City will be meeting with the County to discuss voluntary annexations and develop an interlocal agreement.  He is also working on updating the interlocal agreement with the Historical Commission.


The old Palmetto Elementary School site is up for sale and the School Board is required to give the City of Palmetto the offer to buy it first.  The School Board currently has the property out for appraisal.


Mayor Bryant recessed the City Commission meeting at 7:53 p.m. to open the December 4, 2017 CRA Board meeting.


Mayor Bryant reconvened the City Commission meeting at 8:09 p.m.



5. RESOLUTION 2017-35 EPA BROWNFIELD-EDENFIELD GRANT                             



Motion:           Commissioner Williams moved, Commissioner Davis seconded, and the motion carried 4-0 to adopt Resolution 2017-35.




Mayor Bryant informed the public that there will be a meeting held regarding traffic on December 12th and 14th. The 12th will be held in Bradenton and the 14th will be held at the Convention Center.  Mrs. Johnston will have information emailed to the City Commission and Staff as well as information on the City’s website for the public.







An update will be provided after the meeting on December 18th.






Mayor Bryant thanked Commissioner Cornwell for joining her at the ribbon cutting at Riviera Dunes for Bel Mare Marina.


She complimented everyone on the job they did at the Historical Park’s Annual Christmas in the Park; it was a great event. 


She reminded residents to please not park on the sidewalks.



Commissioner Davis—had his wedding reception this past weekend and it turned out very nice. He thanked all those who came.


Commissioner Williams—congratulated Commissioner Davis.



Mayor Bryant adjourned the meeting at 8:16 p.m.


Minutes approved: January 8, 2018


James R. Freeman


James R. Freeman

City Clerk