Monday, January 25, 2021

7:00 pm

This Commission Meeting was conducted utilizing Communications Media Technology.  Staff members were present in the Commission Chambers while others were present via the Zoom application to respect the social distancing guidelines.


Elected Officials Present in Chambers:

Shirley Groover Bryant, Mayor

Brian Williams, Vice Mayor, Commissioner, Ward 3

Sheldon Jones, Commissioner-at-Large 1

Tamara Cornwell, Commissioner-at-Large 2

Harold Smith, Commissioner, Ward 1

Tambra Varnadore, Commissioner, Ward 2


Staff Present in chambers:

Marisa Powers, City Attorney

Jim Freeman, City Clerk

Mohammed Rayan, Public Works Director

Scott Tyler, Chief of Police

Karla Owens, Development Services Director

Cheryl Miller, Finance Director

Penny Johnston, Executive Assistant

Vanessa Cochran, Assistant City Clerk


Staff Present Electronically:

Todd Williams, Information Technology (IT) Consultant


Pastor Don Sturiano, Kingdom Life Christian Church, gave the invocation.


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


Swearing-in of all persons intending to address City Commission.




                      Motion:  Commissioner Cornwell moved, Commissioner Williams seconded, and the motion                                         carried 5-0 to approve the January 25, 2021 City Commission Agenda.



James McCloud, Genesis Dental, stated that an application was submitted to install a LED sign to display Covid   information, and the application was denied because of the zone area.  Mayor Bryant asked Karla Owens, Development Services Director, to collect Mr. McCloud’s information, so a meeting can be arranged to address the issue.    


Kenny Johnson, contractor, complained of nonpayment for work done concerning the 15th Avenue West Storm Pipe Project.  After an agitated discussion, Mayor Bryant informed the Board that this public comment is not in the scope of the Commission but with the City’s attorneys.  Next, City Attorney Powers advised the Board that the public comment on this matter is getting into a legal issue that requires appropriate procedures to follow.  




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January 25, 2021

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Henry Lawrence, resident, requested consideration to have his lien fees reduced.  Attorney Powers replied that she is aware of Mr. Lawrence’s situation, and it was presumed settled.  She will follow up with Attorney Barnebey and get back with Mr. Lawrence.



a.     Minutes: December 21, 2020 and January 12, 2021

b.      Legal Bills

c.     Palmetto Riverside Bed & Breakfast Special Function Permit

d.      Heritage Festival Grand Parade Special Function Permit

e.     Resolution 2020-31 Proposed Three (3) Year Maintenance Agreement with FDOT

f.     Resolution 2020-27 Lease Reimbursement for 2021 Capital Items

g.      Resolution 2021-02 Revised Capital Lease Budget Amendment

h.      2021 MPO Request For Projects


                      Motion:  Commissioner Cornwell moved, Commissioner Williams seconded, and the                                                         motion carried 5-0 to approve the Consent Agenda as presented by staff with                                                 the removal of items 4A, 4D, 4G, and 4H for discussion.



Minutes will be corrected to reflect that Commissioner Jones asked if the City could reach out to the school board to inquiry if they could add additional netting to prevent the potential foul balls, at the Palmetto High School Baseball Field, from landing in the 4 way stop intersection at 14th Avenue West and 17th Street West.



Commissioner Cornwell asked if the Parade route was the same as the previous year.  Chief Tyler responded yes.  Commissioner Williams questioned the 6 hours bridge closure, and if the FDOT permit application was processed.  Chief Tyler replied that the bridge remains closed until participates and attendees have exited, and the permit application was processed.


                              Motion:  Commissioner Cornwell moved, Commissioner Varnadore seconded, and the                                                motion carried 5-0 to approve item 4A and 4D with changes that were                                                            stipulated.



Commissioner Williams stated that he did not see where the Bobcat amount was deducted in the Resolution 2021-02.  Ms. Miller, Finance Director, stated that Nissan Frontier and Bobcat cost the same. 


                              Motion:  Commissioner Williams moved, Commissioner Jones seconded, and the motion carried 5-0 to                                    approve item 4G as presented by staff.



Commissioner Cornwell asked if the deadline was met and if the previous projects have to be listed.  Mrs. Owens, Development Services Director, replied that the deadline was extended to February 7, 2021.  And, for that reason, she could add 11th Avenue to 41 Project when she submits the application.  Also, Mrs. Owens confirmed that only projects that were not funded have to be listed.


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January 25, 2021

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                        Motion:  Commissioner Cornwell moved, Commissioner Williams seconded, and the motion carried 5-0                                             to approve item 4H as presented by staff.





Mayor Bryant stated that confirmation was received today at the MPO Meeting that the traffic signal at 301 and Canal is moving forward.  Also, all inquiries received were answered.



Mr. Rayan, PWD, discussed the new Police Building project phases and status.  Handouts were distributed to the Board and are a part of the minutes. 


Mr. Freeman, City Clerk, reiterated the financing arrangements regarding the new Police Building.  He stated that the budget has remained at 9.3 million.  And, the funding and proposal have not changed.  The payment arrangement consists of a cash payment and bank loan, which is summarized below.

·         Cash payment 4.2 million, which 2 million is 1/2 cents sales tax, impact fees of $272,000, interest from the Trailer Park Trust of 700,000, and the sale of City surplus property of 1.2 million.


·         Bank loan 5 million, which will be repaid with the 1/2 cents sales tax.  And, the loan has not been presented to the Commission because the City should not pay interest on a loan when the project hasn’t broken ground. 


Also, Mr. Freeman stated that the City applied for a grant over 9 million to build the new Police Building and is waiting for the decision. 


Chief Tyler expressed that the project is currently at the 75% design development.  And, when the design reach 90%, the cost and discussions of fixtures, finishes, and ground breaking will be presented to the Board.  He further stated that planning now will eliminate construction glitches that could cost the City additional money.  


Discussion ensued on the new Police Department Building.  Questions were asked about the cost to build the Police Building, funds spent to date, and the assigned builder.  Mr. Rayan, PWD, expressed that the cost will not exceed the budgeted 9.3 million, no builder have been assigned, and $200,000 has been spent to date.


Mayor Bryant commented that she is pleased with the project.  And, asked if the Board wanted another Workshop on the topic.  Commissioner Jones asserted that we need to prioritize the projects and move forward and no further Workshops needed at this time on the Police Department Building.  Then, Mr. Freeman communicated that he will discuss the upcoming Workshop dates during the Department Heads comments.          





Mr. Rayan, PWD, gave an update on the various projects going on throughout the City; to include MLK Restroom Project and the Chloramine House.  Also, no decision on the grant he applied for regarding Ward 1 Phase 3 Project.   


Mr. Freeman, City Clerk, reminded the Board of the next meetings scheduled on February 1, 2021.  Next, he went over the available dates for an extra Workshop Meeting, and the Board approved to have the Workshop Meeting on Wednesday, February 17th, from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm for CRA priorities.   


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January 25, 2021

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In addition, Mr. Freeman pointed out that in this year’s budget, an Impact Fee Study was budgeted.  He reported that the City has not updated the impact fees since 2006, and the fees are associated with general government, law enforcement, parks, transportation, water and sewer.  He emphasized that this will only affect new construction. 


Chief Tyler briefed the Board on the recent homicide committed in the City and reported that no arrest have been made.  And, they are in partnership with the Manatee County Homicide Task Force and are making progress.     





Mayor Bryant complimented Moe Rayan, PWD, regarding a letter received from a resident expressing gratitude for him solving a few concerns in an efficient and courteous manner.  The letter is a part of the minutes.   



Commissioner Jones informed Mr. Rayan that some complaints regarding drainages and ditches were going to be emailed to him, and he will forward them to Mayor Bryant. 


Commissioner Cornwell thanked Penny Johnston, Executive administrative Assistant, and Commissioner Williams for filling-in at the Manatee County Fair when needed and helping it to be a success.


Commissioner Williams stated that the Manatee County Fair was well attended in-spite of Covid.


Commissioner Smith commented that the residents thought the City cancelled the MLK Parade instead of the Palmetto Youth Center.  And, he requested that Chief Tyler provide the hourly rate for off duty security at the next meeting.


Mayor Bryant adjourned the meeting at 8:12 p.m.




Minutes approved: February 22, 2021





James R. Freeman

City Clerk





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