December 7, 2015

7:00 p.m.


CRA Board Members Present:

Shirley Groover Bryant, Presiding Officer

Brian Williams, Chair

Tambra Varnadore, Vice Chair

Tamara Cornwell

Jonathan Davis

Harold Smith


Staff Present:

Mark Barnebey, City Attorney

Jeff Burton, CRA Director

Jim Freeman, City Clerk

Allen Tusing, Public Works Director

Scott Tyler, Chief of Police

Deanna Roberts, Administrative Assistant



  Mayor Bryant opened the December 7, 2015 CRA Board meeting at 7:07 p.m.




  Motion:    Commissioner Williams moved, Commissioner Davis seconded, and the motion carried unanimously to approve the December 7, 2015 CRA Board Agenda.  


Discussion:  Mr. Barnebey asked Mr. Burton if there were any items he wanted to pull. Mr. Burton discussed Item D under the Consent Agenda, a Storefront Grant for the Crusader Building. He informed Commission that an emergency egress is part of the grant, and that is more of a code violation.  He wanted to bring this to the Board’s attention and pull the item for discussion. He discussed some of the other items coming up on the Consent Agenda.


 Regarding North River Body Therapies, a Community Policing through Environmental Design (CPTED) was done.  The question is: Does CRA need to advise the police department what is being applied for, because it may be in conflict with CPTED.  Fencing could be an issue.  


  Mr. Burton commented on Item E: a new roof applied for by Ann Mobley.  He wants to discuss what should be approved by storefront, because the scope is often vague.  Mayor Bryant stated that needs discussion, because we need to know if it is part of the aesthetics. Mr. Burton said it will improve the value of the property which would come back to the CRA in the long run. He wants to discuss the Board’s desire.


 The McClash Realty grant is for an awning that was torn in a wind storm. Aesthetically, it will make the building look newer.  Mr. Williams asked if insurance would have covered the awning, and if there is anything about that in the application. Mr. Burton said no.






            A. November 16, 2015 Minutes                                                                                      

            B. Blalock Walters Legal Bills                                                                                        

B. Storefront Grant 16-01 North River Body Therapies                                                    

            C. Storefront Grant 16-02 McClash Realty Trust                                                              

            D. Storefront Grant 16-03 Crusader Properties, LLC                                                       

            E. Storefront Grant 16-04 Ann Mobley                                                                           

  Motion:    Commissioner Williams moved, Commissioner Cornwell seconded, and the motion carried unanimously to approve the December 7, 2015 CRA Consent Agenda with the removal of Item D for discussion. 


  Mr. Burton said the application for the Crusader Building includes the payment for an emergency door, and doors are allowed. The owner redid the front door which is an aesthetic improvement, and the CRA did allow that. The emergency exit was $3,807, and the CRA was asked to reimburse $2,697.50. This is actually a code issue. He asked if the Board wants to cover this.


Mr. Davis agreed with the payment. Commissioner Cornwell asked Mr. Burton if other CRAs have made this exact same type of purchase. Mr. Burton said it is questionable under the verbiage of our program, but it is an element of blight according to Florida Statute 163. He didn’t look at other CRAs, just the City and State law.  Mrs. Cornwell suggested removing that item and approving the rest at this time to make sure we don’t make an error. It can be added to a future agenda.


 James Chandler, manager of Crusader Properties who has owned the building since 2006, addressed Commission. He said the emergency door is a very small component of this project. He explained that this was an old staircase that goes back to the 1920’s. It was the emergency stair exit. In the late 1980s, there was an internal staircase built in the back of the building, which gave them two internal staircases. The external staircase became unnecessary and it was shut off.  It was old and rusty, and code enforcement said it had to be replaced or repaired as it was a safety violation.  He explained it was not being used, and they decided to remove it. The total cost of removal was $4,750.00.  Since that made the appearance of the building from the street better, they asked if that could be included in the grant. He opined he would hate to see the entire application delayed due to this. He offered to remove it rather than delay the grant. 


  Motion:    Commissioner Cornwell moved, Commissioner Davis seconded, and the motion carried unanimously to move forward with the rest of the application in Item 3.D. in an amount not-to-exceed $19,733.76, which deletes the egress issue.


  4.  2016-2020 CRA PLAN (J. Burton)                                                                                              

Mr. Burton said this is the next five-year plan. It has been reviewed and sent to all taxing authorities.


  Motion:    Commissioner Davis moved, Commissioner Varnadore seconded, for discussion, a motion to recommend the 2016-2020 CRA Plan for adoption by the City Commission.  


  Commissioner Varnadore commented that housing, on page 26, says that we will set annual goals for the elimination of substandard housing within an established target area and monitor progress on an annual basis.  She asked when we should look to see those annual goals.  Mr. Burton said this comes from the Comp Plan, and he will check with the Planner. He will find out when the City wants that to happen, and then it will occur annually after the initial date is set.


 She referred Mr. Burton to page 32, Item 6, regarding including dynamic messaging. Mr. Burton said when 10th Avenue is designed, that would not be included in the streetscape because City ordinances would supersede that.


  Commissioner Williams called for discussion on the following items:


Page 16, under Tasks: “The agency may hold training for Board members and participate in associations…”   He opined that all five tasks should be “shall.” Following discussion, it was decided to leave the wording at “may.”


Page 22, Task 2: “The agency may develop and build a Police Department building.” He asked if it should read “may assist.Following discussion it was decided to leave the wording as is.


Page 26, Affordable Housing: Commissioner Williams said we have an affordable housing ordinance, and he asked where it stands right now.  He asked if it had been suspended.  Mr. Barnebey said the criteria to trigger it have not kicked in, but he thinks that review needs to come up again.  The Planner should bring that back to Commission.  Commissioner Williams asked that it be brought back quickly. Mayor Bryant said we have a lot of affordable housing.  Mr. Barnebey reminded Commission that it is supposed to be reviewed every five years.


 Page 30, Policies: “Engage with private property owners to develop and redevelop real taxable property ‘frontage’…” Mr. Burton said as long as the word is in the city codes, design code and the Comp Plan, we will be bound by it anyway.  It can be taken out if you want. It was decided to leave frontage in.


  Page 31, Tasks 5 and 6: Commissioner Williams said Task 4 says “Plan and fund the purchase of necessary rights-of-way in the DCOM area for necessary improvements.” Commissioner Williams stated there are no pictures here for the properties listed in 5 and 6. Mr. Burton said basically it is from Riverside to 17th Street, which has a great right-of-way. This is actually scheduled for 2021 in the next plan, but he is working toward that plan. Funding will be set aside so that as CRA does the complete street it can pick up extra rights-of-way, and it will not be just a straight street that looks the same all the way through. 


  Page 33, Task 3, 505 5th Street West:  Commented that he is not sure the Commission has designated that this property will be established as a dog park.  It should be researched for the possibility of a multimodal hub and secondarily as a dog park. There must be other areas where a dog park could go. Mayor Bryant suggested adding “or otherwise” after dog park, and that was agreed to.


 Page 36, Public Use, Policy 2: “The agency may assist the City to attain the most efficient, sustainable maintenance of City owned parks in the Area.”  Mr. Williams asked if the CRA is going to fund maintenance of the parks.  Mr. Burton said the CRA cannot pay for General Fund expenses. The CRA can pay for community policing beyond what the City does, or any project above and beyond what the City would do otherwise. There has to be an agreement in place. Commissioner Varnadore asked if the word “enhanced” could be added to that section. It was agreed to add that verbiage.


  Page 39, Conglomerate Property ID numbers: Commissioner Williams asked what that means.  Mr. Burton explained that MLK Park and Sutton park were made up of combined, separate parcels. The correct way to clean it up is to have the legal description rewritten and make the parcels one inclusive property. It is just for cleanup.


  Page 39, Task 2… “including the replacement of the seawall” is there, but the living shoreline is not.  Mr. Burton said this is a generalized plan to redevelop a park. Later the CRA brings project plans to Commission.  Full blown plans are not included in the CRA Plan. The seawall is included for the purposes of the loan.  


  Page 43, Task 3: Restrooms at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.  The restrooms should be placed by the Youth Center and away from the homes.  Mr. Burton said he will need to buy a piece of property in the area with availability of water and sewer.  By the Youth Center would be the best location.  The decision has been waiting for the new Palmetto Youth Center director, and he is in place now.


  Page 44, Proposed Linear Park Trail: Mr. Burton explained this is a park in itself from one end of the City to the other. The CRA only does the part within its geographic boundaries. The trail will tie into as many City parks as possible. 


  Page 45, Policy 1 a.: “The Agency may purchase rental properties that have a history of recorded police or code enforcement violations.”  Mr. Williams said purchasing is fine, but will condemnation be used. Mr. Burton said no.  Mr. Williams asked for a map, and Mr. Burton said there is one included on page 6.


  Appendix F: Mr. Williams pointed out a scrivener’s error: Edenfield Property to 5th Avenue/4th Street Intersection is listed twice.  


  Mr. Burton said the CRA has been building on the Linear Park since it started.  It just has not yet been deemed a linear park. There is plenty of work to be done. The backbone of the Linear Park is 10th Avenue, and for the next five years CRA will be working with the City to get it ready for 2021.  Bringing 10th Avenue to where it needs to be will be a multimillion dollar project.  He clarified for Mr. Williams that the Linear Park Trail, as defined in the Plan, can be changed.


  Appendix G: Mr. Williams asked about resident relocation.  Mr. Burton said it is required by Statute. If you move people, you have to find adequate housing for them.  He said CRA has been good about buying properties that are vacant.  


  Appendix H, Page 80: Increment Revenue: Mr. Williams pointed out that the budget projection for 2019-20 is off by $100,000.  There is an error in addition.


  Page 31, Task 5 and 6: Mr. Barnebey suggested changing #1 on both of those to “Consider attempting to purchase property.”


  Motion:    Commissioner Davis moved, Commissioner Varnadore seconded, and the motion carried unanimously to recommend the 2016-2020 CRA Plan for adoption by the City Commission, incorporating the changes. 


  Mayor Bryant recessed the CRA Board meeting at 8:05 p.m. to return to the City Commission meeting.


  Mayor Bryant reconvened the CRA Board meeting at 8:08 p.m.


  5. RESOLUTION 2015-03 LOAN MODIFICATION (J. Freeman)                                                         



Mr. Freeman explained that this is an existing loan which this resolution would modify to allow for expenditures related to the seawall improvements.


  Commissioner Williams asked if this note included the living seawall.  Mr. Freeman said it does.  Mr. Williams asked if this is time sensitive, as we don’t know what the outcome of the seawall appeal will be.  Mr. Freeman said it is time sensitive based on where we are in the process. The amount stays the same, this just modifies the use. Mayor Bryant suggested moving this forward. Mr. Barnebey said the loan has a very specific list of things you can use the money for, and this would allow the City to use it on projects including the seawall.


  Motion:    Commissioner Davis moved, Commissioner Varnadore seconded, and the motion carried 4-1 to adopt Resolution 2015-03. Commissioner Williams voted nay.


  6. BUDGET RESOLUTION 2015-04 (J. Freeman)                                                                


  Motion:    Commissioner Varnadore moved, Commissioner Davis seconded, and the motion carried 4-1 to adopt Resolution 2015-04 to adjust the CRA funding source for the seawall project, removal of new debt service, and the transfer of funds from the CRA to the City.  Commissioner Williams voted nay.




  Motion:    Commissioner Davis moved, Commissioner Williams seconded, and the motion carried unanimously to authorize the Presiding Officer or designee to sign the Southwest Florida Water Management District Agreement.



U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Cleanup Grant in the amount of $200,000 for proposed mediation activities at 505 5th Street West, Palmetto.


Mayor Bryant opened the public hearing.  There being no public comment, she closed the public hearing  


  Motion:    Commissioner Davis moved, Commissioner Williams seconded, and the motion carried unanimously to accept the grant for $200,000 from the USEPA for the mediation activities at 505 5th Street West, Palmetto.



Mr. Burton informed Commission that the Cleanup Grant is a 20 percent match which the CRA will take care of.  Mayor Bryant said the community has been very supportive.  She has received many letters in support of the grant.



Mayor Bryant said she is looking forward to the start of the seawall/living shoreline project.




Mr. Davis

Informed Mr. Burton that Ms. Collins at the Marine Agriculture Extension Agent’s office may be willing to help find more funding for the seawall project.  Mr. Burton said he will contact her.



The meeting was adjourned at 8:21 p.m.


Minutes approved: March 7, 2016


James R. Freeman

James R. Freeman, City Clerk