September 14, 2020

7:00 PM

This CRA Board Meeting was conducted utilizing Communications Media Technology in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order. Some Board and Staff members were present in the Commission Chambers while others were present via the Zoom application to respect the social distancing guidelines.


CRA Board Members Present in Chambers:

Shirley Groover Bryant, Presiding Officer

Harold Smith


CRA Board Members Present Electronically:

Tamara Cornwell, Chair

Tambra Varnadore, Vice Chair

Jonathan Davis

Brian Williams


Staff Present in chambers:

Mark Barnebey, City Attorney

Mohammed Rayan, Public Works Director

Scott Tyler, Chief of Police

Penny Johnston, Executive Assistant

Vanessa Cochran, Assistant City Clerk


Staff Present Electronically:

Jeff Burton, CRA Director

Todd Williams, Information Technology (IT) Consultant


  1.  Mayor Bryant called the meeting to order at 8:11pm


Motion:               Mrs. Varnadore moved, Mrs. Cornwell seconded, and the motion carried 5-0 to approve the September 14, 2020 CRA Board Agenda.



 No comments


a.  August 24, 2020 Minutes

b. Legal Invoices

Motion:               Mr. Davis moved, Mrs. Varnadore seconded, and the motion carried 5-0 to approve the Consent Agenda.  



Mr. Burton, CRA Director, began the presentation, where he left off during the workshop meeting.  He stated that he is looking for direction on how to proceed with the sale of the Riverside Property at 301 8th Avenue W.


Mr. Williams asked if the boat ramp was going to be removed.

Mr. Barnebey stated that they cannot remove the boat ramp due to a deed restriction.

Mr. Williams asked about of one of the developer’s proposal, that Mr. Burton referred to as the “safe proposal”, and if it included any parking for the boats. 

Mr. Burton stated there are other options such as the property across the street, and the property a block north.  However, these options have to be discussed with the developer.


Mrs. Varnadore expressed that she believes this project should be suspended at the moment.  She stated that we might get better offers for the property after Covid is managed, the economy recovers, and after the election.  She also commented that the property is drawing a lot of attention after the seahorse was set-up.


Mrs. Cornwell agreed with Mrs. Varnadore, and stated that she wants to be very careful on what is allowed on the property and what the plan should be.  She further recommend that this project be workshopped again.


Mayor Bryant stated that she was disappointed that the project is not moving forward for a sale, but the Commission proposes a hold on the sale.


Mr. Burton stated that we can leave the realtor’s agreement in place and put up a not for sale sign.  He added that the agreement is good until December 2020, and if the board decides to move forward, we will put up a for sale sign.



Harlan Newton, Hatfield Development Co.

Ron Allen, President of NBC

Ron Connolly, Developer


Mr. Newton and Mr. Allen commented that they would like the opportunity to submit a proposal for a mixed use 218 unit apartments with 7,500 square feet of retail and an internalize parking garage for the facility.  They added that they will email Mr. Burton additional information and drawings.


Ron Connolly, a developer, spoke about his proposal for the Riverside Property.  He would like the opportunity to present his proposal to the CRA at a future workshop.  He agrees that it is an important property and the City and CRA should try to get the best proposal as possible.


  Mr. Barnebey requested that the discussion continue at the next workshop meeting on September 28th and Mr. Iboni attend.

 Mayor Bryant stated that the Riverside Project will be scheduled for the next workshop meeting on September 28th at 4:30 p.m.  She added that the developers will give their presentations, and Mr. Iboni be present.

   Mr. Burton displayed a map regarding the proposal properties to be demolished at 904 4th Street West, and the map will be a part of the minutes.  He stated that the City owned buildings on 4th street has roof damage that was caused from water leakage, and have some flooding.  He added that they do not want to repair the fire system because the buildings were scheduled to be demolished. 

He added that they have a bid from Delesine Construction for under $10,000 dollars to remove the buildings.  Mr. Burton requested that the CRA Board and the City Commission approve the buildings to be removed under the City of Palmetto Emergency Demolition Policy.


Motion:              Mr. Williams moved, Mrs. Cornwell seconded, and the motion carried 5-0 to have buildings at 904 4th Street West be removed under the Emergency Demolition Policy due to public safety and fire code.  


This same action will be bought forward for the City Commission to approve when we reconvene the City Commission Meeting tonight.

Mr. Burton mentioned that a documentary was created of the Seahorse unveiling, and he presented it to the board to review.  Mayor Bryant asked Mr. Burton to send a copy to the Manatee Convention Center because they would like to place it on their website.

Mr. Burton stated that about 2 weeks ago, the Board and the City Commission approved the sales of 3 properties.  He added that since it is almost at the end of the year’s budget, the City’s Purchasing Department have been flooded with projects, and it may take weeks or months to sell these properties.  We do have an alternative process to sell properties, or would the board like to put these properties out for sell in the private sector, or wait.  He also stated that the CRA can handle it if needs to.


Motion:             Mr. Davis moved, Mrs. Varnadore seconded, to instruct CRA staff to sell the 3 surplus properties per CRA statute.  After an extended Commissioners’ discussion and Cheryl Miller, Finance Director (FD), added that this project is scheduled for the September 28th Workshop to get it moving, the Motion was withdrawn.

Mayor Bryant asked Mr. Burton if he had any other comments.

Mr. Burton stated that he will have Mr. Iboni and developers back on September 28th, and have the City take a vote on the Emergency Demolition Policy.


  Mayor gave praise to everyone who helped get the seahorse down to its location.

Mayor asked if anyone has comments for the CRA Board.  There were no comments.

Mayor adjourned the meeting at 9:27 p.m.



Minutes APPROVED: October 5, 2020



James R. Freeman

City Clerk




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