February 1, 2021

7:00 PM

This CRA Board Meeting was conducted utilizing Communications Media Technology. 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, Chair

Tambra Varnadore, Vice Chair

Tamara Cornwell

Sheldon Jones

Brian Williams


Staff Present in chambers:

Mark Barnebey, City Attorney

Jim Freeman, City Clerk

Jeff Burton, CRA Director

Mohammed Rayan, Public Works Director

Scott Tyler, Chief of Police

Penny Johnston, Executive Administrative Assistant (Not Present)

Vanessa Cochran, Assistant City Clerk


Staff Present Electronically:

Todd Williams, Information Technology (IT) Consultant



Mayor Bryant called the meeting to order at 7:16 p.m.




                                      Motion:  Commissioner Cornwell moved, Commissioner Jones seconded, and the                                                                   motion carried 5-0 to approve the February 1, 2021 CRA Board Agenda






a.    Minutes: December 7, 2020

b.    Legal Bills


                                      Motion:  Commissioner Cornwell moved, Commissioner Jones seconded, and                                               the motion carried 5-0 to approve the consent agenda as presented by                                                             staff.




CRA Board Meeting

February 1, 2021

Page 2 of 3



Mr. Burton, CRA Director, stated that the property is 2 acres and was previously owned by the City.  Grants and sales tax credits have been received on the property, and it is a Brownfield site.  After remediation, a storm water pre-treatment will be completed on the property and will finish it with a pedestrian passive park.  And, the plans have been permitted through Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD).  Stellar Development bid the project, and this contractor also did the MLK Park Project.  The current estimated price for Connor Park Project is 3.8 million.  Mr. Burton requested that the board accepts the recommendation from the Ranking Committee and approve Stellar Development for the Connor Park Project and authorize the CRA Presiding Officer to negotiate the final project price.        


 Commissioner Williams asked if the project should be a Request For Proposal (RFP) or a Request For Qualification (RFQ).  Mr. Burton replied to leave it as a RFQ, so the cost may be negotiated.


  Discussion ensued regarding the below issues.

·        Trail paths surface and destinations.

·        No jogging trail. 

·        Prior changes requested not shown. 

·        Biker and walker trails should be separate.

·        No coverings for specific areas.      


                                    1ST Motion:  Commissioner Williams moved, Commissioner Jones                                                                                       seconded, and the motion failed 2-3 to accept Connor                                                                                          Park Project #20-790 for $3,804,637.73 not to exceed                                                                                              based on a Phased Completion Time of 540 calendar                                                                                              days.  Commissioners Cornwell, Williams, and Smith                                                                                     voted nay.


                                    2ND Motion: Commissioner Smith moved, Commissioner Williams                                                                                                seconded, and the motion carried 5-0 to have the                                                                                            motion for reconsideration. 


                                    3RD Motion:  Commissioner Williams moved, Commissioner Smith                                                                                       seconded, and the motion carried 5-0 to accept                                                                                                              recommendation from committee and approve Stellar                                                                                       Development, Inc. for the Connor Park development                                                                                    and authorize the CRA Presiding Officer to negotiate the                                                                    final project price.


 Based on the Board’s recommendation Connor Park RFP Recommendation will be scheduled for a Workshop on February 22, 2021.


CRA Board Meeting

February 1, 2021

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5.        7-11 INCENTIVES - 639 8TH AVENUE (J. Burton)


                                      Motion:  Commissioner Williams moved, Commissioner Smith                                                                            seconded, and the motion carried 5-0 to approve final                                                                                                              downtown commercial incentive of $131,863.30 to be paid                                                                                                                          over 10 years, authorize the CRA Attorney to draft final                                                                                                                               agreement, and authorize CRA Presiding Officer or CRA Chair                                                                                   to sign.


6.        RESOLUTION 2021-01 BUDGET AMENDMENT (J. Burton/J. Freeman)


                                      Motion:  Commissioner Varnadore moved, Commissioner Williams seconded, to                                                    adopt Resolution 2021-01.


Mr. Burton discussed the parking garage issue concerning the downtown area.  He stated that vertical parking can cost in the millions whereas horizontal parking cost in the thousands.  And, the City’s Comprehensive Plan and the CRA Plan do not identify a parking garage in the downtown area.  However, it can be done by amending the plans to include it.  He recommended that the Board review the information and let him know how to proceed. 


There was discussion on the parking garage cost in the downtown area and property donated by the First Baptist Church.  Mayor Bryant suggested to have more discussion at another Workshop Meeting.


Commissioner Cornwell asked if there were incentives for property owners who lease their property to a potential business.  Mr. Burton replied that it is included in the CRA Plan, and he will bring back more information to the Board at the March 1, 2021 CRA Meeting.   


Mayor Bryant adjourned the meeting at 8:50 p.m.



Minutes approved: April 5, 2021




James R. Freeman

City Clerk







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