This Commission Meeting was conducted utilizing Communications Media Technology. Some 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
Jeff Burton, CRA Director
Penny Johnston, Executive Assistant
Vanessa Cochran, Assistant City Clerk
Staff Present Electronically:
Todd Williams, Information Technology (IT) Consultant
Mayor Bryant opened the City Commission Workshop Meeting at 4:30 p.m.
Mayor Bryant recognized the following City employees for their recent nomination as Employee of the First Quarter; Officer Kevin Chastain, Kristin Hutton, Sergeant Ryan LaRowe, Ricardo Hernandez, John Ward, Don Barajas, Alberto Betancourt, Susie Trudeau, Karla Owens, Catherine Dublin, Nixa Haisley, and Lana Patrick.
Kristin Hutton was recognized as Employee of the First Quarter.
Mayor Bryant also introduced Wesley Beauchamp, Facilities & Event Specialist, and congratulated him for a great job building the City’s booth at the Manatee County Fair.
Karla Owens, Development Services Director, presented the 2021 MPO Request for projects to the Board. She stated that the deadline was extended to February 8, 2021 and there is $300 million available for different projects. For this reason, the MPO staff recommended to have the “Complete Street” project on 7th Street added to the request. The MPO/FDOT for 7th Street West Complete Street Funding will be on the Commission Meeting agenda at 7:00 p.m.
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Commissioner Cornwell commented that the project is a great idea.
Commissioner Varnadore asked instead of taking the Complete Street from 8th Avenue West to US 41, could it be pulled back and taken to 11th Avenue. Mrs. Owens replied yes.
Mayor Bryant announced that the 23rd Street and US 41 Project is moving forward, and a Public Hearing is scheduled February 11, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. in the Commission Chambers.
Mr. Burton, CRA Director, discussed the First Baptist Church and the Community Redevelopment Agency’s (CRA) partnership to create public LID parking, and sidewalks with landscaping pedestrian lighting similar to Sutton and Riverside Parks. The location will be the street frontage property on 5th and 6th Streets and 11th Avenue. After the drawings and number of parking spaces are created, they will be presented to the Board for review. Also, First Baptist Church will receive a credit for the number of spaces created for future developments. And, this project will generate about 40 to 60 new parking spaces downtown. Mr. Burton requested from the Board to move forward with a First Baptist Church public/private parking partnership.
Commissioner Smith requested clarification on the credit that First Baptist Church would receive, and he disagreed with creating parking in the proposed area where there are no businesses. Mr. Burton replied that it is similar to the impact fees credit/tax credit, and if the Church decides to expand, they can use the credit.
Mayor Bryant clarified that the 10th Avenue Project is referred to as the Multimodal Economic Corridor Funding, and the appearance will be similar to the Riverside Drive Project.
Commissioner Jones requested that Mr. Burton provide to the Board the comparison information on the First Baptist Church Parking Project and the Slick’s Property/Parking Garage Project, so a decision can be made. Mr. Burton commented that the Board needs to prioritize what they want from the CRA first, and more staff is needed to get the information to the Board in a timely manner.
Commissioner Cornwell asked if there were any restrictions regarding the parking area if the City decides to do something in the future. Mr. Burton replied no.
Commissioner Williams asked if the Historical Park, which is owned by the First Baptist Church, wanted to expand what would the potentials be. Mr. Burton replied that it will be for parking.
Commissioner Varnadore supports the project and believes it will help the City.
There was consensus by Commissioners to move forward with the First Baptist Church Public/Private Parking Partnership, which will come back to the Commission for action.
Mayor Bryant stated that the Board needs an extra Workshop, and Mr. Freeman will establish the date and inform the Board.
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4. PALMETTO POLICE DEPARTMENT UPDATE (S. Tyler, M. Rayan, J. Freeman)
Due to the time, this item was not discussed and rescheduled for discussion at the Commission Meeting at 7:00 p.m.
Mayor Bryant adjourned the meeting at 5:58 p.m.