By BEN GRAFTON
At the Freeport Council meeting of August 12, City Planner Latilda Henninger presented the second reading of an ordinance to change the zoning of a 1.6 acre parcel on the east side of U.S. 331, just south of the intersection with LaGrange Road, to Heavy Commercial. The Council approved the change.
Henninger presented the first reading of a “remedial amendment” for the proposed Freeport Business and Technical Park which will be on the east side of U.S. 331 North. When mature, the park is expected to provide employment for a maximum of 2,300 people. The amendment reduces the road work schedule from 15 years to 10 years. The Council approved the reading. The second reading will be presented at the next meeting.
Next, Henninger provided copies of the final plat for the Stone Creek development which is accessed from Blueberry Street. She said all required improvements to the plan had been made and she pointed out that the streets in this development will remain private and maintenance will be handled by the development’s homeowners association. An easement has been provided for the city to access its utility lines. The Council accepted the plat.
Henninger discussed a proposal that would streamline zoning issues for properties annexed from Walton County. A special form would be used for assigning Freeport zoning to these properties. In the event that an owner wants the annexed property to have high density zoning, then the existing standard application form would be used. Henninger will present a draft of the proposal to the Council at a future meeting.
Fire Chief Ben Greenslait reported that the new tanker truck arrived and was put into service on August 2. He also said that the city’s fireboat is expected to arrive the weekend of August 16.
Both Henninger and City Clerk Robin Haynes asked the Council for guidance on whether or not to issue a letter of waiver for a mobile home located on State Road 20 East. City regulations state that only mobile homes manufactured no later than 1994 will be permitted. The home in question, a 1993 model, was placed on the property several years ago without city clearance and it has been unoccupied and locked since then. The home has been recently inspected and approved by the building inspector and it meets Zone II hurricane standards. The owner wants to put the home in service. The Council authorized issuance of a letter of waiver for the home.
City Engineer Charles Peters reported that the Lazy Days and State Road sewer projects are nearly complete. Peters also reported on three other projects: Welding on the new water tank should be finished in 30 days after which painting is expected to take another 45 days. The sewer plant labor problems have been overcome and the project should finish on schedule. Finally, engineers are working on the design for replacing Well 7 and their work should be complete by October 10.
After reviewing paving bids for the Water Department parking lot, the Council agreed to award the project to Burnham Paving provided the base layer specifications in the quote are correct. Peters will review the quotes and follow up on this issue.
The city has received two quotes for landscape maintenance for the Freeport Sports Complex at Hammock Bay. One is from Dogwood Landscaping at $5,900 per month. The other is from Valleycrest at $6,388 per month. The Council will review the quotes and then decide who will get the work.
J.B. Hilliard, moderator of the Communities for a Lifetime Committee, an initiative of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs, made a presentation to the Council in which he asked the city to adopt a resolution to participate in the Communities for a Lifetime program. He stated that both DeFuniak Springs and Walton County have already provided resolutions and a similar request is being made to Paxton. The committee will serve as a fact-finder and advisor to the city and other local governments and it is ready to move forward with the self-assessment phase of the program. The Council voted to authorize a letter of resolution.