By BEN GRAFTON
At the Freeport City Council meeting of June 14, City Attorney Clayton Adkinson advised the Council that he found the bids submitted for contract maintenance of the city’s water tanks were not preceded by advertising as required by law. As a result, the bids received will have to be rejected and new bids, preceded by advertising, will be requested.
A general discussion about water tank maintenance ensued. There are issues with some tanks that require attention, so prompt action is required. The bid specifications will require the contractor to maintain the tanks to meet Department of Environmental Protection specifications. Painting will be authorized only when the tanks need it and the type of paint (some types cost up to $400 per gallon) to be used will be reviewed. Steps will be taken to separate the responsibility for tank inspections from the painting step.
A motion to reject all bids received for tank maintenance was approved.
A motion to have the city engineering contractor inspect the tanks, submit a report on the inspections and prepare specifications for the new bids was approved.
In other business City Planner Latilda Henninger introduced a request for a Special Use Permit to be issued to Marina Village located off of Bay Loop Road. The permit will be used to provide services for a bass tournament on Aug. 6 which will benefit the Emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center. More details will be available later.
Engineer Cliff Knauer reported that work is underway to prepare overlays of the proposed locations for water mains extending from the Wagon Wheel Road well over the Department of Transportation plans for four-laning U.S. 331. This work will help ensure the mains are appropriately located.
Knauer also reported that layouts for the installation of photo cells to be installed as a part of the Energy Grant for solar lighting at the Sports Complex are underway.
In order to get more customers for the soon-to-be-installed water main extension from Portland to Choctaw Beach, Mayor Mickey Marse proposed a $750 impact fee waiver for new customers occupying single family homes in the new service area. The waiver would be valid for a limited time only and the offer would be withdrawn once construction work has started in the service area. The Council approved the proposal.
In new assignments for Council members, Marse designated Harold Taunton to work with the fire department, Earl King will continue to work with the water department, Charlie Simmons will work with parks, Ray Jackson will work with waste treatment and Elizabeth Brannon will represent the city on boards and at meetings.
Scarlett Phaneuf, Managing Director of the Walton County Economic Development Alliance, announced that many scheduling conflicts have interfered with attendance at board of directors meetings. To deal with this problem the management structure has been revised. The Alliance will now have an advisory board composed if the Chairman of the Board of County Commissioners; the Director of the Tourist Development Council; the Mayors of DeFuniak Springs, Freeport and Paxton or their designees; and two additional members to be elected by the board.