By REID TUCKER
The DeFuniak Springs City Council quickly worked their way through a short agenda, taking care of a variety of housekeeping items at the last regularly scheduled meeting of the month on Feb. 24.
First up, David Rivard, of Vivid Imagination photography, presented the city with a portrait of Mayor Bob Campbell to hang in City Hall alongside other holders of the office.
The most pressing item brought before the Council on Feb. 24 was a request from Assistant City Manager Tilman Mears to approve emergency repairs to Lift Station 18, which he described as being in the “emergency stage.” The city switched to the station’s reserve line some time ago, but due to extended use it is now in worse shape than the main line, Mears said, necessitating the repairs. The council members voted unanimously to accept the lower of two bids for the repair of the lift station, with the total price tag for the work coming in at $23,056 from the Robertsdale, Ala.-based Hydra Service, Inc.
City Manager Sara Bowers had three requests of her own for the Council’s approval, all of which got the board’s unanimous approval.
First, the Council agreed to have the DeFuniak Springs Fire Department provide first-responder fire protection services to Walton Youth Development Center from the period beginning Feb. 24 and running through Sept. 30, but the agreement is subject to renewal.
Next, the board approved updated monthly rental fees for the t-hangars (with and without additional storage square footage) at the municipal airport, though Councilman Mac Carpenter requested a comparable market analysis of other airports in the area with the option to amend the fee schedule at the next Council meeting. Finally, the Council voted 5-0 in favor of adopting the 26-pages of job descriptions for police and fire department positions.
The Council also cast straight aye votes to adopt Resolution 2014-04, which authorizes an application to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds needed for a water line replacement project. Included in the resolution was a commitment to contribute the $125,000 from a Northwest Florida Water Management grant in leveraged funds toward the project. However, the Council members approved the resolution with the contingency that the funds would not be committed to the project if the CDBG grant was not awarded to the city.
Following the success of the recent Black History Month parade, event organizer Tyrone Broadus got approval from the Council to hold next year’s parade and other events related to the occasion along Baldwin Avenue and around Circle Drive. Furthermore, the Council voted unanimously for a proclamation setting aside the third Saturday in February for a permanent Black History Month parade in the local area.
By REID TUCKER