By BEN GRAFTON
At the Freeport Council meeting of June 23, Councilwoman Elizabeth Brannon opened a discussion about “continuing general engineering contracts” which allow the city to order project work under the terms and conditions of the contract. At the present time only one general engineering contract is in effect in Freeport.
Attorney Clay Adkinson said there is nothing to prohibit the city from having multiple continuing general engineering contracts which are limited to projects costing less than $2 million. Additional contracts would have no effect on the contract now in existence. Work could be rotated between the firms, or if one firm cannot handle a job the work could be given to another of the continuing engineering contract firms. The use of multiple firms streamlines the process and saves the city money.
A motion was made to authorize staff to advertise for firms with qualifications to provide general engineering services. Councilman Charlie Simmons said he would like to have more time to mull the proposal over. Adkinson said that the time required to run the advertising window should provide enough time for the Council members to give more thought to what the options are. The motion was passed by a three-to-two vote with Simmons and Councilman Earl King voting “no.”
In other business City Planner Latilda Henninger presented an application for a commercial development order for a project on Blueberry Road. The development would initially consist of a small warehouse to be followed later by a cabinet shop. The developer is Scotty Lewis Construction. The planning board, engineering and fire department approvals have been received. The Council approved the order.
Henninger reported that the Florida State Dixie Youth “T” Ball tournament will be held at the Freeport Sports Complex in July. There will be 14 teams, including the Freeport “T” Ball All-stars, participating in the tournament. Since there are 13 six-year-old players accompanied by parents and four coaches per team there will be a large number of people visiting Freeport. Henninger is publishing a flier for distribution to area restaurants and other businesses to advise them to be prepared to meet the needs of the visitors.
Engineer Jody Solomon said that water tank inspections will be starting next week. Tanks will checked for conditions of welds and other defects. Reports will be compiled as the inspections proceed and a single report will be delivered to the Council when all inspections are complete.
Solomon said that the preconstruction meeting for work on Well House No 2: has been held. The contract specifies completion in 75 days. Mayor Mickey Marse said the well house will be put out of the way behind Well No 2. The set-back will be 10 feet (normal set-back is 15 feet), so a variance is necessary for the project. The Council approved a motion for the variance.
Solomon said that the city is awaiting a construction cost estimate from Martin Construction for the Shipyard Road lift station. Martin is the contractor doing the work on the treating plant.
The Waste Treating Plant project is waiting on information about the level detector for the tank. The detector is giving the proper readings at the tank but when the data is transferred to the control panel something is skewing the data. When this problem is resolved, system startup can be scheduled.
Engineer Chris Brunson of Preble-Rish reported on plans for the Energy Grant work. Two large motors at the waste water treatment plant will be replaced as well as a pump at Well No. 2. In addition, four other 30 horsepower motors will be replaced at the waste water treating plant. The new pumps all meet energy-saving specifications. This grant also includes installation of a 30-kilowatt solar collector between the parking lot and the soccer fields at the Sports Complex. This array will supply power to the lighting system. The collector will require a fenced 2,000- square-foot unshaded area.
City Clerk Robin Haynes said several contracts must be let on the Energy Grant project and she asked the Council to appoint an evaluation committee to work on these contracts. The Council approved this request. The committee will have four to five members including Haynes, Marse, and King.
The Council approved attendance of designated staff at four budgeted training conferences. These sessions will be presented by the Florida Rural Water Association; the Florida League of Cities, the Florida American Planning Association and the Florida Association of City Clerks.