City of Freeport discusses land acquisition/ computer services

The city of Freeport held it first regularly scheduled meeting of the month on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2017. Fewer than one dozen citizens were in attendance. All council members were present with Janice McLean chairing the meeting in Mayor Russ Barley’s absence.
The meeting began with the approval of a consent agenda. This is the first time the council has used this process which allows housekeeping measures, such as approving past minutes and agenda changes, to be approved in one request rather than listing each item individually.
Under the city clerk heading Becky Podraza asked for and received permission to hire aha Municode to design the city’s new web site for just over $11,000. She also received permission to hire CRC Data Technologies to fill the city’s IT service contract. Podraza noted that CRC was the most responsive company she had contacted in this manner and felt the partnership would be beneficial to the city.
Under legal matters City Attorney Clay Adkinson brought before the council the second reading of an ordinance which would eliminate the mayor’s right to vote in case of a council tie. A discussion followed that explained this was not an effort to take something away form the mayor but an effort to allow the mayor to speak with council members about important city business without violating sunshine laws. The motion was approved with Council member Elizabeth Brannon casting the lone nay vote. Voters will make this decision in the city’s next election.
Council member Kasey Cuchens was very excited to announce a Florida Communities Trust Grant in the amount of $614,000 to acquire 5.5 acres of land adjacent to Freeport City Hall. The parcel is to become the City Center Barrier Free Park upon completion of a boardwalk and other improvements. “This is going to be a fabulous park,” said Cuchens.
The next Freeport City Council meeting will be held on Feb. 23, at 6 p.m.