Freeport City Council hears updates on Marquis Way extension, personnel policy changes [PREMIUM]

COMMISSIONER DANNY GLIDEWELL (at podium) addressed the Freeport City Council on the Marquis Way extension that was approved by Tallahassee.


The Freeport City Council held its regular meeting on Jan. 27, 2022, at the Freeport City Hall. Walton County Commissioner Danny Glidewell was present to discuss the Marquis Way extension that was approved by Tallahassee, and to report that Council member Mark Martin, DeFuniak Springs City Councilman Anthony Vallee, and himself were instrumental in obtaining 52% of the TPO funds for Walton County. 

City Manager Charlie Simmons, requested that the Little League fees be waived this year. The council approved. He reported that the AMB, American Metal Bearing, has decided to accept the council’s proposal to move to Freeport. They plan on being present at the first city council meeting in February. He also said that because of some who were out because of sickness, the disconnects that were scheduled to be done this week, wouldn’t begin until next week.

City Clerk Katherine Gatewood presented changes to the personnel policy for city employees. 

Concerning COVID-19: Criteria for Sending Sick Employees Home:

Employees showing symptoms of illness may be sent home by their supervisor. Employees shall not report to work while they are sick and shall be sent home if they meet one or more of the following criteria:

• New or worsening cough or shortness of breath.

• Sore throat with other symptoms.

• Temperature equal to or higher than 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.

• Close contact, or high-risk exposure for public safety employees, with a person who has tested positive with COVID-19.

Employees who test for COVID-19 due to a known exposure, or experiencing known COVID-19 symptoms, must notify their supervisor and/or Human Resources immediately. Supervisors must notify Human Resources immediately upon learning an employee needs to be tested for COVID-19. A Leave Request Form is required for COVID-19 related leave.

An employee experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, or who has been exposed to COVID-19, must not report to work, and must immediately get tested for COVID-19. 

Concerning resignation: 

To resign in good standing, except when approved by the city manager, upon showing good cause, an employee should give at least two weeks (14 calendar days) notice in writing to his or her supervisor. The employee must also physically work all normal scheduled workdays during the same two weeks (14 calendar days), except in the case of an emergency. In the case of an emergency, the reason should be fully documented in the notice. Full time employees who resign in good standing shall receive payment of all accrued PTO leave up to 205 hour and compensatory time credit. 

Planning Director Latilda Hughes-Neel, commented that they had received six new projects for the month of January already. 

Alex Rouchaleau of Dewberry Engineering gave updates on four projects. All were approved: 

• CR 3280 Water Main Upgrade Phase 1

• 83A West Sewer Improvements

• Bay Area Sewer Expansion Phase 1. Approximately 390 sewer systems taken off the bay and added to the city sewer utilizing a vacuum system. Homeowners will put up very little, if anything up front. No grinder pumps are necessary, the system connects directly to the house. A grant of 6.3 million was obtained covering much of the cost. 

• 83A West Water Main Improvements Phase 2 

Council member Eddie Farris proposed researching a master sidewalk plan. He is concerned about the safety of the people walking along the streets. This applies mostly to the residential areas, not necessarily U.S. Hwy 331 or SR-20.