The city of Freeport installs canopy shades at Casey Park [PREMIUM]


Story and photo by STACY MARTIN 

The city of Freeport held its regular council meeting on Thursday, Oct. 22 in the city hall.  The meeting began with the approval of the consent and regular agenda.  From staff reports, City Manager Charlie Simmons presented a quote from Chipola Ford to purchase a city maintenance truck.  Simmons stated that the truck cost is $32,000 and is $1,000 more than what the city had budgeted for; however, the truck is under the Sheriffs’s contract and meets the specs that the department needs.  The council approved the request unanimously.  Simmons also informed the council that the parks and maintenance department had finished installing the canopy shade covers at the children’s playground area next to the city hall.

City clerk Malani Robinson addressed the council seeking a motion to approve the regular council meeting calendar for November and December, which cancels the second meeting of those months due to the holidays. Motion for approval was made by Council member Elizabeth Brannon and seconded by Council member Elizabeth Haffner, with the motion carried unanimously.      

Sara Bowers, with the finance department, requested to close out the water impact fees account. Bowers stated that the water impact fees were used to pay for the East Bay Loop water main upgrade project.  Bowers stated that the total amount spent on the project was $689,299.57 and requested that the $625,128.34 from the account be transferred to the water-operating account and close the account. Council approved the request with a motion from Brannon and seconded by Haffner. The next item from finance was purchasing a by-pass pump budgeted for this fiscal year from Tugwell Pump and Supply. Council approved the purchase unanimously.  

The billing department requested approval of the new leak check policy. Customers can have a leak check done for free during any billing cycle. Customers will only be charged if they wish for a secondary leak test or a test on the meter’s accuracy. Council approved the request. 

The planning department held second reading and adoption for an ordinance on the JAB Holdings rezoning. Planning Director Latilda Hughes-Neel stated the request was to change the zoning from residential commercial to R-3 residential, which has the same density.  The council approved the request unanimously, with a motion from Brannon and a second by Council member Mark Martin. The second reading was held for ordinance 2020-10 on the rezoning request.  

Next from planning was a land development  amendment for a parking requirements ordinance. Hughes-Neel brought back to the council a parking table approved by the planning board, that addresses parking requirements per bedroom for new development houses. The city council approved the request to hold the first reading for the amendment and hold a second reading in November. 

The engineering department presented the SRF wastewater improvements, which were revised from what was approved at the last council meeting.  The previous change order included the addition of T-valve and additional accessories that will tie in on east Bay Loop (County Highway 83A) and revising the force-main tie in at the wastewater treatment facility due to utility conflicts. The current revision includes the adjustment of a mathematical error and the addition of bypass abilities to the proposed master lift station. According to the city engineer, this bypass will allow flexibility to send flow to the existing master lift station or the proposed master lift station. A motion for approval was made by Brannon and seconded by Haffner, with the motion carried.  

The next city council meeting for Freeport will be held on Nov. 10, at City Hall at 9 a.m.