Story by JEFFREY POWELL
The Freeport City Council held its first regularly scheduled meeting of the month on Oct. 11, 2016, at Freeport City Hall. All council members were present with approximately two dozen members of the general public also attending. In addition, a group of Freeport Middle school (FMS) AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) students were in attendance to familiarize themselves with city government procedures and to become a liaison between the council and their fellow FMS students.
Prior to the regular meeting, two short special meetings were held to discuss Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program (FRDAP) items. The first item was a $50,000 grant intended to be used strictly for the Freeport pool. The money would be used to repair and resurface plastered areas and to improve other areas insuring pool patrons’ safety. The second grant would be used to install a splash pad where the outdoor volleyball courts now sit at the Freeport Regional Sports
Complex. This grant would be for $200,000 and consist of building a 1,200 square foot pad with associated landscaping and timers so the water would not be able to be turned on after hours. The Freeport Parks and Recreation Director stressed this project “would be the best use of park space.”
Under the water department heading supervisor Larry Tuggle asked for and received permission to purchase 1,500 new IPERL Sensus radio read water meters. This type of meter has already been installed on the North Bay system and in Basin Bayou. Readers are able to get their information just by driving by a home rather than getting out and physically reading each meter. Tuggle commented that those meters “have been working perfectly and have reduced reading times significantly. This process saves time, fuel and manpower costs.” The new meters will be installed both within the city limits and outside the city to those using Freeport water.
Under Mayor Russ Barley’s heading he set up an Oct. 16 date to begin
interviews for a new city bookkeeper. Five individuals have applied and he hopes to reduce this number to three after this initial meeting.
The next Freeport City Council meeting will be on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m.