by KATHRYN DENTATO
Hernando Sun Reporter
The meeting was opened by Pastor Kent Heaton of Brooksville Church of Christ, who led the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance.
Agenda Approval/Modifications – Vice Mayor Joe Bernardini, requested the addition of the introduction of the graduates of the Jericho Road Ministries in the Proclamation and Certificate portion of the meeting. City Manager Mark Kutney asked for time to review the proposed ordinance format of the Parks and Recreation Rules and requested the item be removed from the agenda.
Council member Pat Brayton moved to approve the agenda as modified. Bernardini seconded the motion. Council member Betty Erhard was not present. The motion passed 4-0.
Certificates and Proclamations
Child Abuse Prevention Month
Water Conservation Month
Donate Life Month
Margaret Ghiotto Residential Improvement Award – James White III
Margaret Ghiotto Commercial Improvement Award – Country Depot
Jericho Road Ministries’ New Life Program Graduates Anthony and Amanda
Citizens Input (I)
David Pugh and others who are working to reopen the Quarry Golf Course received the support of representatives of the Enrichment Center. He said they will meet with someone to inspect the well next week.
Cindy Gandy reminded the council members that citizens who speak at the meetings deserve respect from the council members. She asked about the promotion of the Bike Florida event, saying that some businesses she talked to were not aware of it. She asked the council to be more visible in the city community by eating at local restaurants and purchasing from small businesses. Gandy stated she feels the City seems to be in financial crisis lately and the council is not making good financial decisions. She requested that the City have a Mental Awareness Walk downtown and asked how to organize it.
Response by City Manager and Staff
Kutney said information about Bike Florida was on the City website and on the Parks and Recreation Facebook page. The Tourist Development Council (TDC) also promoted the event. Kutney and Mayor Bill Kemerer spoke directly to those at Brooksville Destination.
Kutney refuted Gandy’s comments that the City is in financial crisis.
Kutney suggested that Gandy or anyone who wanted to organize a mental health awareness event should contact his office.
The only change was to amend a date.
1. Minutes – February 25, 2019 Special Meeting
2. Sodium Hypochlorite – Piggyback City of Leesburg; Approval to authorize City of Brooksville to piggyback on City of Leesburg bid with Odyssey Manufacturing at cost of $.56 per gallon.
Bernardini made the motion to approve the consent agenda and Council member Robert Battista seconded it. It was approved 4-0.
PDCS – Building Official Services Contract, presented by Community Development Director Bill Geiger –
Geiger stated the City originally contracted with PDCS in 2006 and has been satisfied with the relationship. This new contract was updated to reflect current names and to remove information that was outdated or did not apply. A standard contract addendum was also included. According to the contract provided, PDCS provides the following services: “Building Division Management, Building Code Administration, Building Code Plan Review, Building Inspection” and receives 80% of the permit fees. The other 20% goes to the City.
Bernardini stated he wanted to require PDCS to lease space from the City at the normal rate. Battista asked if Geiger discussed this with PDCS. Geiger said he had, and it was a concern to the firm since their costs were already increasing. While the volume of work has increased, the fee structure has remained relatively stagnant since approximately 2009. Kutney reviewed the annual revenue and stated the City could not support its own building department based on those figures.
Geiger stated having a Building Department in-house would require the City to have backup personnel to cover vacations and illnesses and to have sufficient staff for timely inspections. PDCS has been able to provide the staff on short notice, when needed.
Bernardini said the council had also discussed seeking another company to provide the same services. Kemerer asked when the contract expired. According to Geiger, it was meant to be ongoing, providing both parties agreed that the City was satisfied with the services provided and PDCS was satisfied with the revenue generated. The contract could be terminated with a written 30-day notice.
Council members discussed the merits of continuing the contract versus advertising a request for proposal (RFP) for another company. Bernardini did not want to be “held hostage” and Brayton was concerned they would lose what they had. Contracting with the County was discussed and quickly dismissed.
Kutney referred to the contract language that gives the City leeway in requesting personnel adjustments. Battista did not see any reason to end the relationship with PDCS.
Kemerer reminded council members that the construction industry is cyclical and is currently at a peak. Seeking an RFP when demand is high would mean higher costs for the City, so it would be better to wait until the industry needs fell. A lease agreement for office space can be negotiated another time.
Brayton made the motion to accept the contract with the proposed changes and to direct staff to negotiate an amended lease agreement. Battista seconded the motion. The contract was approved with a 4-0 vote.
Ordinance No. 902 – Citation Process – Nancy Stuparich with the City Attorney’s office explained the three method Florida law provides for local governments to enforce codes/regulations: Code Enforcement Board, Special Magistrate, and a citation process.
Stuparich said the proposed ordinance includes language required by Florida Statutes. The City’s form can be adapted by the City Manager and City Attorney to align with the ordinance.
Bernardini moved to approve the ordinance changes and to schedule the first public reading for 04/15/19. Battista seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0.
Peddler’s Permit Process Clarification –
The proposed change to the current Peddlers and Solicitors Ordinance is to remove any reference to the Police Department. Since law enforcement is now managed through the Sheriff’s Department, the language is being changed to reflect that the City Manager or his designee will issue these permits.
Battista asked about individuals who solicit donations while standing at the stop lights at US 41 and the bypass. He recommended a prohibition against that for safety reasons. Kemerer requested that Kutney discuss that with the Sheriff’s Department. Individual permits for sales or solicitation would not be required if a special event has a permit.
Battista made the motion for a first reading of the ordinance amendment on 04/15/19. Bernardini seconded the motion. The motion passed 4-0.
Fire Code Amendment – Burn Ban – Fire Chief Ron Snowberger stated there is nothing in the current fire code which addresses bonfires, fire pits, barbecue grills, etc. He said he receives calls asking for specific guidelines or complaints. Without a defined code, there is no standard response.
Bernardini moved to place the amendment to the Fire Code on the agenda for 04/15/19 as a first reading. He asked for some restrictions to be adjusted or loosened. Brayton seconded the motion, which passed 4-0.
Professional Services Evaluation Procedure (Consultants’ Competitive Negotiation Act) – Stuparich stated the proposed changes include clarifying some language in the City’s policy and the option to select multiple providers and aligns with Florida Statutes. It eliminates the rating system the screening committee was required to use. The meetings must be published and open to the public.
Battista made the motion to approve the revised policy. Bernardini seconded the motion. It was approved 4-0.
Citizens Input (II) –
There were no comments by citizens during this portion of the meeting.
The City Attorney, City Manager and Council members shared items of interest before Kemerer ended the meeting.