City commissioners approved budget adjustments and work order modifications in Monday evening’s commission meeting.
When attendees glanced at the agenda for Monday night’s city commission meeting, many thought it was sure to be a quick night.
There was only one item on the consent agenda, a handful of resolutions from the City Manager and the only action items on the Resolutions and Ordinance sections were agendas to set the date for future public hearings.
Of course, everything takes time. So the meeting itself still ran approximately an hour and a half, but commissioners were able to make some important decisions regarding the city’s budget that moved Plant City one step closer toward many upcoming projects.
An unexpected deal led the city to quickly recalculate some business Monday evening. In 2009, the city began contracting for street sweeping services. The current vendor the city has used is USA Services of Florida, Inc. This company sweeps approximately 224 curb miles per month.
Staff with the City of Plant City determined it would be more cost-effective for the city to actually own and operate the equipment. While demoing equipment, Southern Sewer Equipment Sales and Service, Inc. presented the city with an offer it could not refuse. The company said it would sell the city a Global R4 Air Street Sweeper demo unit at a significantly discounted price of $210,000 through a Florida Sheriff’s Association Contract.
The machine can sweep both streets and parking lots and can also be used for “sweeping services in response to emergency storm or hurricane cleanup.” In order to purchase the machine, commissioners had to adjust the budget and transfer $215,000 to the Fleet Replacement Fund. The total funds includes “$64,400 originally included as the lease payment and the additional $150,600 will come from the balance available in the Stormwater Fund.”
During the public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2020-21 Budget, commissioners said they wanted to designate $3 million in the General Fund as an Emergency Reserve. These funds are what the city taps into in case of emergencies like a natural disaster. One of the most common uses tends to be in the event of a hurricane, as the city originally has to foot the bill for all of the cleanup and immediate response. It takes months and sometimes years to be reimbursed by FEMA for the cost, so it’s crucial the city has a pool of funds waiting to be used.
The Fund Balance/Reserve Policy was adopted Monday evening as part of this process. Some of the major components include:
– Maintain a target level of 25% of operating revenues in General Fund and Enterprise Funds, and
– Designate a $3 million emergency reserve in each of the following funds: General Fund, Water/Sewer Fund, and Solid Waste Fund.
The City Manager executed a work order with Ardurra Group, Inc. in August 2020 to evaluate the construction of a solid waste transfer station. The original work order was for $41,832 and focused on the construction of a single bay transfer station building on the city’s wastewater treatment plant site. Then in December, the city changed the scope of the work to consider three sites — Turkey Creek Landfill at the northeast corner of Turkey Creek Road and Sydney Road, property in the vicinity of Coronet Road and Roberts Ranch Road and a site to be determined — so commissioners needed to adjust the budget to reflect the new work demands.
The new additions include: “identifying and evaluating three sites to include potential site plans; developing floor plans for a two-bay transfer station and scale facility; and designing a customer drop-off area.”
Ardurra said the new work would cost an additional $48,103, making the revised cost $89,935.
The report said that “ultimately, the city will receive a final report to include the following:
1. The city’s anticipated waste volumes over a 20-year planning period.
2. Conceptual layouts for the proposed buildings.
3. Conceptual site plans for the proposed facility.
4. An engineer’s estimate of probable construction costs.
5. An estimate of operating costs for the new facility and a comparison to current operating costs.
6. An estimate of a payback period for the new facility.”
Commissioners approved the modification to the work order and authorized the City Manager to execute the new work order.