City commissioners were able to make impactful decisions from the dais despite having a quick meeting on Monday.
With the COVID-19 coronavirus urging people to stay home and self-isolate, the City of Plant City had to get creative Monday night to hold its regularly scheduled commission meeting.
When 7:30 p.m. rolled around, commissioners were at the dais facing an audience of approximately three people, all far more than six feet away from one another. To keep attendance down, City Manager Bill McDaniel asked any city staff that did not need to be at the meeting to consider staying home. It wasn’t a mandate, but everyone complied.
Commissioners also removed all of the previously scheduled public hearings from the agenda and postponed them to later dates so the general public would not feel obligated to attend a social gathering just to have their opinions stated on the items on the commissioners’ to-do list. With nothing but a consent agenda left, the meeting went quickly but tackled important topics.
One of the interesting votes on Monday night regarded replacing playground equipment at Marie B. Ellis Park. The playground currently in place was installed in 2001 and the city said it had “exceeded its useful life of 15 years.” Because the playground had heavy use and has weathered its fair share of heavy rains and the blazing sun, the city determined replacement of the worn sections was simply not feasible.
While searching for a replacement, the city found a quote from Rep Services, Inc. that was available via piggybacking on an existing contract with Clay County. The cost to purchase and install the new equipment with a safety fall zone is $89,655.30. The funds are available from the city’s playground improvements budget.
The city also found a way to save some money in the way it pays for security alarm and fire alarm monitoring for approximately 20 city facilities. Currently, the city is paying approximately $27,070 that is split among three different companies “with different expiration dates for multiple agreements, with the oldest agreement from 1997.”
Staff went and worked with Procurement to issue a Request for Proposals to include all 20 locations in one agreement. During the process, six other locations including the Sadye Gibbs Martin Community Center, the Pistol Range Shelter and the Utility Maintenance Warehouse were added to the agreement.
The city received three proposals and and selected Expert Security Professionals to handle the process for the next two years. Once all the locations have been updated, the new annual cost will be $15,960, which gives the city an annual savings of $11,110.
One of the most monumental decisions of the evening was a resolution to approve the Fiscal Year 2020 Street Resurfacing Program. The City of Plant City has $4,493,608 available for the program and because resurfacing streets means the city has to comply with the American with Disabilities Act there is a need to provide ADA-compliant curb ramps where pedestrian walkways intersect the resurfaced street.
The design has not been completed yet, but the cost is estimated to be $1,013,070 to bring the curb ramps into compliance with the ADA for the streets that have been resurfaced from 2016 through 2019, along with those included within the FY 20 Street Resurfacing Program. The funds available for resurfacing and paving dirt roads total $3,480,538.
The FY 20 Street Resurfacing Program includes 55 local streets and two dirt roads that are proposed to be designed and constructed to paved street standards, which will essentially encompass a total of 10.61 centerline miles of roads.