Recognitions and awards given at Plant City commission meeting
It was a unique Plant City City Commission as many packed city hall for celebrations and the handing out of accolades, before starting a typical agenda on Monday.
Recognizing George K. Collins
The family of former mayor and city commissioner George K. Collins were present to accept a proclamation honoring him after his passing, on May 15. Collins was born on Sept. 21, 1943 in Fort Worth, Texas and moved to Plant City in 1979. He served as city commissioner from 1988 to 1994, and as mayor from 1993 to 1994.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Plant City, serving as the music and youth pastor.
While his two sons were involved in Plant City High School athletics, Collins was president of the PCHS Booster Club, which promotes athletes and sports programs.
“During his lifetime, George K. Collins exemplified the highest standards of citizenship in our community,” said Plant City Mayor Nate Kilton.
The City of Plant City has been using Fry Entertainment in assisting with its media content.
The city commission approved a new contract with the company for $100,000 for the first year and a 5% escalation for up to four renewals. Also, the city will pay an additional $12,000 for audience targeting and engagement campaigns.
Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Letter of Support
This grant is the leading source for law enforcement support.
“Plant City has been benefitting from this grant for many years up to including this year,” said Plant City City Manager Bill McDaniel. “We have a small amount…of designed equipment purchases within our police department.”
The city commission approved a letter permitting $272,150 from the city’s grant funds to be allocated to the sheriff’s office.
The county agency plans to use the funds for a program which allows technology to collect data of crimes committed in various jurisdictions and look for trends that can solve or prevent crimes.
“This is viewed as a way to increase productivity through an efficient workflow, provide real time situational awareness and supporting collaboration among various…investigators.”
Chamber annual update
Christine Miller, the president of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce went before the city commission to provide a summary of how the organization has been operating over the past year.
Miller has been dedicated to receiving the proper education to better lead the local chamber. She is just three courses short of finishing her Masters of Public Administration at Florida State University. Miller has her certificate for Post Crisis Leadership from the University of South Florida, and completed the Florida Chamber Certificate Program in Community Leadership.
She mentioned her trustees and their ongoing financial support as well as her tight-knit staff who work in office.
“Lydia, Jerilyn, and Kendelle work magic to make our organization run smoothly,” Miller said. She has extended offers to others in joining the team: one has already been hired and another will be starting in September. The chamber is known for taking in interns to assist in the office and various events, while helping to guide them and create future leaders.
“The Plant City Chamber leads, advocates, supports, and provides area businesses,” she said. “We advocate on behalf of the community at the local, state, and federal level, and ensure free enterprise can easily exist.”
Being comprised of numerous businesses, the chamber events are well attended, with her favorite one coming up soon – the Leadership Plant City Program. It has several information centers in the county with whom it’s had a successful partnership with, alongside Visit Tampa Bay.
The most recent guide map and member directory is now in-house which has created savings and an additional revenue source.
Miller has been an advocate for economic prosperity having spoken to the legislature in Tallahassee.
The Chamber has recently continued to keep the community engaged with the Capitol Coffee event as well as a forum to allow candidates seeking office to speak with constituents one-on-one.
In the past year, the chamber has gained 89 members, maintained an above average retention rate, and has hosted 27 ribbon cutting ceremonies.
Kids’ recreational teams
Medal-winning swimmers and karate student were also present at the meeting to be acknowledged by the city commission.
Several youth athletes from Plant City headed to Greensboro, N.C. in late July for the 2022 AAU Junior Olympics. With over 19,000 competitors, from age 6 to 18, across 12 different sports, the Junior Olympics signifies the largest multi-sport event in the United States.
From Plant City, seven swimmers and six karate competitors were in attendance.
In swimming, the local competitors were Noah Jones, Saige Starford, Sophie Griffis, Zealand Ploch, Andrew Beck, Carolina Mattison and Elise Mattison.
For karate, individually, Nathan Gould, 16, won silver in Kobudo for nunchucks, bronze in Kobudo for bo staff and silver in team Kumite. Elijah West, 15, won gold in Kobudo for bo staff, silver in Kobudo for double nunchucks, bronze for Kata and gold in team Kumite. Cooper Bayes, 11, won gold in Kobudo for bo staff, silver for kata and silver for Kumite. Carter Bayes, 11, won gold in Kumite and bronze in Kobudo for bo staff. T.J. Bright, 10, and Brendan McMurphy, 14, both swept their competitions, winning gold in every event they competed in, as Bright brought home four gold medals and McMurphy brought home three.