Funding agreements were approved, the festival now runs adjacent to BerryFest Place and six public hearings were set in Monday nights Commission meeting.
A short, but heavy commission meeting Monday evening set many projects in motion and set the stage for a massive meeting filled with public hearings in two weeks.
One of the major highlights of the night was when the city officially entered into a funding agreement between itself and Hillsborough County Monday evening to receive $364,849 from the Community Development Block Grant Program. The Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners held a public hearing to let citizens express their views on proposed projects for the funding.
It was decided $300,000 of the total funds would be used for Street Resurfacing Improvements totaling approximately 1.64 miles in the Madison Park area. With the new funds officially approved the city will add West Alsobrook Street from South Tyler Street to South Alexander Street, West Renfro Street from Franklin Street to the end of the street, West Washington Street from Waller Street to West Ball Street, West Warren Street from Waller Street to West Madison Street, South Gibbs Street from West Madison Street to Grant Street and Tyler Street from West Warren Street to West Ball Street to its current planned street resurfacing projects.
The repairs will be lumped in with the other streets the city has set aside to repave in the current fiscal year. The remaining $64,849 will be used to administer those street resurfacing projects.
Commissioners also amended the fiscal year’s budget to make room for several small changes. They allocated $47,068 for motor garage operating expenses and capital equipement from the fuel systems at three locations, appropriates $37,180 to cover local financial support for a qualified target industry refund, replenished the contingency funds with $56,970 which had been used previously to two qualified target industry funds and increased the general services budget by $8,200 to cover personal costs associated with the split of the two divisions.
The Florida Strawberry Festival scored a “berry” sweet win Monday night when a portion of North Lemon Street was officially renamed to BerryFest Place.
Now festival goers will be directed via the festive roadway to the multiple entrances of the massive 11-day event. New signage will be purchased via the festival and should be put up soon.
The city also had to tie up some loose ends when Municode, the utility billing services the city has used for 11 years, decided to divest themselves of this part of their operations. Municode will now focus on software development.
The company made an agreement with ENCO Utility Services, Inc. to assume all of their current customer’s accounts at the same rates and conditions.
Commissioners approved a resolution Monday evning to allow ENCO to piggyback to the contract with Florida Municipal Power Agency.
The next meeting will be quite a long ordeal as the city will have its normal agenda as well as six public hearings ranging from map amendments to amending the Plant City code regarding bona fide restaurants and sales of beer and wine for on-premises consumption.
One of the most interesting moments of the evening actually took place mere minutes after the commission meeting wrapped up. Those at the dais immediately transitioned into a Community Redevelopment Agency meeting where they made quite an exciting decision.
The CRA had the option to purchase the property located at 603 S. Evers St. of $350,000.00, plus closing costs. The property has long been in the eye of the CRA as it completes a block of the Midtown District, which is currently in negotiations to be redeveloped.
The agreement states the owner will remain on the property through Dec. 31, 2019, subject to a lease agreement, and the CRA will be responsible for the taxes of 2019. The CRA had until March 15 to exercise the option and a unanimous vote Monday night set the ball in motion.