Monday’s commission also meeting included special proclamations in recognition of Gil Gott and driver/medic Bill Saunders.
The Plant City Commission meeting on Monday began with two proclamations, recognizing Gil Gott’s retirement as Executive Director of the Plant City Photo Archives along with the special recognition of Plant City Fire Department’s driver/medic Bill Saunders.
After moving to Florida in 1985 and serving as the vice president of government affairs and economic development for the Greater Clearwater Chamber of Commerce, Gott relocated and served as the president of the Greater Plant City Chamber of Commerce in 1995. Since then, Gott has also worked with the East Hillsborough Historical Society, has taught history and political science at Hillsborough Community College and for the past 21 years has worked with the Photo Archives.
On Aug. 27, Saunders was alerted by his neighbor of an accident with a trailer that left the individual’s grandson severely injured. Saunders responded and relayed necessary information to emergency response while providing life-saving measures to the child while first responders made their way to the scene.
The child was transported to Tampa General hospital where he remained in critical condition for over three weeks. He has undergone several surgeries and although still recovering, survived the incident.
Saunders was honored with the special recognition and a meritorious commendation bar before the commission and several of his colleagues.
The following action by the committee was a resolution authorizing the purchase of a 2022 Pierce Saber Fire Rescue Pumper. The total cost for the new fire rescue vehicle would cost a total of $534,226 with a 5.5 percent discount. The cost had already been included in the proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 and the purchase would not be processed until after Oct. 1, 2021. The purchase would replace a similar 1998 fire rescue vehicle that has accrued 128,000 miles and would take 14 months to build once the order was completed.
The motion ultimately passed by a vote of 5-0.
The next action was a resolution that approved the interfund loan between Plant City’s Solid Waste Department and their Fire Impact Fee Fund for the construction of Fire Station #3.
Construction of the Fire Station has been completed and the loan has already been taken off of the books for the Solid Waste Department which remains working with excess funds.
City manager Bill McDaniel offered another option, one that forgives the loan. The proposition comes with the understanding that the Solid Waste Department was able to withstand the financial burden from the excess income they have received from service fees. The Fire Impact Fee Fund on the other hand would be impacted for 15 years if the interfund loan payments were continued, well into a time frame when the department may very well be looking to already build Fire Station #4.
Vice-Mayor Michael Sparkman showed hesitation with the motion due to the fact that funds from the Solid Waste Department are accrued from fees paid by citizens, however Commissioner Nathan Kilton argued that given the quality and relatively low prices of the services provided by the department and the excess funds that they were able to accrue with those factors considered, it was fair to utilize those funds to aid another governmental department that was in need.
The motion ultimately passed by a vote of 4-1.
After two previous public hearings that included detailed presentations laying out and explaining the proposed budget for the 2021-2022 fiscal year, the commission held one last public hearing on the final milage rate and final budget for the upcoming fiscal year.
The resolution went without public comment and passed unanimously.
The commission then touched on a transmittal public hearing for a text amendment that creates a Property Rights Element for the Imagine 2040: Plant City Comprehensive Plan. The new element was drafted and focused on private property rights and designed it to comply with the requirements of the recently-signed House Bill 59.
As proposed, the staff would consider these provisions and property rights issues when advising and formulating their recommendations on land use and the adoption of the element is required to be adopted to avoid the penalty of imposed delays to the Comprehensive Plan.
An important note is that the commission has historically been mindful of these matters and protecting the private property rights of its’ residents, therefore the impact of the new element is expected to be limited. The motion was touched on largely as a formality and ultimately passed 5-0 without comment.
The remainder of the commission meeting largely dealt with zoning.
There was then a public hearing for a final plat for associated waivers from phases of construction within North Park Isle.
The first waiver was relatively simple, allowing for the construction of dead-end streets in lieu of the required cul-de-sac for those areas that will later connect to other phases. The waiver was simply a formality as the streets are already building and connecting, however since platting the affected phase separate from the entire subdivision, there is an appearance of dead-end streets.
The second waiver was requested to waive the required reclaimed water lines within Phase 1 of North Park Isle’s construction, a plat that would impact roughly a 155-lot single-family residential subdivision.
With the construction plans approved in 2020, not requiring reclaimed water to be installed, the subdivision has been built and completed without them.
Commissioner William Dodson wanted his opposition to a waiver of the required reclaimed water noted on the record, however the motion ultimately passed unanimously.