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Fehlandt named city’s Employee of the Year

By Staff | Dec 2, 2009

During Tuesday’s City Council meeting, Dave Fehlandt of the Public Works Department was recognized as the 2008-09 City of Sanibel Employee of the Year.

“Your peers have recognized your contributions to the city and you have distinguished yourself as an outstanding public servant,” Mayor Mick Denham said before delivering a Certificate of Achievement to the tradesworker. “You should take great pride in this personal recognition, as it reflects credit upon you and the services you provide to the Sanibel community. Your contributions are sincerely appreciated.”

Following a brief standing ovation, Fehlandt spoke humbly about being chosen Employee of the Year.

“I am honored and deeply appreciative of this award,” he said. “So many employees are deserving of this. I am honored, shocked and… speechless.”

During the meeting, three individual resolutions were heard and adopted that will allow the city to add solid waste collection services to individual property owners’ tax bills, rather than having the provider – WastePro – bill residents on an intermittent (monthly, quarterly, etc.) basis.

The move will save homeowners, the city and WastePro expenses, including billing services and administrative fees, in addition to joining the carriers growing list of municipal clients.

Several residents spoke out in favor of the move prior to the council passing each vote unanimously.

“If you have a problem, you deal directly with the hauler,” said Dick Caulkins. “But if you cannot get resolution through them, then you get to call the city. The city carries a bigger stick than any one of us.”

Fellow resident Claudia Burns questioned the method of which she will be billed in the future. Currently, her waste hauling services are paid for through her community’s homeowners’ association fees.

According to City Attorney Ken Cuyler, the prospective cost for WastePro service will be a line item on her annual tax bill issued by the city.

Now approved, Department of Public Works director Gates Castle noted that the city must submit its initial bid for services to WastePro by January 21, 2010.

“This is the proverbial no-brainer whose time has come,” said councilman Peter Pappas. “This (resolution), to me, could be a model one.”

In other business, the council awarded a contract to Eastman Aggregate Enterprises, LLC in the amount of $175,222.92 to complete the Lighthouse Beach Fill Project, which has been fully funded through a Lee County Tourism Development Council grant.

Cuyler noted that although their were the second lowest bidder for the contract, they were selected by the city because the lowest bidder – who was not identified – did not provide proof of adequate experience performing such work.

Councilors also unanimously approved a contract with Fiber Solutions to provide a video system at the Sanibel Police Department Boat Dock. The project, which totals $60,290.27, was included in the adopted FY 2010 annual budget.

Also, four budget transfers were approved. They include $10,000 for the purchase of additional spin bikes at the Sanibel Recreation Center and $24,500 – granted from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Commission – for exotic plant control of the grounds of the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge. The latter provides revenue to cover expenditures included in the FY 2010 annual budget and offsets a previously funded program.

The next City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 15 at MacKenzie Hall beginning at 9 a.m.