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Council approves Local Roots’ lease renewal

By Staff | May 13, 2015

The Sanibel City Council approved unanimously the lease agreement between the city and Local Roots, the organization which runs the farmer’s market on the island on City Hall property on Sundays from October through April in its May 5 meeting.

The lease agreement has a one-year timeframe, with two one-year extensions available as an option to the city.

“It is a partnership between the city and Local Roots,” said Sanibel City Manager Judie Zimomra.

The agreed upon rent for use of City Hall property, at 800 Dunlop Road, is $2,000 which covers Oct. 1, 2015 through April 30, 2016.

A question was asked during public comment if the $2,000 covers all the cost the farmer’s market brings.

“It doesn’t cover all the costs, but the farmer’s market used to be at the Tahitian Square and we asked them to bring it to City Hall, because it would help with traffic,” Zimomra said. “But (Local Roots) pay for the posted barricades for parking and the traffic aides. They have met all the conditions in the lease and they also do all the clean up and clean the bathrooms after.”

The rent of $2,000 for October through April will stay steadfast prior to a new renewal term.

Zimomra also added Local Roots takes care of all the organizational duties to run the farmer’s market, as well, so the City doesn’t have to deal with the semantics of running it.

“The sole complaint I’ve received since the farmer’s market was moved to City Hall (grounds), was when a lady complained all the broccoli was gone before she arrived,” Zimomra said. “A part of the move was a good incentive to get it off of Periwinkle and help with traffic.”

Vice mayor Mick Denham added having the farmer’s market on City Hall property also allowed the City to exercise some control of it, as well.

“It’s a great partnership,” added Mayor Kevin Ruane.

The City Council also approved to grant a Sanibel sightseeing tour bus certificate and authorized the issuance of a valid business tax receipt or business tax registration to Adventures in Paradise, so they can run a historical tour on the island via a trolley.

The Adventures of Paradise has been in business on the island for over 20 years and is grandfathered into the City ordinance 14-010, which concerns the licensing requirement for the operation of sightseeing/tour buses.

The concern of granting the resolution to Adventures in Paradise was brought up by resident and COTI member David Bath.

“I am concerned because Adventures in Paradise have provided maps of their tour stops and they can use any Sanibel road they want to,” Bath said during his public comment. “The 14-010 ordinance was to limit expansion of bus tours on the island.”

City attorney Ken Cuyler added Adventures in Paradise did not ask to expand on their tours.

“I am not aware of any additional tour stops and I am not aware of any additional expansion of what they have been doing,” Cuyler said. “Adventures in Paradise has done business on the island which predates ordinance 14-010 by over two decades. They have been grandfathered in.”

Cuyler did note Adventure in Paradise will have to provide proof of vehicle check-ups, background checks on their drivers and they will still have to follow the rules set forth by ordinance 14-010.

Adventures in Paradise will remain using a trolley, not a big motorcoach bus, for their historical tours on Sanibel.

Mayor Ruane did add an amendment to the resolution to “tighten it up” by having Adventures in Paradise provide business tax receipts, in which was approved 4-0 (Councilman Marty Harrity was absent).

The City Council also scheduled a June 1 workshop to discuss the current traffic situation on Sanibel, after experiencing one of its busiest seasons this past January through April.

“This is a very technical and broad subject,” said Mayor Ruane. “I suggest a June 1 special workshop with the entire City Council to attend. I will not promote any false expectations to come out of the discussions, but it’s good to start a premature outline.”

It was also decided for the City Council to have a joint meeting with the Sanibel Planning Commission June 9. The two workshops cannot have any resolutions or ordinances voted on, but to strictly have discussions to start framing ideas and an outline for traffic woes on the island.

“There is no silver bullet for the traffic on the island,” said Councilman Chauncey Goss.

Both traffic workshops are open to the public and will start at 9 a.m. June 1 and June 9.

The Director of Natural Resources James Evans updated the City Council on the recent water quality issues, including the erosion problem at Blind Pass and the Interlocal Agreement between Sanibel, Lee County and the Captiva Erosion Control District.

The City of Sanibel took measures two weeks ago by spreading 600 cubic yards of sand on the Blind Pass area, which helped, but didn’t “resolve” the problem, Evans said.

He added permits will be needed to conduct work south of Blind Pass to Bowman’s Beach, which total permit costs can reach $30-40,000.

Evans said a request will be made for the City of Sanibel to piggyback on the CEPD’s permit, which already has the necessary permits.

The City Council passed 4-0 for Evans to make the request and attend the meetings.

Denham proclaimed May 11-17, as National Salvation Army Week, which has been helping distressed families in the U.S. for 150 years.

Sanibel Police officer John Jakubowski was named the recipient of the Employee of the Second Quarter Award.

In the letter of recognition, it cites Jakubowski as, “part of a very select group of employees who have distinguished themselves as outstanding public servants who have received this award.”

Mayor Ruane also presented the Life Saving Awards to the people who were involved in saving the life of a lady who suffered a heart attack at the Sanibel Rec Center earlier in the year.

Those being honored included Rec employees and members of the SPD. They were Ashley Baker, Char Durand, Jai Earle, Matthew Erpenbeck, Officer Jakubowski, Debbie Kwok, Tasha Maddix, Director Andrea Miller, Jillian Navidonski, Jan Symroski and Sergeant Ken Sutton.

Field Training Officer Jarred Ciccone and Officer Kory McCloughen were also presented the Life Saving Award for their life-saving actions, as well.

The City Council passed an amendment to the Sanibel Code of Ordinance’s Land Development Code to reduce the distance requirement between new and existing residential child caring, assisted living and other foster family home facilities from a distance of 1,320 feet to 1,000 feet.

A resolution was approved to appropriate $76,101 in funds for a performance bonus for the season for City employees. The per fund amount will come from different funds, including the general fund ($46,210), transportation fund ($2,875), building fund ($2,842), recreation fund ($8,757), sewer fund ($7,790) and the beach parking fund ($7,627).

An approved contract with Stultz, Inc. was passed for exterior Lighthouse cottage repairs, costing $169,125. Also, an additional $45,125 was appropriated for repairs and maintenance to the Lighthouse caretaker’s cottages.