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Sands Boulevard sidewalks issue back on council agenda

By Staff | Aug 28, 2015

A discussion that began last Monday night will be continued at this Monday’s City Council meeting at City Hall.

The construction of sidewalks along Sands Boulevard hit a snag when several residents complained about having to relocate or remove palm trees which they planted in the city’s right-of-way years ago. Those trees are now maturing and could cost residents up to $1,000 each to relocate so the sidewalk project can be completed.

According to City Manager John Szerlag at the last meeting, the city currently allows residents to plant in the right-of-way with the knowledge that they must remove them if a road widening, utility or sidewalk project goes in.

Reportedly, more than 70 palm trees on 34 improved properties along Sands are at issue. Szerlag offered a couple of solutions, but some on council asked that those be put on hold until next week’s council meeting so more of the affected residents can speak out.

The city has open agreements with the Florida Department of Transportation to pay for the construction of sidewalks in several areas throughout the city.

In other business on Monday’s agenda council will hear a presentation from the Budget Review Committee; council rules and procedures will be reviewed; and approval of a community garden installation at a cost of $24,389 just north of City Hall between Southeast 10th Street and Cultural Park Boulevard.

Council also will conduct eight public hearings on ordinances pertaining to artisan breweries, distilleries and wineries being allowed to also serve product not made on the premises; rezone two properties to fit development projects; and authorizing $1.5 million in Fire Service Assessment funds of 2015 for the purchase certain facilities, vehicles and other fire protection equipment.

A resolution adopting a meter bench test deposit fee rate requirement is on the agenda as well.

Council also has scheduled two special meetings next week. One is Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. and the other is 5:05 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10. The Sept. 10 meeting is the first public hearing on the proposed 2016 city budget.

Both sessions will commence in Council Chambers.

Council will not meet on Sept. 7 in observance of Labor Day.