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Council handles packed agenda at July meeting

By Staff | Jul 16, 2018

TIFFANY REPECKI Sanibel Vice Mayor Mick Denham reads a proclamation honoring Rene Affourtit, center, for his 18 years of service as an appointee to the Lee County Tourist Development Council. They are pictured with Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau Executive Director Tamara Pigott at the city council's July 9 meeting.

The Sanibel City Council approved contracts for an interim attorney and with the historical museum, adopted a resolution to open a line of credit to replenish its disaster reserves if needed and directed staff to draw up an ordinance banning plastic straws at its meeting.

On July 9, the council faced a jam-packed agenda that covered a range of topics. Among the actions taken, the dais approved in a 5-0 vote a contract between the city and Henderson Franklin Attorneys at Law for its services. City Attorney Ken Cuyler resigned from his position with the city as of July 11.

“It’s certainly my opinion that we need to hire a firm,” Mayor Kevin Ruane said.

A handful of firms and individual attorneys submitted proposals to the city.

Councilmember Jason Maughan reported that he worked as a litigator for Henderson Franklin.

TIFFANY REPECKI Sanibel Vice Mayor Mick Denham recognizes Beatrice Galvan, benefits and payroll specialist for the the city's finance department, as the Employee of the 3rd Quarter at city council's July 9 meeting.

“They have an excellent reputation,” he said, adding that a local firm will be more responsive to the city’s needs and the representative attorney, John Agnew, is “cut from the same cloth” as Cuyler.

“I think he would be an outstanding interim point-person,” Maughan said of Agnew.

The council also voted 5-0 to approve a five-year contract with the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village. The museum will pay $50,000 annually to support administrative and operational costs.

In addition, the dais adopted four resolutions on its consent agenda in a 5-0 vote, including one that opens a line of credit for the city of up to $5 million with SunTrust Bank. The monies could be used to reimburse and fund disaster-related recovery projects if required. The non-revolving credit does not come with up-front fees or un-utilized fees, according to the proposal.

Ruane explained that the credit line will offer some peace of mind.

TIFFANY REPECKI Jason Goodrich, lead wastewater plant operator with the Sanibel Utilities Department, talks about recently earning his engineering degree from Florida Gulf Coast University thanks to the support of the city's Tuition Reimbursement Program. Vice Mayor Mick Denham and the city council recognized Goodrich at their July 9 meeting.

“To make sure going into this upcoming hurricane season we have something available to us,” he said.

Also at the meeting, Maughan and intern Sydney Hummel presented a draft of a proposed ordinance that would ban the sale and distribution of plastic straws within the city. It would apply to commercial establishments, city facilities and properties, and special event permittees, with a couple exceptions.

Penalties for violators ranged from a warning, to a $500 fine for a fourth offense within one year.

“This is going to be a civil code enforcement,” Maughan said.

The council voted 5-0 to have the draft ordinance brought back to them in an official form.

Prior to the vote, the dais shared its thoughts.

“I think they’re awful, particularly on the beach,” Councilmember Chauncey Goss said of plastic straws.

Vice Mayor Mick Denham echoed that.

“We should move forward and I support it,” he said.

Councilmember Holly Smith debated placing it in the form of an ordinance or resolution.

“I like the idea that it might have a little more impact,” she said of an ordinance.

Goss questioned if an ordinance or resolution is even necessary.

“Sanibel’s the kind of community, I think, we could get people to just stop using plastic straws,” he said.

In addition, interim Connor Tomlinson brought forward proposed changes to the city’s special events application deposits and procedures. He suggested raising the refundable deposit from $50 to $300 and pushing the advance notice from 30 days to 60s days, which would be similar to other municipalities.

Tomlinson noted that most permittees comply and receive their full refund back.

“I think it’s an excellent idea and I think it’s long overdue,” Smith said.

The council voted 5-0 in support of the changes.

During the meeting, a first reading was held for two ordinances to amend the Sanibel Code one regarding the building and building regulations, and the other to define the term “fill.” Council briefly discussed an increase requested by the city’s waste collection company, which it voted to continue.

The dais also approved several non-resolution items on the consent agenda, including:

– Awarding the 2018 Shared Use Path Repair Project to Southern Striping Solutions in the amount of about $92,330

– Awarding the Tarpon Bay Beach Family Restroom Construction contract to Stultz Inc. in the amount of $555,425

– Awarding the 2018 Jordan Marsh Water Quality Treatment Park Construction Project contract to Wright Construction Group Inc. in an amount not to exceed $645,000

– Awarding a contract for the 2018 Sanibel River Clearing Project to Seahawk Florida Investments in the amount of $94,500

– A proposal of engineering services from Bean, Whitaker, Lutz and Kareh Inc. for the design and permitting of drainage improvements in East Rocks Subdivision in the amount of $40,200 and for the engineering and design of the Periwinkle Way and Palm Ridge Road Shared Use Path in the amount of $29,500

– Engineering service for the Shoreline Stabilization Project at Turner Beach Park to Coastal Engineering Consultant Inc. in the amount of $29,190 by piggy-backing off of the Lee County contract

– Agreement between the School Board of Lee County and the city for a School Resource Officer in the amount of $50,000 beginning Aug. 1 through July 31, 2019

IN OTHER NEWS

– Jason Goodrich, lead wastewater plant operator with the Sanibel Utilities Department, was recognized for earning his engineering degree from Florida Gulf Coast University with the support of the city’s Tuition Reimbursement Program.

– Beatrice Galvan, benefits and payroll specialist for the Sanibel Finance Department, was recognized as the city’s Employee of the 3rd Quarter.

– A proclamation was read honoring Rene Affourtit for serving as an appointee to the Lee County Tourist Development Council for 18 years.