"It seems that the City Council is being used as a rubber stamp to advance an agenda already decided on by staff"

Staff  staff2
Dear Mr Kisela,
Thanks so much for copying me your response to Vice-Mayor Burnette’s request for more information on the Atlantic Marine City Cost Participation. If my original email misrepresented the terms of that agreement in any way I sincerely apologize to you, Vice-Mayor Burnette, Jack Wiles and everyone else concerned. Please, however, if this is the case take a minute to educate me on my mistakes.
Wasn’t the additional work “requested” by the City actually work required by the Land Development Code to extend the water mains to the property boundaries and to connect to existing water lines?
Wouldn’t an 8″ water main have provided sufficient water flow to the planned development for fire protection and other uses? The former fire chief seemed to indicate yes to this question unless the building on the property was sprinklered. Since the building shown on the plan is 9,600 square feet, and buildings are typically held under 10,000 square feet to avoid the legal requirement for sprinklers, I assumed it was not sprinklered and that an 8″ main would suffice.
If the City requested upsizing to a 10″ main it should , according to the LDC, pay the difference between the 10″ and 8″ mains, not 50% of the total cost.
Let me repeat–if the above points are in error, I apologize. I did my best to decipher the numerous communications between the developer, his engineers, staff at Public Utilities Department, etc. However, as you point out, the Atlantic Marine agreement was not as “straightforward” as the one with Publix Supermarket.
The Publix agreement can be easily summarized as:

  • A 6″ main exists,
  • An 8″ main is required, and
  • The City wants a 10″ main so it will pay the difference.

After reading the concise and well-written Summary of the City Council Agenda Item for the Publix project, anyone can easily understand what is going on, what the Council is being asked to authorize and why. After reading the exceptionally vague Summary for the Atlantic Marine Item, one can only conclude that since City staff thinks its a good idea and we’ve made these kinds of agreements in the past that we should do it again.
The City Council and all the citizens of Port Orange deserve better than this from their staff at City Hall. If we are ever to have true government in the sunshine it will mean that not only are decisions made and votes taken in public but that the basis for making those decisions is made public as well. I would challenge Vice-Mayor Burnette or any other member of Council to read what they voted to approve on 10/15/13 and to tell me exactly what they voted for and why. If they can’t do that, then it seems that the City Council is being used a rubber stamp to advance an agenda already decided on by staff.
Seems like something is backwards here.
Mike Gardner
618 Ruth St
Port Orange, FL 32127

—– Original Message —–
From: Kisela, Greg
To: Burnette, Don
Cc: City Council ; manddgardner@cfl.rr.com ; Jack Wiles ; Lewis, Shannon ; Clark, Wayne
Sent: Thursday, January 16, 2014 6:47 PM
Subject: Re: Atlantic Marine-no straight answers
Vice-mayor: sorry for the lateness in replying. Both agenda items were for City Cost Participation for water line improvements. The Publix Supermarket agreement was a straightforward upgrade of a 6″ water line to an 8″ line. The City is reimbursing them 35% of the cost of the line ($38,875).
The Atlantic Marine agreement is for an upgrade of a water line plus additional work requested by the City. As you may know, Dunlawton’s water system in this area is very old and limited in capacity. Atlantic Marine was required to directional drill underneath Dunlawton to provide a 10″ water line for their project and to enhance fire service for the South side of the road. The City’s share of the water line is 30% ($14,886). We are also reimbursing them an additional $18,614 for improvements the City required to enhance service to this corridor. The total reimbursement is $33,500 which is approximately 50% of the project. The agenda item for this project stated “Similar projects involving upsizing of the water lines crossing major highways and along established highway corridors have been Cost Participated in this manner in the past.”
I hope this clarifies this issue. If not, please advise.
Greg Kisela
City Manager
Sent from my iPad

On Jan 15, 2014, at 2:14 PM, “Burnette, Don” <dburnette@port-orange.org> wrote:
Can you brief us on the cost participation agreement referred to in the email below, and if it differed in any way from what we normally do and why?
Also, when you briefed me last about the neighborhood meeting for Powers Avenue/Atlantice Marine, you told me that Community Development would need to make some determinations about the allowable property uses and the like.

  • When do you expect this to occur?
  • Is there anything else we are waiting on to be able to make these judgments?

With the exception of the Clerk’s office, the perceived slow pace the city seems to be moving at is exasperating the problem. Are we handling the request we received on the 10th from atttorney Morris for administrative rezoning seperately or in concert with the determination?
Please bring me up to speed as soon as you can.
Don Burnette, mba
Vice Mayor, City of Port Orange

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