Items from last night’s Beach Commission meeting

 Communications and events coordinator for the City of St. Augustine Beach, Cindy Walker, reported to Historic City News the following events from last night’s meeting of the Beach City Commissioner.

On August 5, 2019, the City of St Augustine Beach held a Regular Commission Meeting, discussing and presenting issues like a non-ad valorem solid waste fee, franchise fees for solid waste haulers, the definition of litter, the Sunshine Bus, e-scooter regulation, dog licensing, and permissible flags on City property.

  • To begin, it was decided that discussion of adding a non-ad valorem assessment for the collection of solid waste and recycling would be tabled until the September Commission meeting, when more information will be available. To collect public opinion on this issue, The City is requesting both residents and property owners in the City of St. Augustine Beach to take a survey:
  • Ordinance 19-10, a franchise fee for solid waste haulers, was discussed. The Commission decided to continue to pursue this as a revenue source after revising the ordinance to add commercial waste. A franchise license can be obtained by filing with the City and will be valid for three years. The fee schedule is $300 for the term of franchise and every term after, and 10% of the franchisee’s gross revenue. This revised ordinance will be presented for a public and final reading at the September Commission meeting.
  • The final reading of Ordinance 19-11, to add cigarette butts and other tobacco products as a form of litter, was presented and passed. This means that it is now unlawful to dispose of cigarette butts, filters, or any other product containing tobacco or used for consuming tobacco in any place other than a trash receptacle. In support of this ordinance, Beaches Go Green has partnered with the City of St. Augustine Beach to place 50 cigarette butt receptacles around the City in the next few months.
  • Next, Kevin Kincaid and Elise Sloan were re-appointed to the Comprehensive Planning and Zoning Board for another three years.
  • The City of St. Augustine Beach considered and denied a subsidy of $49,000 to assist in funding the Sunshine Bus. The research that was done by the City of St. Augustine Beach has determined that 73.45% of property owners and residents have never used nor plan to use the Sunshine Bus. The City’s research also determined that the estimated average use of the Sunshine Bus by employees in the City is 3.6 riders per lodging establishment and 0.64 riders per restaurants.
  • Next, City Commissioners considered regulating electric scooters and other mobility devices in the City’s limits, like the City of St. Augustine. (Please note, this consideration will keep the City’s streets, sidewalks, and rights-of-way compliant with ADA and other federal and state regulations.) This would prohibit motorized mobility devices on sidewalks and bike paths while allowing the use of non-motorized mobility devices (bikes and skateboards, for example) on sidewalks and bike paths. It would also consider franchise requirements.  After discussion and research, this issue will be brought back at a future commission meeting.
  • To reduce spending, the City of St. Augustine Beach removed “dog tag licenses” from the City’s Code of Ordinances. By removing this from the ordinance, the City is expecting to save a minimum of $279 per year.
  • Finally, the Commission discussed policy for flying flags on government property. The Commission discussed policy options that included allowing acceptable flags including governmental flags (like the French flag), flags for City-sponsored events (like Arbor Day), flags sanctioned by the federal or state government (like the POW-MIA flag), and if the flag is included in an approved proclamation.  The Commission decided that they will conduct further research and discuss this issue at a future commission meeting.

The City of St. Augustine Beach will hold a Town Hall meeting to discuss the new ban on plastic bags, plastic straws, and Styrofoam (Ordinances 19-03 and 19-04), paid parking, and the budget on Thursday, August 29, 2019, from 6 – 8 p.m. at The Courtyard by Marriott Hotel (605 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach, FL 32080.) The public is invited and encouraged to attend.

The next regular Commission Meeting will be held on Monday, September 9, 2019 at 6pm at St. Augustine Beach City Hall (2200 A1A South, St. Augustine Beach, FL 32080.) Historic City News readers are invited and encouraged to attend.