When the City of St Augustine Beach convened its regular Commission Meeting, Monday, May 4, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall, there was a sense of change in the air according to a Historic City News live correspondent.
City Communications and Events Coordinator Melinda Conlon, confirmed today that the Commission voted last night that when the $1.00-per-year lease expires for use of the former police garage, the City of St Augustine Beach will end its landlord relationship with the St Augustine Beach Civic Association.
The lease between the City and the private Civic Association to use the garage for an office and storage area will not be renewed when it expires on August 3, 2020. The building is located on the Southside of the St Johns County Pier Park and West of the former City Hall. Although the county owns the pier and outdoor parking plaza, the City of St Augustine Beach owns the lot and garage.
In other business to come before the commission, the Planning Manager for the North Florida Transportation Organization, Wanda Forrest, gave a report on their five-year transportation improvement program for Northeast Florida.
The topic of Emotional Support Animals was raised from previous meetings and the Building Official pointed out the 120-day postponement was about to expire and asked for guidance on how to proceed. The Commission decided to have the Code Enforcement Board determine whether a reasonable accommodation can be made to allow such animals. Currently, the City of St. Augustine Beach does not permit “farmyard animals” such as chickens and goats.
City Manager Max Royal made a presentation on the 2019 Beach Blast Off Event which included in the annual fireworks display. Discussion included the possibility of being able to hold the event in 2020 with the current environment and whether there would be funding available from the Tourist Development Council or private sponsor. This topic will be discussed at a future meeting as it gets closer to the event.
The Commission awarded the bid for liability, worker’s compensation, and property insurance for the City to the Florida Municipal Insurance Trust of the Florida League of Cities.
The Finance Director gave a report about the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the current City budget and the possible effect on the Fiscal Year 2021 budget which will begin on October 1, 2020. The City staff was asked to investigate possible funds that Congress may disperse through the State for COVID-19 relief.
The Commission approved three resolutions: A) To increase Building Department fees, B) To adopt the St. Johns County Local Mitigation Strategy Plan and C) To allow the Building Official to issue a permit for the creation of additional temporary outdoor seating until Governor DeSantis increases the allowable inside seating by restaurants to 50% of their capacity.
The Commission will hold a Special Meeting on Monday, June 15, 2020, at 6:00 P.M. to hear public comment on a proposal to levy a non-ad valorem assessment fee for the collection and disposal of household waste, yard trash, and recyclables.
The next regular City Commission meeting will be Monday, June 1, 2020, at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall. The public is invited to attend. There will be limited seating in the City Commission room and the adjacent meeting room. To view the meeting online, please visit, www.staugbch.com.