Artistic Bus Shelters and Eminent Domain Dominate Mtg

What we expected to be a brief meeting took a little bit longer on Thursday, December 4th.

The agenda began with a very uplifting presentation on the results of the 9th Annual Mayor’s Veterans’ Golf Classic which in total awarded $29,114.47 to the West Palm Beach VA Medical Center. The sponsors were honored and many staff participated on their own time for this worthy cause.

December 4, 2014

The Annual Investment Update generated a little discussion on whether or not interest rates would be rising any time soon and in support of the strategy to focus the bulk of investments in 1-2 year bonds.

Presentations were added to the agenda:

  • Artistic Bus Shelters – 13 locations were identified based on passenger usage and by virtue of the Consent Agenda approval – those would be the sites for the shelters. The contract approval was also in the Consent Agenda – and manufacturing of the shelters could begin in early January with a target to have them all in place by summer.
  • Neighborhood Improvement Assessment Program (NIAP) at 40th Terrace/Sunset Drive
    • The roads have been transferred/accepted from Palm Beach County and one payment is still outstanding
    • Two contracts have been awarded – one for the water and the other for the roadwork
    • The projects can commence on January 15, 2015 and expected assessments will be $2,032.39/yr/parcel or expressed monthly $169.37 monthly/parcel.
    • All necessary easements have been obtained (for no charge) except for one big exception which was met by extreme consternation and frustration by the Council.  Kevin Easton, who has been the face of the neighborhood for several years and pursued these neighborhood enhancements wants payment for the easements on some of his 5 parcels – necessary for the water loop as well as for a Fire/Rescue turn-around.  He and the City have not come to an agreement.    Any payments to Mr. Easton will raise the costs for the entire neighborhood, according to the Council discussion.  City Attorney Lohman recommended that the Council approve Eminent Domain proceedings, which he assured them would go through.  Legal costs incurred would also be spread to the project costs.  The Council voted 5:0 to commence with the proceedings.  All hoped this can be resolved without such an action being taken.  Mr. Easton was not at the meeting and so his side of the argument was not represented.

City Manager Ferris gave quick updates on the stormwater inspections, swale repair, referenced the Palm Beach Post article on RAIDSONLINE , an excellent presentation made by Natalie Crowley at the Business Development Board Forum, The 31st Annual Holiday Bazaar underway now and the Holiday Joy Drive.

Council member Tinsely recused herself on the Azure Plat resolution – which passed 4:0 and the remainder of the Consent Agenda passed 5:0, as did first reading of the Budget Amendment. There were no other items for council discussion or a City Attorney Report.

All on the Council wished everyone Happy Holidays.

Note that the January City Council Meeting will be on January 8th at 7pm.

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