Members of the public filled the pews at City Hall for the Cedar Key City Commission`s regularly-scheduled March meeting, Tuesday evening, March 20, and most of the public remained through Commissioner updates on the city`s energy grant, the proposed cell tower, and a report on options for sidewalk construction along State Road 24.
The bulk of the Commission`s decisions resulted in actions not taken or actions undone:
(1) City Attorney Norm Fugate presented a proposed resolution that would have changed Cedar Key`s Halloween Trick or Treat night to the last Saturday of October, except when October 31 is a Friday, when Trick or Treat night would occur on that Friday.
The Commission declined to act on the proposed resolution, with the result that Cedar Key`s Trick or Treat schedule will remain unchanged. (Trick or Treat Night will continue to occur on October 31, except when the 31st occurs on a Sunday or Wednesday, in which years Trick or Treat night will occur on October 30.)
(2) Appearing before the Commission on behalf of the Aquaculture Association, Ken Edmunds reported that the Association declined the City Commission`s earlier proposal that the Association acquire city`s Shell Pile launch property. However, in order to share the burden of clean-up costs, the Association plans to raise funds for private removal of cover nets and other litter at the site. Already, the Association has posted NO PARKING and NO DUMPING signs and requested that the Cedar Key Police Department be directed to enforce the prohibitions. Chief Virgil Sandlin reported that, toward this end, he is installing a motion-activated camera with wi-fi capability at the Shell Pile.
(3) Under the Public Works/New Sidewalks portion of the agenda, Commissioners reviewed an earlier City Commission decision to provide a safe path for pedestrians crossing to Whiddon Avenue from the existing sidewalk along G Street. The Commissioners sought a safer route for pedestrians proceeding past the Cedar Key School on Whiddon. The Rube Goldbergian solution (of which at least one commissioner had no recollection) would have routed pedestrians wishing to continue past the school from G Street to a new sidewalk running west on 8th Street, continuing north on a new sidewalk along H Street to Whiddon. At Tuesday night`s meeting, the Commissioners withdrew the plan for the new sidewalks, leaving the Whiddon Avenue crossing to be studied further.
The agenda item engendering the most public comment was Commissioner Scott Dennison`s report of a meeting with Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) officials to discuss Cedar Key`s options for extending a sidewalk along State Road 24 to the Number Four Bridge. Because the sidewalk would abut the state road, the cost of the amenity could be covered by FDOT funds. However, if built with state FDOT assistance, the sidewalk would have to comply with FDOT`s engineering practices, requirements not necessarily applicable if the city were to extend the sidewalk at its own expense.
Margy Van Landingham was among members of the public who expressed concern about the FDOT`s requirements, likening the FDOT-compliant sidewalk described by Commissioner Dennison as "paving over paradise." The Island Hotel`s Stanley Bair brought public comment to a close by pointing out that concerns could be saved for a future City Commission meeting seeking input/approval of a State Road 24 sidewalk.
Regular monthly meetings of the Cedar Key City Commission take place the third Tuesday of each month at 6 pm at City Hall, on 2nd Street. City Commissioners convene as directors of the Community Redevelopment Association (CRA) at the same time and place on the first Tuesday of each month. Agendas for upcoming city meetings are published as "City Documents" on the Cedar Key News website and posted on the bulletin board outside City Hall.