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August 1, 2017
Meeting Specifics
The Cedar Key City Commission met on Tuesday, August 1, 2017, at 6 pm in the temporary, double-wide trailer home of Cedar Key City Hall, located on the same property as the original City Hall, which remains closed because of Hurricane Hermine damage.  Present were:  Mayor Heath Davis, Vice-Mayor Sue Colson, and Commissioners Dale Register, Royce Nelson, and Nickie Rucker.
Staff in attendance included: Cedar key City Attorney Norm Fugate, Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, Fire Chief and Emergency Operations Manager Robert Robinson, Public Works Director Bill Crandley, Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp, and staffer Donna Risker.  City Clerk Nicole Gill was not in attendance.
Among those in the audience were:  Joe and Mrs. Catalano, Stanley Bair, Lisa and James Custer and son, Linda and Mr. Campbell, Buddy Scruggs, Maurice and Jan Hendrix, Steve and Diana Priessman, Ray and Carla Ermel, Andrew Gude, Mendy Allen, David Davis, Robin Gilles, Robin Jocelyn, George Oakley, Principal Josh Slemp, Dell Weible, Chester Vanderpyl, Lloyd Kelly, Paul Florence, Brian Keith, Telecia Winfield, Michael Hancock, Allison Nelson, Bob and Jeri Treat, and Mandy and Frank Offerle.
Vice-Mayor Sue Colson announced that International Coastal Cleanup is scheduled for September 16, 2017.  A more detailed announcement will follow, however, Colson wanted all to know now that:  everyone is invited to participate; all are to arrive as early as 8 am to the Cedar Key Marina, check in, and tell the organizers what areas they intend to clean up; counters and sorters are needed.
Resident Joe Catalano of Bard Productions, LLC, announced that the Pirates will be in Cedar Key on September 15, 16, and 17.  He asked to have part of Second Street shut down from noon Friday until 4 pm Sunday for vendors to sell their wares.
Mayor Davis will work with staff and bring their proposal, based on the permits, to the next meeting on the 15th of August and the approval/alteration decision will be made.
Colson expressed the need not to interrupt traffic in and out of the Marina for Coastal Cleanup activities. Commissioner Royce Nelson expressed the concern that if Second Street were to be closed, then it ought to be only Saturday and Sunday. Friday’s street closing should be like the festivals and not be closed until after 7pm. Commissioner Nickie Rucker expressed concern for what residents of Park Place who live directly in the thick of the Pirate activities.
Vice-Mayor Colson reported on the highly successful Cedar Key Summer Youth Program.  Assistant City Clerk Crystal Sharp received a rousing applause and a bouquet of flowers for her organization of the program and her “getting everything done.”  Among the others thanked for their involvement in the five-week, Mondays through Thursdays, 7 am to 4 pm program were Cedar Key Police Officer Perry, Cedar Key School Principal Josh Slemp, and Administrator/Teacher in Charge Telicia Winfield.
Details and pictures of the summer program may be viewed by clicking on the links below.
Next summer’s program theme will be the history of Cedar Key, reported Colson.
At the July 17, 2017, City Commission meeting, City Attorney Norm Fugate read Ordinance 516 regarding annexation.  The ordinance proposes to annex the unincorporated lands in Sections 19, 20, 21, 28,29, 30, 31, and 32 Township 15 South, Range 13 East, and the north ½ of Section 5, Township 16 South, Range 13 East, Levy County, Florida.  These lands are adjacent to the municipal boundaries of the City of Cedar Key.
This evening, standing room only was available in City Hall because of the proposed annexation hearing occurring his evening.  Mayor Health Davis welcomed the audience, thanked them for their input in advance, and explained the background of the proposed annexation.  He explained that though the issue of the annexation of adjacent lands has been a subject of discussion for many, many years, it was the aftermath of Hurricane Hermine that provoked the commission to research the issue in more depth and reconsider its importance. 
He announced that commissioners have been discussing this recent annexation proposal since October of 2016 at commission meetings, attempting to keep the community informed of their thinking and the process.   Some property owners of lands that might be annexed have come to past meetings, asked questions, and offered their concerns.  Davis explained that another hearing will occur and invited those property owners/registered voters to return with concerns and questions.   
Ballots will be mailed out to registered voters living in the areas proposed to be annexed in late September and must be returned to the Levy Supervisor of Elections by October 17, 2017.  
If the vote response is no to annex, enforcement will be different, Davis said.  The city has done much to better conditions for residents as well as for those living in county lands, he said.  The Cedar Key Water and Sewer District has installed fire hydrants across the island so that no home is more than 1,000 feet from one.   The closeness of homes to hydrants is one ISO indictors that comes into play when lowering residents’ fire insurance premiums.
The ISO, Insurance Service Office, is the organization that provides statistical information on risk and has a large impact on most fire departments. The ISO rating system ranges from 10 - 1, with "1" being the best.  Cedar Key’s rating is a 5, an excellent rating for a volunteer department, reports Chief Robert Robinson.  Cities with lower ratings have more manpower.  Robinson’s goal is an ISO rating of 4.
The city has sought to lower residents’ flood insurance premiums in similar fashion and has done so by ten percent.   The city’s goal is increasing that figure to twenty percent.
Audience member Buddy Scruggs made the point that because he owns a house in New York and is registered to vote there, he will be unable to vote in this annexation issue.   Davis assured him that Florida state law affirms that fact; in order to vote on this issue, one must be registered to vote here. 
Audience member Lloyd Kelly observed that Cedar Key will increase its revenues and questioned whether it would be increasing its services.  Davis responded that people living on properties that may be annexed already receive the services that those living in the city receive: fire, police, roads maintained, and public works care.
Kelly also asked if the annexation were to pass, would the city fix the road to his house.  Davis responded that as the road is a private road, the city would not fix it. 
Audience member Chester Vanderpyl, asked how much will the annexation cost him specifically.  Davis explained that each property is different and that he may calculate the dollar difference by:  finding the “taxable value” on his annual notice from the Levy County Tax Collector’s office and multiplying that amount by .0054.  Commissioner Royce Nelson was quick to mention that the fire tax currently on the bill would be removed.
Audience member Robin Jocelyn asked why the method of voting was by mail.  Davis responded that the commission believed that the mail in would be more convenient for voters.
Resident Steve Priessman, who owns one house in the city and one in the county, reported that the cost of annexation on his county home would amount to a 23% increase.
Residents Ray and Carla Ermel expressed concern that fire calls might not be responded to in an unannexed property.  Davis responded that “things do change.”
Vice-Mayor Colson expressed her perception that “we are all one community, in city or in county.  We [commissioners] are accessible and fighting for you.”  Commissioners in Bronson are, at least geographically, more difficult to access.  “Our Library, City Park, and so on” are funded wholly or, in part, by the city and city taxes.  No commissioner treats in-city and in-county residents differently, she stressed.
Colson also invited all audience members to attend the upcoming Cedar Key Budget Workshops where decisions will be made about spending the approximate $100,000 that will be found if annexation occurs.  She invited them if annexation does not occur.  Click here for thee Budget Workshop Schedule:
Audience member David Davis asked for a copy of the list of registered voters to whom the notice of this meeting was mailed. 
Audience Paul Florence was concerned about city regulations that would affect him specifically.  He also expressed a concern voiced earlier: that the property owner, registered to vote elsewhere, is unable to vote while his renters, registered to vote here, may vote on this annexation issue. 
Audience member Brian Keith asked the amount of additional revenue will be actualized should annexation occur. Mayor Davis responded $102,000.
With no more questions or concerns raised, at 7:15 pm, the hearing closed and a brief recess ensued.
Commissioners unanimously approved the first reading of Ordinance 517 which regulates the two following types of vehicles. 
  • “Passenger Transport for Hire Vehicles” means “any vehicle used for transporting passengers for hire, fee, or compensation, including tips or advertising.  This category includes: taxicabs, bicycles, pedicabs, animal-drawn carriages, golf carts, and, low speed vehicles.
  • “Rental Vehicles” means “any vehicle rented on a short-term basis for use by the person or persons renting the vehicle.”  This category includes:  bicycles, mopeds, motorcycles, motorized scooters, golf carts, and low speed vehicles.
Among additional requirements, the ordinance requires the driver of a Passenger Transport for Hire Vehicle to: register with the city; not overload the vehicle with passengers; monitor passenger behavior; not obstruct   traffic; obey the rules of the road; stay on the road; carry a communication device all the time.
Both types of vehicles must have: a city-issued safety certificate; $300,000 personal injury, bodily injury, and property damage liability insurance; and a city permit to operate.
Commissioners unanimously approved Resolution 398 which adds the Fraternal Order of Eagles building at 7010 B Street to the City’s Historical Register.
Commissioners unanimously approved the “Combined Voluntary Cooperation and Operational Assistance Law Enforcement Mutual Aid Agreement Amendment Approval.”  This Mutual Aid Agreement between the Levy County Sheriff’s Office and the Cedar Key Police Department has been successfully operational for years.  In the past, the agreement read that the two law enforcement agencies may request assistance from one another in dealing with “any violations of Florida Statutes to include, but not necessarily be limited to investigating homicides, sex offences, robberies, burglaries, thefts, gambling, motor vehicle thefts, controlled substances violations, DUI violations, ….”
The amendment states: “It is the intent of the parties that assistance rendered by the Cedar Key Police Department shall be limited to situations which involve the likelihood of human death or serious bodily harm.”  Further, the amendment states: “The CKPD shall render assistance only for situations involving the likelihood of human death or serious bodily injury.”
Mayor Davis acknowledged to Police Chief Virgil Sandlin, present in the audience, that the amendment would be difficult for him as the nature of his job is has been to assist people in difficulty.  This amendment limits that activity.
Approximately a month ago, the city received a notice from Waste Pro advising the city that Waste Pro no longer carries the 35- and 64-gallon carts, consequently requiring all residents to use the largest, 96-gallon, most expensive carts.
This evening, commissioners unanimously approved forwarding correspondence, under Mayor Davis’ signature, advising Waste Pro that eliminating the use of the smaller carts breaches the contract with the city, will require contract renegotiation, and invites them to coordinate contract discussions.   Commissioner Dale Register will work with Waste Pro and report back to the commission.  
With a budget workshop to follow this commission meeting, Mayor Davis suggested tabling the Marina Kiosk Lease discussion until the next meeting.   Before tabling, Commissioner Nickie Rucker and Royce Nelson made suggestions to be considered for the next meeting.
The updated budget schedule was presented and is published in the Cedar Key News. 
Police Chief Virgil Sandlin reputed his meeting with his entire staff, both full- and part-time, in which he discussed community policing, the importance of the Mariana, open containers, parking, and other items.  Commissioners expressed satisfaction with the meeting and its intent and suggested follow-up meetings to monitor progress.
Commissioners unanimously approved the draft of a letter from Mayor Davis to be sent the current list county residents living on the island of Cedar Key further explaining the annexation background and advantages to them.  
Fire Chief Robert Robinson, earlier assigned the task of monitoring the completion of City Hall renovation, reported that he and staff were working hard to see that FEMA had all the documents it requires and that a final set of floor plans should be available soon.
Commissioners unanimously approved minutes from the July 18, 2017, city commission meeting.
The meeting adjourned at approximately 8 pm.