I say this because our city employees know that although City Hall is closed, they will most likely be called to come in and work in bad weather, leaving their homes and families in the care of other family members. The Emergency Operations Center at the main fire station held its first meeting at 7am, with employees ready to answer 9 City phone lines forwarded to that location. From there, employees went out in the weather and cleared stormwater pipes, moved several downed tree limbs out of streets, and generally kept things moving. Luckily there was no damage, in stark contrast to what we suffered from the hurricanes four years ago.
Even so, the dedication of your city employees is remarkable. They are ready to do whatever it takes to keep our town operating. I am privileged to lead this outstanding group of men and women. Their efforts usually “fly under the radar”, and therefore often seem unappreciated. They deserve an occasional thank you for what they do especially when the going gets rough. I’m sure they would appreciate a compliment from you. So the next time you see a city employee, it would be nice to tell them that their work during the storm – as well as everyday – is appreciated.
MeetingsThe summer of 2008 will soon be in the books, and September is shaping up to be another busy month. Let’s take a look at some of the things to expect next month.
- City Commission Meetings (all held at City Hall):
- Special meeting for continued review of the draft budget and CDBG application items: Wednesday, August 27, 6 pm;
- Regular meeting including setting the fire assessment rates: Tuesday, September 2, 6 pm;
- Special meeting for first reading of the millage rate and budget: Wednesday, September 3, 6 pm. Per the formula in state law for this meeting date, this year the meeting for first reading of the millage and budget could not be held on the regular Commission meeting date;
- Regular meeting, including the final adoption of the millage rate and budget for the October 1 fiscal year: Tuesday, September 16, 6 pm.
- Meeting to discuss Youth Recreation programs for the summer of ’09: Thursday, September 18, 6 pm, Charter Schools meeting room, corner of Central and Market Sts. downtown;
- Airport Authority meeting to tour the Fixed Based Operator building currently under construction at the Municipal Airport: Thursday, August 28, 5:30 pm.
Report on Selected Capital improvements
- Phase 1 water main project downtown – has begun with work on Sessoms Avenue, near the water plant. The new water main will be located on Sessoms, Wetmore, and Stuart Avenues. When completed, the street re-surfacing project will continue;
- Street Re-surfacing - this project is scheduled for completion in October, and work will include portions of First Street, Polk Avenue, and Old Scenic Highway;
- Phase 2 of the Trail – following the intent of the voters in the April 5, 2005 referendum, construction of the trail from Kiwanis Park to Buck Moore Road is underway. Sod installation and north-side fence construction will commence soon;
- New Water Tower: Construction has begun on the new water tower to serve the southern portion of our utility service area;
- New Soccer/Multi-Purpose Park on Hunt Brothers Road (between Scenic Highway and US 27): Grand Opening is scheduled for Saturday, September 13, at 10 am. Everyone is invited to see this new City park!
- Kiwanis Park improvements:
- A retention pond to serve the High View Drive area is being constructed in an unused area of Kiwanis Park. This work addresses a stormwater problem that has plagued this neighborhood for decades;
- The City’s Parks and Community Appearance Board is preparing a grant application for improvements at Kiwanis Park including the re-construction of three of the baseball fields, landscaping, and a site reservation for the “Barney’s Dream” all-children’s playground.