City Comission to discuss Bishop Creek erosion again

The Safety Harbor City Commission will continue to grapple with erosion problems along Bishop and Mullet creeks when it meets Monday night.

Monday’s meeting will begin at 7 p.m. Here is the link to the agenda, with additional material, known as “backup,” available via the hyperlink on each item: https://safetyharbor.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=1792. Monday’s meeting will be preceded at 6:30 p.m. by a meeting of the city’s Community Development Agency, which consists of all of the Commissioners with Mayor Joe Ayoub serving as chairman. Here is a link to the agenda for that meeting: https://safetyharbor.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=2013

City Commission will be asked to approve a $39,930 study of Bishop Creek erosion along homes in the Harbor Woods Village subdivision. (Scott Long)

The erosion problems, especially along Bishop Creek in the Harbor Woods Village subdivision, have been ongoing for decades with no easy solution ever presenting itself. Development throughout the city and county have contributed to the erosion of residents’ back yards, but the city is prohibited from using city funds to make repairs on private property.

In January, affected residents again asked Commission for help. At that time, City Manager Matthew Spoor presented Commission with two possible studies, though he cautioned Commission that while money exists in the city budget to pay for the studies, no money exists in the budget to act on any recommendations, which could cost as much as $200,000 per property, with 38 affected properties along Bishop Creek. At the same time, Ayoub announced that he and Spoor asked U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis for assistance, and Bilirakis promised to write the Army Corps of Engineers to set up a meeting.

In February, affected residents again attended a Commission meeting, with some of them saying they didn’t want to wait for the Army Corps of Engineers meeting to take place before Commission acted. Commission then instructed Spoor to put the studies on Monday’s agenda.

On Monday, Commission will be asked to approve spending $39,930 for a study to update the city’s Erosion Control Study, which was completed in 2000, and includes a look at not only the 38 Bishop Creek properties, but also properties with similar issues along Mullet Creek.

ALSO ON THE AGENDA …

Community Redevelopment Agency meeting: At the 6:30 p.m. CRA meeting that precedes the regular Commission meeting, Commission will be asked to approve the fiscal year 2020 CRA budget.

Code enforcement lien reduction request: Brittany Ecker is requesting a reduction of a $6,783.723 lien on her property at 3 Octavia Way. City staff says the application qualifies for a 100 percent reduction to $425 for administrative fees.

Approval of contract for building inspection services: The city’s building official resigned on Feb. 29, and Commission will be asked to approve a contract with Quorum Services LLC to handle those duties until a new official can be hired.

“Safety Harbor Story” video: Joe Caisse, Sue Caisse and Carol Zieres will show a video produced by Keon Boozarjomehri.

Consent agenda: Items expected to have little debate, such as approval of the last meeting’s minutes and most contracts, are included en masse in the consent agenda, though any Commissioner can ask for any item to be considered separately. This meeting’s consent agenda includes approval of a budget amendment to the city’s contract with the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office to add a 14th school crossing guard.

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Attend the meeting: The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 750 Main St., with the CRA meeting starting at 6:30 p.m.. Meetings typically run from 1.5 to three hours. Residents are given the opportunity to speak on all agenda items, except for presentations and consent agenda items. Come forward when asked by the mayor, state your name and address, and you’ll be given three minutes to address the Commission. For any issues not on the agenda, or any item that is on the consent agenda, residents get three minutes to speak at the beginning of the meeting during “Audience to be Heard.”  

Watch from home: Meetings are live-streamed to the city’s website at http://cityofsafetyharbor.com/557/Streaming-Media. The following day, a video of the meeting is posted for residents to watch.

Contact your Commissioners in advance by leaving them a message at City Hall at (727) 724-1555 or emailing them:

Mayor Joe Ayoub – jayoub@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Vice Mayor Cliff Merz – cmerz@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Commissioner Carlos Diaz – cdiaz@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Commissioner Andy Zodrow – azodrow@cityofsafetyharbor.com

Commissioner Nancy Besore – nbesore@cityofsafetyharbor.com

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