City Commission to grapple with Bishop Creek erosion

Bishop Creek, which has been a frequent source of frustration for residents who live along it, will be front and center when the Safety Harbor City Commission meets on Tuesday, one day later than usual in observance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Tuesday’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: http://safetyharbor.granicus.com/GeneratedAgendaViewer.php?view_id=6&event_id=1788

The city will spend $24,000 to remove sand and sediment from the bottom of Bishop Creek in North City Park. The next stop will be up to City Commission. (Scott Long)

In August, three residents of the Harbor Woods Village subdivision, which has 38 homes along Bishop Creek, came to a Commission meeting to ask Commission to address creek erosion that is affecting their properties. Since then, city staff has met with the residents four times. The city will soon begin removing sand and sediment at the bottom of Bishop Creek in North City Park at a cost of $24,000.

Additionally, two possible studies have been put forth by city staff as options for Commission to consider. The first, at a cost of $30,480, would study only Bishop Creek in Harbor Woods Village, while the second, at a cost of $39,930, would be focused on updating an Erosion Control Study that was completed in 2000 and look at issues with not only with Bishop Creek but also 30 properties bordering Mullet Creek.

City staff has indicated that the city’s budget has enough money to complete either study, but there is no money budgeted in the next five years to pay for any recommendations from the studies, improvements of which are estimated to cost $200,000 per property.

City staff is seeking direction from Commission on which, if either, study it would like to pursue and how it would like to pay for any suggestions from the study, with options including a millage rate increase, stormwater fund rate increase, assessing the individual properties and/or applying for grants or help from federal, state or county agencies, including FEMA.  

SECOND READINGS

Ordinances or changes to city code require two hearings before the City Commission. 

Amend Land Development Code for alleyways, sidewalks and utility locates: Commission voted 5-0 on first reading to approve this list of changes to the Land Development Code.

ALSO ON THE AGENDA …

Intern recognition: Melina Hayward, a Palm Harbor University student and Safety Harbor resident, will be recognized for serving as an intern in various city departments as part of Pinellas County Schools’ Executive Internship program.

Employee service recognition: Thomas Waitzman of the Leisure Services Department will be honored for 21.5 years of service.

National 2-1-1 Day Proclamation: National 2-1-1 Day is Tuesday and a proclamation will be presented to 2-1-1 Tampa Bay Cares Inc.

Pinellas Opportunity Council appointment: The city’s seat on this Pinellas County council that assists residents in need has been vacant since June 2019, and Carmenetta Lundy has requested appointment. 

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 catering social agreement, a contract for underdrain replacement on Fayette Circle North and a design contract for the City Marina dredging project.  

HOW TO PARTICIPATE

Attend the meeting: The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 750 Main St., with the workshop beginning at 6 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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