PALMETTO - A $56,000 payment for engineering services somehow got overlooked, Palmetto Public Works Director Allen Tusing said Monday night, and it needs to be approved.
On July 20, they got approval for Riverside Drive from Eighth to Ninth avenues.
"That was work assignment No. 5," he said. "Somehow, work assignment No. 4, which was for the intersection of Riverside and Eighth Avenue, just kind of got no discussion.
"We haven't been able to pay them, so we need the mayor to approve work assignment No. 4 for $56,000 so we can get them a check."
The money is for engineering work on the intersection. The CRA advisory board and the CRA board approved assignment 5, Tusing said, but while four was discussed, there was no action taken.
The funds have been appropriated, he said.
City Clerk Jim Freeman said they got funding for Riverside and Business 41 work, $150,000 from the Community Redevelopment Agency and $150,000 from a grant. "There was engineering associated with that project, part of which was on Business 41, that's the amount of $56,000 for the engineering, there was also a piece on Riverside Drive, it was $30-some thousand for the engineering."
It's been budgeted from CRA, and the engineering was also to be funded by the CRA, Freeman said. One piece of it, $31,000, was already approved by the CRA board, on July 20. The $56,000 hasn't been approved and wasn't in the minutes as having been approved.
Commissioner Alan Zirkelbach turned to City Attorney Mark Barnebey and asked him what approach they could take to get it through and pay the engineer.
"I'm OK with allowing the engineer to be paid. The question is whether we're in the right forum to do that," Barnebey said. "My guess is no."
But the CRA cannot approve the mayor to approve it, but the CRA can approve it, send it to the commission to be executed and authorized.
Barnebey said that was the approach he advised.
Next was a long discussion about when to hold a CRA meeting to approve the item, and it was agreed to deal with it at the Oct. 26 meeting.
Police dog retires
A member of the Palmetto Police Department is leaving his job, and the commissioners approved 3-0 his retirement and a donated replacement.
The "officer," Canto, is a K-9 and the point paper noted that he has served well for three years but his performance was deteriorating due to health issues. The commissioners agreed to sell Canto to his police officer for $1 and accept a donated dog, as yet unnamed, for training with an officer.
The commissioners also voted 3-0 to accept several changes to the Police Department's pension program.
Two members of the commission, Tambra Varnadore and Mary Lancaster, were not present, and Mayor Shirley Groover Bryant also did not attend.
In other action
The City Commission also approved the following 3-0 on the consent agenda:
The commissioners also approved 3-0 an agreement with Verizon to allow antennas at the Public Works and Police Department buildings to improve cell phone reception in those two locations.
And in another 3-0 vote, the commissioners approved renewing the cleaning contract for City Hall.
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