SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
COUNCIL CHAMBERS Ė CITY HALL
1000 CITY CENTER CIRCLE
OCTOBER 25, 2011
THE SPECIAL CITY COUNCIL MEETING of the City of Port Orange was called to order by Mayor Allen Green at 5:30 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Roll Call:††††††††††††††††††† Present: ††††††† ††††††††††† Councilman Bob Ford
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Councilman Donald Burnette
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Councilman Bob Pohlmann
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Vice Mayor Dennis Kennedy
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mayor Allen Green
Also Present:††††††††††† Kenneth W. Parker, City Manager
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Margaret Roberts, City Attorney
Robin Fenwick, Deputy City Clerk††††††††††
4.†††††††† Ridgewood Corridor
Wayne Clark, Community Development Director, presented a PowerPoint presentation to the Council.† After gathering data and speaking to the residents and businesses in the Ridgewood corridor, he has drafted several ideas for the Council to consider.† The area studied starts just south of Dunlawton Avenue which is just under three miles.† Based on the physical restraints, appearance, and demographics of the area, improvements to the area can be broken down into three tiers.† Mr. Clark would like the Councilís advice on which tier to focus on:
1. Maintenance- routine maintenance to keep the area from getting worse.† Continue drawing in bigger businesses; find ways to redevelop the properties; set up some code amendments to make it easier for people to maintain the current structures; amend the architecture requirements to allow other development styles while still maintaining quality; make it easier to combine lots; hold special events to use as test cases for future retailers and make the process of holding special events easier;† get rid of negative businesses to bring in more positive businesses and investments; take advantage of the DOT roadwork to improve drainage and landscaping.
2. Remodeling- change land uses and zoning to bring in new development, waive some of the fees at the time of occupancy.† Three areas to focus on are the Aunt Catfish area, the area across from First Turn, and the south end of Ridgewood where there was an attempt in the past to build townhomes.† Bring up the elevation by providing fill dirt at a low cost, improve drainage by developing a master drainage plan, develop a property database that includes the necessary upgrades required to develop or use the property. Cons:† can the market support more businesses in this area; loss of money coming in due to waiving some fees; increasing density may bring in people who canít support the businesses; must meet St. Johnís and FEMA regulations that are out of the Cityís control.†
3. Extreme Makeover- large, capital investments to re-do roads, upgrade the physical areas of the roadway, eliminate bad uses.† Estimated $5 million to improve the area.† Cons: where to get the money without getting into debt.
Comments from Council:†
Councilman Ford- routine maintenance is what is available right now with a focus on negative business properties added to it.† What about putting the subsidized senior housing development on Ridgewood rather than Herbert St.? Try to get funding to build footpaths or trails in the area to bring in people.† We need to be ready to move forward in case some stimulus packages become available.† Commit to strong police enforcement in the area.† Try pushing reasonable projects to the area.
Councilman Burnette- Remodeling is a great long term goal but routine maintenance is where the Council is at right now.† Look at a time frame for different elements.†
Mayor Green- the City may come in and start some of the site improvements and recoup the costs by having a reasonably ready piece of property available for an investor.†
Mr. Parker said impact fees are being discussed next week.† The City can look at providing certain incentives to redirect businesses to develop in certain areas.
Councilman Pohlmann- Concerned that getting rid of some of the undesirable hotels will take housing away from people who would otherwise be homeless.† He supports clustering properties.† Immediate needs are maintaining the area and improving the look of the area.
Councilman Burnette left the meeting at 6:20 p.m.
Mayor Green said he is more inclined to assist in drainage correction rather than reducing fees.†
Vice Mayor Kennedy- is somewhere between routine maintenance and remodeling because some of the areas are so blighted they need serious work. †Some areas are declining much faster than the rest.† He would like the City to support anybody that wants to do anything in the area with issues like drainage.
Mayor Green- would like to see about getting Code Enforcement in to improve the quality of the buildings.† Look into setting money aside for the acquisition of property pertaining to drainage.† Take another look at turning Halifax into a one- way street and segmented.† Councilman Ford agreed and suggested turning half of it into a bike/walking trail and reducing the number of intersections.
Mr. Clark said he will talk with the residents in the area about the Councilís ideas and come back before the Council in the Spring.† Mayor Green also asked him to develop some time frames. ††††
5.†††††††† Incubator at Old Police Headquarters
Mr. Parker advised Mr. Clark that the Council needs all five members present to make a decision on this issue and they did not anticipate Councilman Burnette having to leave the meeting.†
Mr. Clark presented a PowerPoint presentation regarding a business incubator in the former police department building.† He provided general information of how an incubator might work.† The building could house about 19 potential offices and is 7,400 total square feet. This analysis did not include the EOC or the RCC areas.† A general estimated cost of outfitting the building to make it usable is $100,000.† Doing more work in the building would result in being able to charge a higher rent.† The operating costs will total about $94,000 per year.† Some incubators have a manager and a secretary.† Salary ranges were given for having both or just one.† A cost revenue analysis was conducted and the rent per square foot depending on the upgrades and whether or not utilities are included range between $15 and $21 per square foot.† It will generate more revenue than it does now but it will probably not generate a profit.† Incubators are not intended to raise money but are to help newer businesses grow, provide training and support programs, and have them eventually move out into the City and provide jobs.† Mr. Clark stated there are quite a few business partners and citizens interested in helping with this type of program.† The Council needs to determine what the focus of the incubator will be, should it be staffed, and what level of improvements should be done.†
Vice Mayor Kennedy wondered how to overcome the shortcomings of the building such as ADA compliance and remodeling issues in the design of the building.† He would like more information on the incubator concept but is not sure the police building is the right place to put it.†
Councilman Pohlmann remarked an empty building is not doing any good for anybody and would like more information on this concept.†
Councilman Ford has had a few calls about this. Concerns: what type of businesses, creating competition with local businesses already existing in the community, already a lot of vacant space in the community that could be utilized.† Maybe focus on businesses that have regional or national markets. He would like to see other options of uses for this building.
Mayor Green asked about the possibility of dealing with Palmer.† He suggests investing in building upgrades to get a good client.† Councilman Ford agreed.† Vice Mayor Kennedy agreed.† Mr. Parker will discuss the option with Dr. Martin.†† ††††††††
C.††††††† ADJOURNMENT †- Meeting was adjourned at 6:48 p.m.
††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Mayor Allen Green
Kenneth W. Parker, City Manager