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Commission Meeting Wrap-Up: February 13, 2017

The St. Augustine City Commission met in regular session on Monday, February 13, their first meeting in The Alcazar Room since late October of last year.  Click on the titles below to read a summary or watch the on-demand video of each topic.

Parking reconfiguration at Davenport Park is initial step in May St. construction

Davenport Park Sketch
click image to enlarge the Daveport Park sketch

On Monday night, the City Commission approved a lease agreement between the city and the Armory Board of the State of Florida that will allow the relocation of parking in Davenport Park. The agreement will be considered by the Armory Board in its meeting on Friday, February 17.

This work is necessary before the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) begins construction of the reconfiguration of the intersection of May St. and San Marco Ave.

Part of FDOT’s project requires a realignment of W. San Carlos Ave. that will eliminate the southern portion of the current parking lot adjacent to that street. To replace those parking spaces, a new lot will be constructed in the area between the Mark Lance National Guard Armory and the St. Johns County Public Library that will accommodate 65 vehicles, a total increase of 35 spaces over the current configuration.

Construction on the new parking area will begin in March and be completed by the end of May with FDOT’s work to begin shortly thereafter.

To watch this portion of City Commission discussion, click here.

City to apply for grant to support utility work in Lincolnville

By passing a pair of resolutions during last Monday’s meeting, the St. Augustine City Commission gave the nod for the city to apply for a Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The grant would be used in support of utility rehabilitation work in the Lincolnville area. The grant program is designed to benefit persons of low to moderate income.

The vote by the Commission followed public comment.

The grant, if secured, will provide $750,000 toward a comprehensive project that includes replacing water and sewer lines, addressing flood and drainage issues and improving streets in the area. All total, the project's estimated cost is $800,000, with funds from both the CDBG and $50,000 in required matching funds from the city which would come from reserves in the Stormwater Fund.

By increasing and expanding the level of service in the drainage basin area, the project will benefit homes in a wide area of Lincolnville. Work includes replacing water lines, sanitary sewer lines and stormwater drainage systems in the area of DeHaven St. and South St, and repaving nine streets: Sanford St., Weeden St., DeHaven St., Moore St., Cerro St., South St., Blanco St., Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ave., and Twine St

A decision on the application should be made by April 15 with work starting six to nine months later. Once started, the project will take approximately two years to complete. 

To watch this portion of the City Commission discussion, click here.

Athletic events in the right-of-way may be held on Sunday

The City Commission has approved a change in the guidelines approved nearly a year ago that limits athletic events held in the right-of-way, such as 5K runs, to Saturdays. The approved change will allow such events to also be held on Sundays. Such events held on either day must conclude by 10:00am.

Staff reported that its evidence indicates Sunday morning events are likely to be less disruptive than events on Saturday because of the lesser amount of general traffic.

The change will better accommodate longer races such as those related to the St. Augustine Half-Marathon held each November and now in its seventh year. The route of the half marathon starts near the Castillo de San Marcos, then crosses the Bridge of Lions and continues along A1A and SR 312 to cross the Mickler-O'Connel bridge turning around at Sgt. Tutten Dr. and returning by a route that takes runners through Anastasia State Park, back over the Bridge of Lions and ending at Francis Field. The Bridge of Lions remains open for vehicles during the race, but is limited to alternating traffic using one lane.

Since only a small portion of the half-marathon is in the downtown area, it is not expected to affect traffic associated with worship service schedules and will not require the restriction of parking except along a portion of Avenida Menendez.

The resolution passed by the commission limits such Sunday morning athletic events to two per year as a way of gradually determining the impact of the change.

To watch this portion of the City Commission discussion, click here:

Commission votes to streamline awards process

sanchezLion150At its regular meeting last Monday, the St. Augustine City Commission approved a new, streamlined, process for the nomination, selection and presentation if its four awards: Order of la Florida, de Avilés Award, Adelaide Sanchez Award, and Citizenship Award.

The resolution brings into one document the criteria and process for making the awards and establishes an annual calendar for the process.

The resolution also, for the first time, sets guidelines regarding the annual Citizenship Award presented to graduating high school seniors. In the past, the administration of each high school in the county named a recipient of the award. Under the new guidelines, each City Commissioner will nominate a recipient and then the five nominees are approved by the Commission. Additionally, the new guidelines require that the recipient be a city resident and increases the amount of the award from $100 per recipient to $200.

To watch this portion of the City Commission discussion, click here

Return to The Alcazar Room

Starting with the City Commission's meeting on Monday, February 13, The Alcazar Room is back in operation as the city's primary meeting space.

Meetings were relocated from The Alcazar Room so that repairs could be made to damage from Hurricane Matthew. Since late November, the Commission has met in the Lightner Museum Lobby and in the auditorium of the Fullerwood Training Center on Hildreth Dr., while the other boards moved their meetings to the Willie Galimore Center.

In addition to simply being back in familiar surroundings, the return to The Alcazar Room means the return of live broadcast and on-line streaming of the Commission's meetings. Since live broadcast and streaming are available only from The Alcazar Room, viewing has been limited to rebroadcasts posted the next day on-line and regularly scheduled rebroadcasts via GTV.

In addition to the commission's twice-a-month meetings, the room accommodates monthly meetings of the Planning and Zoning Board, the Historic Architecture Review Board, and the Code Enforcement, Adjustments and Appeals Board.

Located at 75 King St. and also the home of Lightner Museum, The Alcazar Hotel building, built in the 1880s, was one Henry Flagler's hotels and has been the City of St. Augustine City Hall since 1973.