Community Redevelopment Agency - July 14, 2020

  1. Minutes

             Community Redevelopment Agency

Regular Meeting

July 14, 2020

 

The Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) of the City of Titusville, Florida met in regular session in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 555 South Washington Avenue, on Tuesday, July 14, 2020.


Call to Order/Determination of a Quorum

 

Chairperson Walt Johnson called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m. Present were Chairperson Walt Johnson, Vice-Chairperson Dan Diesel and Members Jim Ball, Robert Jordan, and Jo Lynn Nelson. Members Greg Aker and Sarah Stoeckel attended via telephone. Also, present were Executive Director Scott Larese, Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Attorney Richard Broome, and City Clerk Wanda Wells. Sr Administrative Assistant Caitlin Rodriguez completed the minutes.


City Clerk Wanda Wells read the procedure for public comment. CRA Attorney Broome read the temporary meeting rules for public comment and participation during the current COVID-19 pandemic, which were published on the CRA meeting agenda, posted in the lobby of City Hall, etc.


Invocation/Pledge of Allegiance

 

Chairperson Johnson asked for a moment of silence and then led the entire assembly in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. 


Approval of Minutes 

 

Motion:

Member Jordan moved to approve the minutes of the regular Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) meeting on May 26, 2020. Vice-Chairman Diesel seconded the motion. 

 

Member Nelson requested a correction to the minutes from the May 26, 2020 meeting. Member Stoeckel was listed twice in the minutes as being present at the meeting and present via telephone. Member Stoeckel was only present via telephone. 

The roll call vote was:  


Member Aker                         Yes

Member Jordan                      Yes

Member Nelson                      Yes

Chairperson Johnson              Yes

Vice-Chairperson Diesel         Yes

Member Stoeckel                    Yes

Member Ball                           Yes

 

The motion carried unanimously. 


Special Recognitions and Presentations – None. 


Old Business 

 

Feasibility Study & Conceptual Design - Consultant Award – Executive Director Larese reviewed the information in the agenda packet. It was recommended that the Community Redevelopment Agency recommend to the City Council to approve the award of contract for the Feasibility Study and Conceptual Design for the downtown riverfront walkway project with the top ranked firm, Taylor Engineering of Jacksonville, FL in the amount of $39,963.49. Additionally, authorize the City Manager and the City Attorney to execute the contract and have the Mayor sign it. 

 

Member Nelson stated that the Community Redevelopment Agency was approving the feasibility study and design. She requested clarification on if the City gets through the feasibility study and decided to not proceed with the project, would the total amount be less. 

 

Executive Director Larese advised that the company had to do a general conceptual design in order to do a feasibility study to figure out what design concepts would work at the location so they could price them out. 

 

CRA Attorney Broome advised that there were things in the contract such as start time and end times that would later be developed and that the Community Redevelopment Agency’s approval would be subject to allowing staff to insert the more technical details. 

 

Motion: 

Member Jordan moved to approve the Feasibility Study and Conceptual Design Consultant Award as recommended. Member Nelson seconded the motion and the roll call vote was: 


Member Jordan                       Yes
Member Nelson                      Yes
Chairperson Johnson               Yes

Vice-Chairperson Diesel         Yes

Member Stoeckel                    Yes

Member Ball                           Yes

Member Aker                          Yes

 

The motion passed unanimously. 


New Business 

 

Commercial Beautification Grant for the Launch Now Development Located at 300 - 310 S. Washington Avenue– Executive Director Larese reviewed the item and information in the agenda packet. The applicant and owner, Launch Now, LLC, Laura Hamilton, applied for the Commercial Beautification Grant to assist with the exterior renovation of the building to include the following work: storm water drainage; exterior arcade and building lighting; signage; historic clock repair; step and railing entrance; and awnings. The work items listed were eligible expenses in the Commercial Beautification Façade Improvement Program. The total cost of the listed work items was $176,191. The total amount of the reimbursement grant was 50% of the total cost with a maximum cap of $ 40,000. The total grant amount was $40,000 since 50% of the total improvement costs was well above the $40,000 cap. Funds were available in the CRA Building Grants FY2020 budget to cover the grant amount. If awarded the grant, the property would be maxed out with the Commercial Beautification program and would not be eligible for any grant funds from the program in the future. Staff recommended the CRA to approve the award of the Commercial Beautification Grant in the amount of $40,000 to Launch Now, LLC, Laura Hamilton for property located at 300 - 310 S. Washington Avenue.

 

Member Aker inquired about a prior grant that had been approved by the CRA for the same address prior to the sale of the property to the new owner and whether or not there was any money that was still owed to the City. Member Aker also questioned staff on whether there was anything in the bylaws that would prevent them from being able to do another grant on the same property, but with different owners.

 

Redevelopment Planner Tim Ford advised that the previous owner had to payback a percentage of the grant at the time of the sale of the property since it was prior to the five-year forgiveness period. Staff also stated that this was a different grant program than what was used previously by the prior owner of the property. The property was maxed out to any future property owners under this grant program.

 

 

Motion: 

Member Jordan moved to approve the Commercial Beautification Grant for the Launch Now development located at 300-310 S. Washington Avenue as recommended. Member Ball seconded the motion and the roll call vote was: 

Member Nelson                      Yes

Chairperson Johnson             Yes

Vice-Chairperson Diesel         Yes

Member Stoeckel                    Yes

Member Ball                           Yes

Member Aker                          Yes

Member Jordan                       Yes

 

The motion passed unanimously. 

 

Laura Hamilton submitted a public speaking card. Ms. Hamilton took a moment to thank Council and CRA for all of their support and stated that they were doing everything they could under the unusual circumstances to deliver an exceptional product to downtown Titusville. 


Purchase of Holiday Decorations for the S. Hopkins Avenue and S. Washington Avenue Decorative Pedestrian Lamp Posts – Executive Director Larese read the information provided in the agenda packet.

 

In order to expand the holiday season decorations outside the Commercial Historic District, staff proposed to provide additional decorations to the pedestrian lamp posts on S. Washington Avenue and S. Hopkins Avenue.

 

Staff recommended the approval of the purchase of 3,750 feet of L.E.D. rope light from 1000 Bulbs in the amount of $3,373.91; four (4) 40 inch lighted wreaths from Display Sales in the amount of $1,354; and eight (8) holiday bows in the amount of $544 and 66 holiday banners in the amount of $3,630 from Brandano Displays, Inc. for a total cost of $8,901.91.

 

Discussion ensued with staff on where the new decorations would be located in the downtown Titusville area.

 

Motion:

Member Nelson moved to approve the purchase of holiday decorations for the S. Hopkins Avenue and S. Washington Avenue decorative pedestrian lamp posts. Member Jordan seconded the motion and the roll call vote was:

Chairperson Johnson               Yes

Vice-Chairperson Diesel         Yes

Member Stoeckel                    Yes

Member Ball                           Yes

Member Aker                          Yes

Member Jordan                       Yes

Member Nelson                      Yes

 

The motion passed unanimously.  


Petitions and Requests from the Public Present

 

Jimmy Mutter stated that his business recently purchased the building in downtown Titusville at 346 S. Washington Avenue. The building had recently been demolished and there was a misunderstanding on the process to get grant money to help pay for the demolition. Mr. Mutter requested that the CRA overlook his late application to be able to still qualify for the grant. 

 

Chairman Johnson directed the question to CRA Attorney Richard Broome. 

 

CRA Attorney Broome advised that the Community Redevelopment Agency had to apply their policies, as they were written. 

 

Redevelopment Planner Tim Ford advised that him and Mr. Mutter had previously met and discussed the grant availability, however there was no application submitted by Mr. Mutter. He stated that Mr. Mutter contacted him after the demolition had already been completed. Mr. Ford advised Mr. Mutter that he could no longer qualify for the grant because the policy stated the application must be filed prior to the demolition. Mr. Mutter requested to appeal that decision. Mr. Ford advised that the only appeal he knew of would be to appeal the policy because of the circumstance. 

 

CRA Attorney Broome stated that this was an appeal for not following the application process. He advised that if the Community Redevelopment Agency had a policy that had been adopted, the board was required to enforce that policy how it was written. 

 

Chairman Johnson stated to Mr. Mutter that if the board made an exception for him, they would have to continue to do the same with everyone else and it would cause a lot of confusion. 

 

Council took no action on this request. 


Executive Director’s Report 

 

Executive Director Larese advised that all items were informational only.  


With no further business to discuss, the meeting adjourned at 5:58 p.m.