HIGH SPRINGS – The High Springs City Commission dispatched a 23-item agenda in under four hours on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012. As the only commission meeting during the month of December, the agenda was packed with a variety of issues that normally might have been dispersed between two or more meetings.

Both outgoing Interim City Manager Lee Vincent and newly-appointed City Manager Edwin Booth were on hand for the meeting, with Booth receiving more than his fair share of items on which to research, address and report back to the commission.

Possible uses of the city’s old school building, which related to at least three agenda items, was tabled to allow Booth and City Attorney Scott Walker time to research how the initial grant funds were intended to be used as part of the restoration of the old school building. Following the research, Booth is to provide a master use plan to the commission for consideration. An item on the agenda for the past few meetings, which is a request to allow Zumba classes to be held at the old school building, will be delayed until the commission approves a master use plan for the building.

Another item referred to the new city manager is notifying USDA Rural Development that the City does not intend to continue with Phases 4 and 5 of the wastewater system. Booth is to discuss the issue with USDA to see what is required from the City. If, at that time, it is determined that a letter is required, Booth will contact Walker to prepare the appropriate notification.

Following discussion of pollution control measures for stormwater runoff for James Paul Park, Booth is to contact the Florida Department of Transportation to determine if they have any intention of addressing the issue. Booth will also obtain costs for soil testing in the park and report back to the commission with his findings and associated costs.

Booth also was tasked with addressing the needs of the City Clerk’s department. Commission minutes were delayed earlier in the year due to the City Clerk taking on interim city manager duties. In an attempt to catch up on minutes, a former City employee has been hired on a temporary full-time basis to help the department catch up on past minutes.

The city manager was also tasked with setting up another meeting with the Police Benevolence Association (PBA) attorney as their attorney was unable to make the scheduled meeting. PBA negotiations are stalled until such time as the PBA attorney can attend a meeting with the City.

The City’s management of Poe Springs is on hold pending City Manager Booth meeting with the county manager to determine the status of Poe Springs’ construction projects. The City has been slated to take over Poe Springs, but the issue has been on hold due to completion of construction at the springs.

Booth is to act as executive director for the city’s Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) until such time as the CRA plan is revised, something that should be done every five years, and it is determined whether the CRA needs to hire an executive director. Commissioner and CRA Board Member Byran William is chairman of the CRA at this time.

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