HIGH SPRINGS – Commissioners unanimously approved a license agreement between the City of High Springs and Anderson’s Outdoor Adventures to provide interim management assistance and shuttle services for the Canoe Outpost. Anderson’s will provide those services until the City can work through the request for proposal (RFP) process and get a long-term operator under contract.

“Anderson's Outdoor Adventures has a piggyback contract with Alachua County and the state of Florida that the city could piggyback on,” said City Manager Ashley Stathatos. City staff is currently in discussion with Anderson’s and working to complete an agreement.

City Attorney Scott Walker reported that although the company has a $500,000 insurance policy with the County, the City also will have responsibility for insurance as well. Parks and Recreation Department Project Manager Brian Langston will be overseeing the facility.

The Commission unanimously approved Resolution 2021-P, which formally adopts the donation of a conservation easement over and across the property to Alachua Conservation Trust, Inc.

In other City business, commissioners voted unanimously to award the construction loan for Well #3 to Truist Financial Corporation Governmental Finance, Charlotte, North Carolina. The bonds will be secured by a first priority pledge and lien on the net revenues of the water and sewer system.

Assistant City Manager Bruce Gillingham reported that the water well cost came in at $667,700. The city is requesting $850,000, which is around 20 percent additional for any possible change orders that may arise during the project.

The Commission also unanimously approved an application by Leslie and Luke Lynn for a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) 21-01 in a quasi-judicial public hearing. The approval is the first step in allowing them to brew beer and other beverages on site. The business is to be called River Rise Brewery and will include an area for consumption.

The proposed location is within the High Springs Industrial Park, located off of Northwest 182nd Avenue. The area is zoned Industrial, with a future land use of Business/Industrial. Though the original application included both Lots 1 and 2, it was later revised by the applicant to include only Lot 2.

The North Central Florida Regional Planning Council reviewed the documents and found the proposed use was in compliance with the standards outlined in the city’s Land Development Code. This includes items like adequate drainage, ingress/egress, parking, screening, zoning requirements and lighting.

In other business, Commissioners considered and approved the final plat and construction documents for Springfield Subdivision, a 30-lot rural subdivision located on the south side of Northwest 182nd Avenue, west of Cinnamon Hills subdivision. The 50.15-acre property will have one-acre lots and will be serviced by septic tanks and city water. The Preliminary Plat was previously approved by the Commission on Sept. 10, 2020.

Under unfinished business, Commissioners unanimously approved a Traffic Light Maintenance Agreement with the City of Gainesville for emergency repairs and preventive maintenance. The City of High Springs is compensated by the Florida Department of Transportation for the maintenance and operation of the two traffic signals located within the city. The City has an interlocal agreement with the City of Gainesville to perform the maintenance and operation of the traffic signals.

In past years, the City of Gainesville has fulfilled this agreement at a 33 percent-discounted cost. For fiscal year 2022, the discount has been eliminated and the full cost is being charged.

The traffic signals are located on US 441/US 41 and County Road 236 and at US 27 and State Road 20, both of which are on High Springs Main Street. The City of Gainesville also maintains the school flashing lights on County Road 236 for the High Springs Community School.

The fiscal year 2021 – 2022 agreement is for $10,995, but the agreement also includes possible additional costs up to an additional $13,047.

Gillingham reported that half of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding has been received by the City. He asked commissioners to consider several projects and to provide direction at the Nov. 18 commission meeting. Suggested items the funds can be used for include cardiac monitors, cameras for the police department, broadband internet, and items related to water and/or sewer. The City has until 2024 to spend the funds.

The City’s Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project is out to bid. AMI meters consist of water meters that communicate directly with the City and can easily be read by the customer online to determine their water usage. The system eliminates the need for in-person water meter reading every month and more accurately measures water usage.

Commissioner Scott Jamison was the recipient of an eagle commemorating his service to the city’s recreation program through the years. The award, which was presented by Parks and Recreation Director Damon Messina, is called the “Lifetime Award for Dedication and Leadership in Recreation for the Communities in North Central Florida”. Prior to issuing the award Messina talked about the many ways in which Jamison has served the recreation community in the area.

Area resident Bruce Borders made an announcement that on Nov. 11, veterans, fire fighters and police officers are invited for a dinner at Galloping Gary’s in Alachua any time from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

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