Palm Coast City Business Meeting Covers Franchise Fee along with Future CDD Development and Annexation Ordinance Readings

city hallFormatted

August 1st, 2023 the Palm Coast City Council held their 6pm business meeting at City Hall.  The meeting opened with public comment, where anyone wishing to speak was allowed to come up and speak for 3 minutes.

Residents came up to bring a host of issues and comments to City Council. Residents came up to demand a forensic audit, to talk about the stormwater system and making sure it is in good working order. Other residents came up to discuss issues of utility bills getting too high, traffic becoming out of hand, looking at the street fund/Special Revenue Fund, and one resident even requested more code enforcement officers so that codes can be properly enforced.  Other residents brought up issues with the vacant lots not being maintained properly and charging owners of those lots fees for the maintenance done by the city. Other issues brought up included providing code booklets to new residents, reconsidering prayer at meetings, the new developments being approved, new roads being paid for by developers, sensitive topics up for vote during daytime meetings, safety issues, needing more commercial business, the wetlands conservation, new building issues, budgeting, the franchise fee.

Discussion was moved from public comment to commentary among the dias. Pontieri stated that she wants staff to look into the issues the public brought forward as well as getting information of getting details on the forensic audits. Danko seconded her statement, as well as Heighter and Klufas. City Manager Bevins stated she would get details of on a forensic audits.

The council then discussed the franchise fee. City Attorney stated that FPL refused the option Pontieri suggested, and at that point Pontieri stated that she withdrew her motion to support the franchise fee.  The discussion on the dias was Klufas explaining the concept of the franchise fee and how it is predominantly carried by the commercial businesses and places like hospitals who use a far greater amount of electricity than residents. Danko then made a motion to require a future councils would have to put a FPL franchise fee on the ballot. City Attorney stated she would have to research how to word that and bring it back. Pontieri stated her agreement on Danko’s motion, as well as Klufas. The council stated their agreement that they were in agreement on the matter and would like to see the ordinance brought back as soon as possible to be voted on.

City Council then heard a presentation on adding another person to the volunteer firefighter retirement board. The three applicants all received three minutes before the council, while the other two were sequestered. The applicant was chosen based on a vote.

Council then heard CDD presentation regarding the development near I-95, Old Kings Road and SR-100. One resident questioned how the City was going to pay for the utilities installation for this development as well as how they plan to deal with the roads in the area with the potential of new homes in this area. Another resident questioned what archeological studies have been done on the property; what kind of buffer will be put on the Masonic Cemetery; and what will be done to the roads. The council then voted on the CDD and passed the motion 5-0.

Council then had a 1st reading of a new ordinance, which would annex the Cascades into the City of Palm Coast. This is a 330.8 acre area in the area of Seminole Woods and SR-100. One resident came up to say that she welcomes the annexation, but her concern is that this will bring more people into the area where many complain about airport noise. Another resident asked how much it will cost to annex the land. The presenter stated that the cost of this will be on the applicant. The council then voted to pass this ordinance’s first read 5-0.

Greg Blose from the Palm Coast Flagler Regional Chamber got up to talk about the importance of the cell phone tower additions to the area. Blose stated that he was happy to see some progress about improving the cell phone signal issues. The consent agenda passed 5-0.

Public participation was opened up again. One resident invited the council and those watching, to come to the International Overdose Awareness day on August 31st. There will be a walk over the bridge with an event at Veterans Park afterwards. Another resident came up to thank Klufas for his sidebar comments which helped her to understand some of the subjects better. Council made their comments amongst each other thanking each other and the residents for their comments before adjourning for the evening.

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *