Home Page News

City Completes $150,000 CARES Act Project Expanding Storage Capacity for the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs


December 30, 2020 – The Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs’ building at 1107 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard now has the space and capacity for the nonprofit to better serve the over 500 families it has helped feed in 2020.

            City of Green Cove Springs spent $150,000 of its allocated $1.4 million in CARES Act funding to renovate the space in the Augusta Savage Arts and Cultural Center where the nonprofit operates and stores food donations. Classroom space in the center was remodeled to provide more storage for donations and all new electric and A/C and heating were installed in the warehouse and storage areas of the building. New walls were built to designate office, waiting area for families, lockable storage areas, and new bathrooms. The Food Pantry building was also repainted with new ceiling and lighting installed.  

These renovations allow the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs to provide and prepare more than canned and non-perishable food to the community, as well as allow it to keep more donations in its center of operations.

Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs Director Wynema Lovell said, “There’s just so many blessings that come with this building that’s going to make our job easier and make it easier to help our clients.”

City of Green Cove Springs Mayor Van Royal said, “The Food Pantry has been an integral part of our community and the county. This expansion not only allows them more space for storage, but they will be able to store in refrigerators as well as freezer space.  Access will be easier, and the volunteers will be able to move goods in and out with much less effort. It makes volunteering easier and allows them to better serve our city and families all over Clay County.”

City of Green Cove Springs’ allocation of CARES Act funding was based off proposed CARES Act funded projects the City submitted to Clay County. Renovations to the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs location was one of many projects the City received funding to complete.

 Clay County also awarded The Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs a $35,000 grant through its CARES Act Nonprofit Grant Program. The nonprofit purchased shelves, storage racks, food prep tables, 3-door cooler and freezer units, hand sanitizer, and sanitizer and storage cabinets. With building renovations and CARES Act grant, it now has the space and equipment to better serve current and future families throughout the community.

Chairman of the Clay County Commission Mike Cella said, “The CARES Act has been a great opportunity to strengthen our nonprofit organizations and increase their capacity to help those in the community most impacted by the COVID-10 Pandemic. The improvements made at the Green Cove Springs Food Pantry were funded through a partnership with Clay County and the City of Green Cove Springs and will have a lasting impact that will directly benefit local families.”

The City of Green Cove Springs continues to work on improving the Food Pantry through CARES Act funding with a paved drive-thru, parking circle, and cover for the Food Pantry pick up area. City anticipates that work will be complete before Spring 2021.


City Council July 7, 2020, Meeting Brief


July 8, 2020 –

Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. First reading of Ordinance No O-03-2020, a proposed amendment to Sec. 117-792, regarding spacing requirements of Alcoholic Beverages from churches and schools.

The proposed staff amendment to Sec. 117-792 is to eliminate the spacing and license type requirements in the Central Business District for on-premises consumption of alcohol, an exception of selling alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption which reads:

“Appropriately licensed restaurants in the Central Business District (CBD), the Gateway Corridor District (GCD), or within a commercial shopping center under one common ownership in the C-2 zoning district, which would be allowed no closer than 200 feet from the nearest church of school or which were separated by at least a road or highway. Food must be sold at all times alcohol is and must account for over 50% of business sales.”

Planning and Zoning staff recommends this amendment as it will allow business such as breweries, pubs, nightclubs, and bars to locate within the Central Business District and create a more vibrant downtown.

                        City Council passes Ordinance No O-03-2020 first reading in a 5 – 0 vote  

Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council.

  1. City Council approval of Minutes from 5-19-2020 Regular Session and 6-09-2020 Special Session.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. Council establishes workshop dates for reviewing the Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Plan for FY 2020/2021.  

City Council tentatively set August 4 at 9:00 a.m., August 6 at 9:00 a.m., and August 11 at 9:00 a.m. as workshop dates for reviewing the Operating Budget and the Five Year Capital Improvement Plan.

                        Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council acceptance of the Legal Report for Annexation – June 2020. Total Legal Services are $28,307.00.

Pulled by Vice Mayor Ed Gaw for more background information on item.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. Council establishes hearing dates for the first and final hearings to adopt the City of Green Cove Springs Operating Budget and Five Year Capital Improvement Plan for FY 2020/2021.

Staff proposes to hold the first hearing on September 15, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. and the final hearing on September 29, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers.

                        Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to declare items listed on Exhibit “A” as surplus and to process accordingly.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the Mayor to execute, Disbursement Request #2, which includes Mittauer Invoice #20235 in the amount of $14,500.00 (HRWWTF Ground Storage Tank #3 Design (which is already paid)) and Mittauer Invoice #20236 in the amount of $5,000.00 (Magnolia Point Pressure Improvement) for a total amount of $19,500.00 for the Design Loan Agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Drinking Water, State Revolving Fund (SRF), Loan DW 100102 for $356,800.00 for the design of capital improvements to the City’s Water System.

City Council authorizes staff to spend $19,500.00 of the $356,800.00 Florida Department of Environmental Protection Drinking Water State Revolving Fund Loan for the design of the capital improvements to the City’s Water System.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Change Order #1 to Bid Award LC 2020-06, Reynolds Water System Improvements and MOBRO Utility Extension, in the amount of $60,245.00, increasing the contract amount from $1,000,449.00 to $1,060,294.00, for replacement of water services in the Cove Subdivision, to General Underground LLC.

City Council approves the increase of the bid award from $1,000,449.00 to $1,060,294.00 to General Underground LLC for replacement of water services in the Cove Subdivision. This is in addition to General Underground LLC also working on Reynolds Water System Improvements.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. Ratification of transformer purchases for hurricane season and stock.

City Council approves the Electric Department to purchase additional electric transformers for use in capital projects and emergencies.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of electric inventory material purchases, electric project material purchases and additional hurricane preparation material purchases to American Wire Group in the amount of $74,887.75, American Wire Group (Chapman Project Cable) in the amount of $38,523.38, Irby in the amount of $38,868.72, and Anixter in the amount of $77,4204, for a total amount of $229,708.89.

City Council approves the purchase of materials for several different Electric Department capital projects that staff is currently working on completing.

Pulled by Vice Mayor Ed Gaw for clarification.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to purchase utility poles for the Chapman 3rd feed capital project from ACE Pole Company in the amount of $30,242.00 under FMPA Bid #2019-009.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Resolution No. R-09-2020 to adopt Planning and Zoning Board By-Laws.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council Approval of and authorization for the Mayor to execute a Letter of Concurrence for Setback Waiver for 302 St John’s Avenue to construct a dock within 25’ of the adjacent upland riparian property.

Pulled by Council Member Connie Butler for clarification on Letter of Concurrence.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Resolution R-10-2020, relating to the provision of Stormwater Management Services and adopting a mitigation credit policy.

City Council approved Resolution R-10-2020, which sets the mitigation credit policy and form of the Stormwater Utility Fee, approved February 18, 2020.

                        Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. FMPA Report – July 2020

No vote by City Council needed on this item. Bob Page delivered report to City Council.

  1. First reading as to form only Ordinance O-07-2020 to set franchise terms for containerized commercial solid waste providers

Amendment clarifies Section 66-10(a) (3) which states that containerized commercial solid waste franchises are authorized for 5 years with the City, giving City Council the option to renew authorization for an additional two 5-year terms. If authorization is not renewed, contract between City and franchise ends at the end of a 5-year term.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. Mobile Food Vendor Special Event Good Time Charlie’s Food Cove

Maryanne Scales, representing GTC Food Cove, submitted a Mobile Food Vending Application to Development Services Department. The application is for .23 acres of undeveloped land at 305 N Palmetto Avenue to become Good Time Charlie’s Food Cove. Scales proposes that the site will host three food trucks every Saturday between 10:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. The site will have a concrete area for food trucks to operate and four unpaved parking spaces.

City staff approved the application with the following conditions: Must meet CDC guidelines for Bars and Restaurants and Social Distancing Requirements, vendors are responsible for the proper disposal of waste and trash as stipulated in LDC Section 78-129(6), and must include erosion control—gravel/concrete for parking lot area, so as not to bring sediment onto the street.

Scales said that her vision for the property is to turn Good Time Charlie’s into an event space with permanent bathrooms and a gazebo for seating and entertainment. Also wants to turn the building on the property into a restaurant, with the top floor as an event space and bar and the ground floor as a restaurant.

No voting from City Council needed. All five members voiced their support of the mobile food vending space.

  1. City Council designation of Voting Delegate for the 94th Annual Florida League of Cities Conference in Orlando, Florida on August 13-15, 2020

City Council Member Steven Kelley nominated Mayor Van Royal to represent City of Green Cove Springs as a Voting Delegate in the 94th Annual Florida League of Cities Conference. Vice Mayor Ed Gaw seconded the nomination.

Nomination passed 5 – 0 by City Council.

  1. City Manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence.

CARES Act projects, as submitted to the Council by City Manager Steve Kennedy:

City Manager Steve Kennedy presented a list of projects put together by staff to be funded by the City’s designation of $500,000 from the CARES Act Program. Kennedy requested City Council to look over list and give guidance on the projects they would like City staff to pursue with the funding. After some discussion, City Council recommended the following five initiatives: Technology solutions to provide quality laptops and improve connectivity for virtual meetings and improve City’s firewall, touchless faucets, hand sanitizing stations, lights, and automated doors for City-owned buildings and bathrooms, outside speakers for COVID concerns and overflow of public meetings, smart lighting, permanent bathroom for Augusta Savage Friendship Park, upgrading Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center classrooms for expansion and food pantry additional storage, and paved drive and cover for food pantry pickup area.

City Council passed 5 – 0 allowing City Manager to have full authority and flexibility to establish projects for CARES Act funding, as well as make any needed changes to proposed project list.  

  1. City Council Reports and/or Correspondence.

Vice Mayor Ed Gaw proposes that City Council investigate face mask mandates in surrounding cities in consideration of a mask mandate in City of Green Cove Springs. After much discussion, City Council unanimously agreed to instruct City Manager Steve Kennedy and City Attorney Jim Arnold to provide copies of mandates from surrounding cities and to discuss a mask mandate for City of Green Cove Springs in a Special Session meeting.


City of Green Cove Springs Responds to a Weekend of Outages from July 10 to July 13, 2020


July 20, 2020 – The City of Green Cove Springs experienced a series of power outages from Friday, July 10, to Monday, July 13, 2020, affecting a large percentage of customers.

While the City strives to provide timely information and answers when outages occur, we wanted to present a more detailed account of each outage to customers for them to better understand what caused these outages and how City Electric and Public Works crews responded to each.

Below is an account of each outage in the order that they happened:

On Friday, July 10, at 8:30 p.m. the City received reports of two outages after an evening thunderstorm. The first outage was due to a lightning strike hitting a transformer in Magnolia Point, affecting an estimated 200 homes in the subdivision. The lightning strike tripped a circuit that provided power to the affected homes. Electric crews found the damaged transformer, disconnected it, and replaced it. It took crews two hours to identify and disconnect the damaged transformer. This restored power to everyone except homes on Blackstone Court. The transformer was replaced two hour later, restoring power to the remaining homes.

            The second outage was located on CR 209 and caused by overhanging trees around a utility pole, affecting an estimated 10 homes. The pole was cleared of overhanging tree canopy and the transformer was reset. It took crews a total of four and a half hours to fix both outages and restore power to all affected homes.

            On Saturday, July 11, at 3:45 p.m. an outage caused by a fallen power line across US 17 at Harbor Road due to a failed switch at a utility pole affected an estimated 1,400 customers located north of Harbor Road, including Magnolia Point, and some businesses along US 17. Electric crews replaced the failed switch and reattached the power line to the new switch and utility pole, restoring power to affected homes and businesses by 6 p.m. The failed switch that caused the outage is estimated to be 20 years old and failed either due to the thunderstorm that previous night or age.

            On Sunday, July 12, at 11 p.m. crews responded to an outage caused by a tree falling on a power line on S Oakridge Avenue, affecting Pinewood Apartment Complex and 20 homes. Public Works crew assisted in removing the fallen tree, while the electric crew replaced the fallen wire. Power was restored to affected homes by 3:30 a.m.

            On Monday, July 13, at 10:30 a.m. the City received reports of an outage that affected 1,500 customers north of Harbor Road, some businesses on US 17, and businesses in Reynolds Park. The outage was caused by a failed switch that was in service for less than three months on a utility pole along CR 15A. The outage cut power to one of two main circuits that feed electricity into Green Cove Springs city limits. With parts to repair the circuit not readily available, crews moved all affected customers to the second main circuit into city limits and restored power by noon.

            However, the City experienced power bumps affecting all customers throughout Monday afternoon due to all customers using the same main power circuit for electricity, exceeding capacity on the circuit. Parts needed to repair the second main power circuit were found in South Florida and sent to Green Cove Springs that afternoon. Electric Department received the parts by 7 p.m. Crews finished repairs and returned power to normal operations by 8:30 p.m.

Under the $10.7 Million Loan for Electric Improvements passed by Green Cove Springs City Council in April 2018, the City is currently working on two projects that will improve electric capacity to residents and businesses of Green Cove Springs and not only minimize outages, but shorten the duration of future power outages.

            The first is upgrades to Chapman substation, which is where the City receives electricity from the Florida Power and Light electrical grid and distributes it through the City of Green Cove Springs electrical system to businesses and residents. Upgrades include adding a third transformer and a third main circuit into the city and installing a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system at the substation and throughout the city’s electric system. SCADA will allow the City Electric Department to monitor the system in real time and help expedite restoration during outages by remotely resetting power to parts of the city’s electrical system. The purchase of the third transformer has been out to bid and the selected contractor will be presented in front of City Council on July 21, 2020. Once approved by City Council, it will take six months to build the transformer and send it to the City. During that time the contracted engineer will design the remaining substation improvements and SCADA. The third circuit has been designed and is out for bid with an estimated completion date of December 2020. All upgrades are expected to be complete by Spring 2021. These upgrades will help reduce the occurrence of power bumps like the ones experienced on Monday and increase the capacity of the electrical system to better support Green Cove Springs electrical customers.

            The second project is replacing and upgrading the underground electric system in Magnolia Point This new system will replace electric wires and transformers that are over 40 years old and well past their expected service life. The new system is currently in design. Equipment for the new system has been ordered and will take three to four months to build and ship to Green Cove Springs. Once installed, the new system is designed to increase reliability, capacity, and redundancy of electricity use in Magnolia Point, as well as lessen the frequency and duration of future power outages in the subdivision and surrounding homes. Construction is estimated to start by December 2020 and estimated to be finished by December 2021.

These projects are just two of a larger list of electrical system projects expected to be completed by 2021 under the $10.7 Million Loan for Electric System Improvements. Once finished, these projects will upgrade the electrical system to support the current population of Green Cove Springs as well as serve new residents and businesses as the city grows.

For a more in-depth update on the projects under the Electric System Improvements Loan, go to www.greencovesprings.com. The City will post a report on the current status of projects under the loan on the city website by July 23, 2020.


City Council Jan. 22 Meeting Brief: Charter Amendments Approved for April Elections


Jan. 24, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – City Council approved the second and final reading of City Ordinance No. O-01-2019, placing the City Charter amendments recommended by the Charter Review Committee on the ballot for April 2019 elections.

Amendments include: Providing a general statement that the City shall abide by all applicable nondiscrimination laws of the state and federal government; allow city manager to authorize budgeted expenditures of up to $25,000; allow city manager to authorize reasonable and necessary emergency expenditures for operating, public health and safety disasters; require the city manager to evaluate the city clerk annually, and not require the city attorney to reside or have an office within the city.

City Council also approved the grant funding and for City Manager Steve Kennedy to use that funding to hire Mittauer & Associates as the engineering firm for Phase One Construction of the Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility project. Phase One includes improvements to the plant reclaimed water systems, plant electrical upgrades, and rehabilitation of Lift Station #2 and Lift Station #4.

City Council also approved to withdraw the Recreational Trails Program (RTP) Grant for the St. Johns River Trail, Phase II, for staff to re-apply at a future date. The current grant amount only covers a little over a quarter of the project cost. Staff would like to withdraw and re-apply at a future date because the maximum grant amount has doubled, and staff feels confident that the project can be awarded more money under this grant program in the future.


December 8, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


December 9, 2020 –

            Awards and Recognition

  1. Proclamation – Zeta Phi Beta Sorority

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority was recognized for their contributions to the community by the City Council as they celebrate their 100th year as an active sorority.

  1. Recognition – Boy Scout Troop 557

City Council recognized Green Cove Springs Boy Scout Troop 557 for giving their time on Saturday, November 14, to clear and trim brush for emergency access at a residence on CR 209 in Green Cove Springs. The owner of the home is recovering from a heart attack and needed emergency vehicle access to her home. Boy Scout Troop 557 was able to clear enough brush that the home was once again visible from the street and emergency vehicles can have access. City of Green Cove Springs Electric Department staff also assisted in clearing brush around an electric power pole in a right-of-way by the house. Mayor Van Royal gave each member of the Boy Scout Troop Key to the City pins for their service.

Public Hearings

  1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance No. O-11-2020, an Ordinance modifying Water Rates – Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.

This is a second reading to increase water rates by 3% for FY 2021, which was approved by City Council as part of the FY 21 budget. City Council approved of the first hearing on November 10, 2020. This increase will take effect on December 8, 2020, which is the date for the second and final reading. The new rates will be reflected in customers’ January 2021 utility bills.

      Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance No. O-12-2020, an Ordinance modifying Wastewater Rates – Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.

This is a second reading to increase wastewater rates by 9% as outlined in the rate study to finance proposed capital improvements to the City’s wastewater and reclaimed water systems that was approved by City Council in August 2016. The first reading was approved by City Council on November 10, 2020. This increase will take effect on December 8, 2020, which is the date of the second and final reading. The new rates will be reflected in customers’ January 2021 utility bills.

      Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. First Reading of Ordinance No. O-15-2020 Amendment regarding Condominium and Townhouse Requirements and requiring approval of a Special Exception for Multifamily Dwellings in excess of 35’ in height in the R-3 High Density Residential Zoning District.

Staff is proposing changes to the Residential High-Density R-3 Zoning District in that Condominium and Townhouse Development will have the same density control requirements as Multifamily (rental) dwellings. Staff also proposes adding a requirement to all multifamily development (including Condominium and Townhouse) that any development that exceeds three stories in height has to be approved as a special exception subject to specific conditions.

Passed 5 -0 by City Council

Consent Agenda

  1. City Council approval of three Police Vehicles for the 2021 fiscal year.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the Mayor to execute, Disbursement Request #7 in the amount of $6,625.00 to the Design Loan Agreement for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan Application DW 100102 for $356,800.00, for the design of capital improvements to the City’s Water System.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Purchase Order for Building Inspection and Plan Review Services with Charles Abbott and Associates.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval for funding to Cummins Southeast in the amount of $30,675.90 for purchase of a generator for Lift Station #3, utilizing Sourcewell Cooperative Bid ID# 103544. This is part of the HMGP Project # 4337-294-R, from which we have received an advance payment of $23,006.92 (75%).

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Evidence Custodian and Administrative Commander attending PEAF Conference.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of funding in the amount of $25,814.09 to Anixter and $27,575.38 to AWG for electric material inventory for operating and capital projects.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Task Order # 1-20-400 to Tocoi Engineering, LLC in the amount of $52,000.00 for Professional Engineering services agreement to Design, Permit and Supply Drawings for construction of the West St. drainage basin project from Walnut St. to MLK holding pond.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval for funding to Cummins Southeast in the amount of $31,795.19 for purchase of a generator for Lift Station #6, utilizing Sourcewell Cooperative Bid ID# 103544. This is part of the HMGP Project #4337-215-R, from which we have received an advance payment of $23,846.39 (75%).

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of the Unaudited FY 2020 Revenues and Expenditures Report and the Quarterly Investment Report for the period ending September 30, 2020.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Contractor Pay Request #5 in the amount of $23,402.16 to Jax Utilities Management for Bid Award LC 2020-07, US 17/SR 16 Force Main Modifications in the amount of $412,900.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Award of Bid LC 2020-17 Chapman Substation Construction to Terry’s Electric in the amount of $879,086.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Award of Bid LC 2020-18 Chapman Substation Relay Panels to Keystone Electrical MFG in the amount of $188,908.50.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Pay Application #4 to KBT Contracting Corp in the amount of $12,287.07 for the ASACC Library Building project.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Pay Request #4 in the amount of $243,001.40 to General Underground for Bid Award LC 2020-06, Reynolds Water System Improvements in the amount of $685,724.00 (Base Bid), and Alternative #1 (water & sewer extension to MOBRO) in the amount of $314,275.00 for a total amount of $1,000,449.00.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Council approval to purchase a dual voltage. 2,000 kVA, 480/277 volt transformer for spare stock from Gresco in the amount of $26,800.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Council approval of Pay Application #1 from IRBY Construction in the amount of $164,955.60 for the Chapman Third Feed Reconductor project which has a total contract amount of $549,852.00.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approved a Change order #2 to KBT Contracting Corp on September 15, 2020, to build out the Classroom area of Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center for the food bank in the total amount of $148,100.00. Attached is pay #2 for your approval in the amount of $13,015. 12.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Change Order #2 in the amount of $400,000 (includes $20,426.00 contingency/permitting) for water and sewer force main extension County Road 209 South, to General Underground, under Bid Award LC 2020-06, Reynolds Water System Improvements in the amount of $314,275.00, Change Order #1 (Cove Subdivision services replacement) in the amount of $60,245.00 and this Change Order #2 in the amount of $400,000.00 for a total amount of $1,460,244.00.

Mayor Van Royal pulled this item from the Consent Agenda to recuse himself from voting due to a potential conflict of interest.

Passed 4-0 by City Council

Council Business

  1. FMPA Update – December 2020

  1. City Manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence/Executive Summary Reports.

City Manager Steve Kennedy reported that the state accepted the City’s documentation for CARES Act projects and will be getting the $1.3 million allocated to the City very soon. City Council approved the final list of CARES Act projects in a 5-0 Emergency Motion.

Kennedy also reported that renovations to the Green Cove Springs Food Pantry are underway and anticipates them to be complete by December 21.

City Administration is also working with the County to develop a property in Green Cove Springs that was purchased with funding from Florida Communities Trust for a new regional park. Mr. Kennedy told the Council that he will update them as the project moves forward.

City staff is also in the early stages of planning a redesign of the Palmetto/Grove Triangle (which includes the brick welcome sign to the City of Green Cove Springs). Discussed redesign details include turning the section of Palmetto Avenue currently closed to thru traffic into a one-way street and creating a larger and more well-defined area for pedestrians. Staff is also in early discussions with Magnolia Point Home Owners Association to possibly take ownership of the Magnolia Point tower property along Orange Avenue. If the City does agree to take ownership, staff is considering turning the tower into a welcome sign for the City of Green Cove Springs.

Kennedy invited Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels to update the City Council on the Comprehensive Plan Update. Daniels told the Council that staff sent out an RFP to hire a firm on Nov. 25 with an application deadline of Dec. 22. Staff will then create a selection committee to go over the submitted applications, which will include one City Council Member. Vice Mayor Ed Gaw volunteered to be a part of the selection committee.

  1. City Council Reports and/or Correspondence.

October 20, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


October 21, 2020 –

            Public Hearings

  1.       Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Ordinance No. O-14-2020 for the revision of the Building Fee permitting schedule.

City Staff is proposing a 10-15% fee reduction of the majority of building permit fees to come into compliance with state statutory requirements. First hearing passed by City Council on October 6, 2020.

            Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

            Consent Agenda

  1. City Council approval to write off bad debts at September 30, 2020 in the amount of $25,070.36 for a 12-month period ending September 30, 2019 for electric, water, wastewater, solid waste and stormwater.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval for funding in the amount of $80,513.00 to Essential Painting Incorporated for tank painting at all water and wastewater facilities, piggybacking on University of Florida Bid #20B334 for wastewater facility painting.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Pay Request #1 / Final Payment in the amount of $154,622.00 to Sawcross Inc. for modifications to the Harbor Road Wastewater Treatment Facility biosolids system.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to declare items listed on Exhibit “A” as surplus and to process accordingly.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approves award of bid for the annual contract to provide mowing, litter removal and edging of City Right-of-Ways and Ponds in the amount of $140,743.20 per year with Southland Specialties, Inc.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Minutes from 9/29/2020, 10/06/2020 Special Sessions and 10/06/2020 Regular Session.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the Mayor to execute, Disbursement Request #6, which includes Mittauer Invoice #20421 in the amount of $15,000.00 (HRWWTF Ground Storage Tank #3 Design (which is already paid)), Mittauer Invoice #20422 in the amount of $12,500.00 (Water System Improvements (which is already paid)) and Mittauer Invoice #20423 in the amount of $12,500.00 (Magnolia Point Cul-de-sac Pressure Improvement (which is already paid)) for a total amount of $40,000.00, for the Design Loan Agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Drinking Water, State Revolving Fund (SRF), Loan DW 100102 for $356,800.00 for the design of capital improvements to the City’s Water System.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to pay Application #2 to KBT Contracting Corp in the amount of $87,756.03 for the new library building.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

Council Business

  1. Discussion and possible authorization of the Citizens Advisory Committee Structure

On October 6, 2020, City Manager Steve Kennedy explained to the City Council that a Citizens Advisory Committee would function to create citizen involvement and investment, and develop informed ambassadors and future leaders for the City. City Manager Kennedy suggested that he would like to implement an application process for residents to apply to be on the board and applications will be vetted by staff. Kennedy imagines that the committee will be one large group of residents broken up into smaller groups based on topic. Council asked City Manager Kennedy to formally propose his idea of the Citizen Advisory Committee at the next regular session of the City Council. 

During the October 20 meeting, City Manager Kennedy presented the application, letter of acceptance, oath of office, and by laws of the proposed Citizens Advisor Committee to the City Council. These documents reflect the goals and objectives that City Manager Kennedy discussed with the Council during the October 6 meeting. The Citizen Advisory Committee will be treated as an official committee of the City of Green Cove Springs, and will be held to the same level of accountability and transparency as other boards and elected official bodies of the City.

                  Authorization passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence

City Manager Steve Kennedy gave the following updates to the City Council:

            That the City is finalizing the format of CARES Act funding with Clay County. The City continues to work with Green Cove Springs Library in setting up the Story Walk. Implementation of TextMyGov is underway. The City selected a new Electric Director, and should be starting in that position by the end of the calendar year.

Executive Assistant Kimberly Thomas presented a request from resident Hope Chessel to hold a citizen-organized golf cart parade on December 5. The parade will have 30 golf carts total, the citizens will be responsible for organizing the parade, advertising on community forums, and clean up after the parade, and  will have volunteers to man intersections of the parade route through downtown Green Cove Springs. Their request is to have the City close streets, and provide trash cans and police security. City Council was supportive but cautious on allowing the parade. Council approved the request on the conditions that citizens file a minor special event application through the City for the parade (which details the CDC Guidelines that the event must follow) and find a sponsor to pay for the cost of police security during the parade.

  1. City Council Reports and/or Correspondence

City Council February 18, 2020, Meeting Brief


Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance O-01-2020 making comprehensive changes to Chapter 70 – Stormwater Utility.

The proposed changes to Chapter 70 – Stormwater Utility is introducing a yearly Usage Fee of $125 per Equivalent Stormwater Unit (ESU), which is set to 3,000 square feet of impervious area or one single-family residential dwelling. This fee was set by City Council at the Special Session Meeting on November, 19, 2019, followed by a presentation bringing together seven years of study and analysis to establish a Stormwater Utility and a base fee/user rate fee structure. The proposed fee, originally recommended to be set between $200 and $250 per ESU, will be used to help support an annual budget of $750,000 in stormwater capital improvement needs and allow the City to fund much needed stormwater system projects.

City staff presented an Ordinance setting the user fee of $125 per ESU annually during the February 4, 2020, meeting and City Council approved the Ordinance. The Ordinance will be presented as a public hearing for its second and final reading and approval on February 18, 2020.

            City Council approved Ordinance O-01-2020 as stated in its second and final reading 4 – 1 with Council Member Mitch Timberlake voting against. City Staff will send a notice to all property owners within City Limits advising them of the new Stormwater User Fee to be included on their 2020 property tax bills. Properties eligible for mitigation credits will also receive information on how the property owner can apply for a mitigation credit by a to-be-determined deadline for the credit to be effective on the 2020 tax bill cycle.

Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council.

8. City Council approval of, and authorization for the City manager to execute, a Professional Services Agreement with Planet Swim, LLC.

      This Professional Services Agreement with Planet Swim, LLC, will turn the management of activities, staffing and entry fees of City Pool to Planet Swim, and the City will be responsible for the maintenance of the spring-fed pool.

      City Council approved agreement 5 – 0.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. Boat and Motor Sales in the Gateway Corridor Commercial District.

Planning and Zoning Director Michael Daniels followed up on Council’s request to amend code to allow boat and motor sales in the Gateway Corridor Commercial District at the February 4, 2020, regular City Council meeting with a presentation and staff recommendations on the request. Staff recommendations include either keeping existing regulations, allow boat sales as Special Exception, allow boat sales as Special Exception and add “use specific” conditions for approval, or further discuss implementing as part of Master Plan.

After extensive discussion, Council approved to table the topic until a downtown development plan is put in place.


Governors Creek Bridge Sidewalk Project to Begin Monday, July 6


7/8/2020 UPDATE: Start date for the Governors Creek Bridge Sidewalk Project has been moved to August 3, 2020, as the contractor for the project requested an extension. 

Work for Governors Creek Bridge sidewalk project will begin on Monday, July 6. 

Click on this link for full press release and details from FDOT: Construction to Begin July 6 on Governors Creek Bridge Sidewalk Project.pdf


March 19 City Council Brief: Water Project Funds and Red Light Camera Enhancements Get the Green Light, Food Truck Friday Proposes Plans to Expand


March 21, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – City Council begins the process of starting capital improvement projects on the City’s water system by passing the first reading of the ordinance to borrow up to $18 million to complete proposed projects, as requested by City staff.

The projects covered in this ordinance include design and construction of improvements to Reynolds Park Water System, design and construction of improvements to the Harbor Road Water Treatment Facility and Bonaventure and Magnolia Point Cul-de-sacs, design and construction of high service pumps and Well #2 in Reynolds Park, design and construction of asbestos concrete pipe replacement, and design and construction of the Governors Creek Water Main.

Once the ordinance is passed in its second and final reading, staff will start with funding projects in order of priority; starting with Reynolds Park water system improvements.

City Council also approved to renew and amend the Professional Service Agreement for American Traffic Solutions (ATS) red light cameras. The amendment authorizes ATS to add Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPR) to the red light cameras on the three intersections within City limits. The ALPRs will be used for law enforcement purposes, such as identifying stolen vehicles, wanted vehicles, and vehicles marked as an Amber Alert or Silver Alert.

With the addition of Automatic License Plate Readers, the agreement has been extended with the City for another five years. The readers will be installed two months after the renewed agreement is finalized.

Ed Gaw, owner of Hi-Liner Gear and Fishing Tackle, Inc. and organizer of Green Cove Springs Food Truck Friday, reported to the City Council Tuesday that the event is growing and he is in talks with Green Cove Springs Police Chief Derek Asdot and City officials to expand.

He said that Food Truck Friday on March 15 attracted an estimated 2,500 people to Spring Park, and that 5 of the 6 food trucks in the park sold out by the end of the night. He’s in talks with Asdot, City Attorney Jim Arnold, and City Manager Steve Kennedy to expand the area of future Food Truck Fridays to include Walnut Street, Spring Street, and Magnolia Avenue. He hopes to work with the City to close down those streets around Spring Park down to allow food trucks to be spread out around the park and give more room for anticipated increased crowds. He plans to present a detailed proposal to City Council soon.


Qualifying for 2019 Municipal Elections starts January 28


Qualifying for City Council Seats 3, 4, and 5 will be open from noon on Monday, January 28, 2019, to noon on Friday, February 1, 2019. Qualifying packets can be picked up at the Clay County Supervisor of Elections, 500 N. Orange Avenue, Green Cove Springs.

 Please read the full Legal Notice for Qualifying for full details, deadlines and dates for municipal elections. 


Electric Loan Projects Update


July 29, 2020 – In April 2018 Green Cove Springs City Council approved a $10.7 million  loan from CenterState bank in Jacksonville to complete 10 years’ worth of electrical system upgrades by 2023. The City provided an overview of those projects in September 2018.

Below is an update of these projects since September 2018. Projects are grouped under “Completed” and “Current.”

Completed

Grounding Improvements: Grounding rods help redirect lighting strikes or any outside electrical surges to electric power poles directly to the ground. These rods are located on every two to three poles in an electric system. Many of these grounding rods in the city’s electric system are currently either missing or in need of repair. This project will be testing the grounding rods and equipment associated with them currently on poles, and the electric utility will make necessary repairs and replacements to this equipment based on testing results. COMPLETED MAY 2019

Pole Inspection Program: The city’s electric utility recently completed an inspection of 25 percent of the city’s electric power poles—a total of 1,400 poles—and are now in the process of replacing 77 poles that failed inspection. These replacements are expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The city’s electric utility will continue inspecting electric power poles in the city for the next three years—dividing inspections in sections of 1,400 poles—and replace poles that fail inspection. The city is also addressing any additional repairs or replacements that are highlighted in these pole inspections. COMPLETED MARCH 2019

Fuse Coordination: The city’s electric utility will inspect fuses that connect sections of the city to the main power line, and will be replacing current fuses as well as installing new fuses throughout the system as needed. This will help minimize the scope of future power outages. COMPLETED OCTOBER 2019

Lightning Arrestors: Lightning arresters are devices on electric power poles that protects insulation and conductors of the electric system from lightning strikes. The city’s electric utility will be inspecting the lightning arrestors installed in the city’s electric system and making replacements as needed, as well as analyzing the entire electric system to make sure that the city has an adequate number of lightning arrestors and that they are installed in the best locations.  COMPLETED MAY 2019

County Road 209 Rebuild: A half-mile of power lines will be replaced with concrete poles and stronger cables that can withstand falling trees or tree limbs. As CR 209 is an area with a heavy tree canopy, this replacement will help minimize the damage of falling trees or limbs to power lines during severe storms. COMPLETED DECEMBER 2018

Pine and Cypress Rebuilding: The city’s electric utility will also be rebuilding and replacing two blocks of power cable on each street, for a total of four blocks of cable in this project. COMPLETED MARCH 2019

Chapman Circuit 2 Feeder Rebuild: The city’s electric utility will be rebuilding circuits, replacing power lines and replacing and relocating poles as necessary from north to south on Roberts Street. COMPLETED AUGUST 2019

Substation Inspections and Maintenance: This loan also jump starts annual thorough and detailed inspections of all four substations in the city. Based on the inspection results, the city’s electric utility will make replacements and repairs to its substations. These inspections will continue past the three-year timeline of loan projects. This project was taken out of the loan and moved to the annual operating budget.  This project should be done annually and should be supported by the annual operating budget.

Current

Underground Cable Replacement: Underground cable in some areas of the city are over 30 years old. Over the next three years, the city’s electric utility will be testing underground cable and replacing cable as needed. After looking at the cable, the City determined that the underground electric system in Magnolia Point needed to be replaced, as the electric cable and transformers are over 40 years old and well past their expected service life. This project is currently in design, with the equipment for the new system ordered and on its way. Construction is estimated to start in December 2020 and should be complete by December 2021. 

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) Improvements: Over the next three years, the city’s electric utility will be making SCADA improvements at its substations and various points in the city electric system. This will allow electric utility employees to monitor the system more regularly and be able to remotely access controls to electric equipment when needed. This will help the electric utility pinpoint problems in the electric system faster, which will reduce the duration of future power outages and how long it takes employees to locate and repair the source of an outage. The SCADA system is currently being designed with other upgrades to the Chapman substation, which includes installing a third transformer and third main circuit into the City. All upgrades are expected to be complete by Spring 2021.

Pole Top Switch Inspections and Replacement: Pole top switches help to open and close the feed of electricity within the city’s electric system. The city’s electric utility will inspect these switches and make replacements as needed. This will help with faster response times in future outages. This project was started in October 2019 and is estimated to be completed by Summer 2021.

Third Feed to Magnolia Point: The city’s electric utility will be installing a third feed in the Magnolia Point area to better distribute electricity in the area, as well as provide alternate routes of electricity to the north end of the city. This additional feed will also help relieve the currently overloaded circuit in the two feeds in Magnolia Point.   This project has been designed utilizing a FEMA grant that paid for 75%.  The City anticipates receiving another 75% in FEMA grant funding to complete this project.  This additional funding has allowed the City to expand the scope of this project to include relocating additional cable underground, increasing reliability by extending an additional circuit to Harbor Road (supporting both Magnolia Point and the CR 209 area) and reducing outage restoration efforts.


City Introduces TextMyGov for Streamlined Public Communication


November 25, 2020, Green Cove Springs, FL -  City of Green Cove Springs is excited to introduce TextMyGov, a text bot service designed to answer residents’ and visitors’ most frequently asked questions and concerns.

            Anyone can text to 904-560-5116 to get information on the latest City event or City service, report a code violation or street maintenance issue, and sign up to receive alerts for urgent city announcements, power outages, and any major storms impacting the Green Cove Springs area. Once a person sends a greeting to 904-560-5116 they can follow the text bot’s options and responses to get the information they’re looking for.

            Residents can also use TextMyGov to report a code violation to code enforcement or a city maintenance issue to public works. They will be asked a series of questions to identify the issue, report the location of the issue, and take and send a photo, when possible. This information will be sent to the appropriate city employee’s email address, and that employee can update that resident on the status of their report through the same phone number.

            Residents can also sign up to receive emergency alerts by texting any of these three keywords to 91896: GCSITY (for city notifications). GCSPOWER (for power outages), and GCSWEATHER (for weather notifications). Once a resident signs up their cell number will be automatically added to the phone list for that notification, and will receive text messages from the City when an emergency arises.

Green Cove Springs City Manager Steve Kennedy said, “The TextMyGov service is another step in the City’s desire to move closer to a Smart City as well as being as transparent, informative, and efficient as we possibly can.”

TextMyGov is a free service offered to the public for residents and visitors to get near immediate answers from the City for their most frequently asked questions. We encourage everyone to text 904-560-5116 and try out the service for themselves, whether if it’s to find out what day their garbage will be picked up or to report a sink hole.

For any questions or for more information contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7046 or treynolds@greencovesprings.com.


City Council December 3, 2019 Meeting Brief


Awards & Recognitions

  1. Swearing in of K9 Officer Grit.

Green Cove Springs Police Chief Derek Asdot swore in its first K9 unit officer Grit in the City Council Chambers, with his handler Officer Garrett Crider proudly standing next to Grit. Officer Grit was brought into the police department in June 2019 with the help of the police department’s official charity The Grit Foundation, who assisted the department in paying $7,500 for Grit as a trained working dog. K9 Officer Grit and K9 Handler Crider spent the next six months completing required training for Grit to become patrol and odor certified. Since completing that certification in mid-November, K9 Officer Grit has already assisted in an estimated half dozen arrests.   

Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. First Hearing of Ordinance No. O-16-2019, amending City Code Chapter 78, Article V, concerning transient merchants.

This proposed amendment reorganizes transient merchants into three divisions, with mobile food vendors—commonly known as food trucks—as an added third division of transient merchants. This added division for mobile food vendors includes specific permitted zoning where food trucks can be located, adds two permits of Mobile Food Vendor, Individual Food Vendor or Property Owner and Special Event that mobile food vendors can apply for, and establishes a specific application review and permitting process, and restrictions for mobile food vendors.

Passed 3 -2 by City Council with additions of staff recommendations for liability insurance for mobile food vendors and no buffer between mobile food vendors and brick and mortar businesses. Mayor Steven Kelley and Council Member Pam Lewis voted against, disagreeing with the no buffer addition to the amendment.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. Master Site Development plan for Oak Street Apartments, located at 806 Oak Street.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council.

  1. Discussion of placing a Little Free Library Box in Spring Park and at the Augusta Savage Center.

The purchase and installation of the three Little Free Libraries will be paid for by CalaVida as a gift to the City of Green Cove Springs.

Passed 5 – 0 with the agreement that the City will care and maintain all three Little Free Libraries once they are built.

  1. Further City Council consideration of the purchase of the Rivers Home.

Homeowner has accepted the City’s offer of $285,000 with a deposit of $20,000, contingent upon obtaining financing within 90 days, and 30 days to close, with proposed changes including changing amount of time to obtain financing from within 90 days to within 60 days.

Passed with requested changes 4 – 1 by City Council, with Council Member Mitch Timberlake voting against.


August 4, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


August 4, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief 

August  5, 2020– 

Awards and Recognition

1. Human Resources Director Mary Jane Lundy introduces the Summer 2020 Interns to the City Council. This summer’s interns include Max DiStefano working with Planning and Zoning, Ashlen Ward working with Public Works Engineering Technician Greg Bauer on GIS mapping for the Public Works Department, Bevin Coburn working with Stormwater Division, and Morgan Haley working with the Police Department as their media intern. 

2. Cove Star Award

City of Green Cove Springs Police Chief Derek Asdot awarded the second Cove Star Award to Assistant Public Works Director Steve Thomas for his role in assisting the police department with responding to a call of a capsized boat and rescuing three people seen swimming from the boat in the St Johns River on June 2, 2020. Green Cove Springs Police Dispatch received the call about a capsized boat near the Governors Creek Boat Ramp at 6:30 p.m. With Green Cove Springs Police Department worried about getting its patrol boat out on the river in time, officers responding to the call asked Dispatch to call Steve Thomas. Thomas, a 33-year City employee and avid boater, was already on the river when he received the call and was able to get to the capsized boat and rescue the three people out of the river to the Governors Creek Boat Ramp. 

Chief Derek Asdot said that Thomas not only plays an integral role in Public Works projects and day-to-day operations, but is also passionate about Green Cove Springs and his quick response to assist the Police Department in this rescue is an example of his love for the city and the ppeople who call Green Cove Springs home.

Public Hearings 

1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance O-07-2020, an Ordinance to set franchise terms for containerized commercial solid waste providers. 

Vice Mayor Ed Gaw made motion to approve Ordinance. Motion passes 5 – 0 by City Council. 

2. First reading of Ordinance O-09-2020, an Ordinance amending the Land Development Code, including adding definitions for Emergency Shelter and Recreational Facility, as well as amending the permitted uses and special exceptions of the institutional zoning district for clarity, naming specific uses such as government uses, hospitals, and emergency shelters; adding supplemental regulations for emergency shelters. 

Planning and Zoning Director Michael Daniels explained to Council that this Ordinance would allow for private individuals and organizations to establish transitional housing (referred to as “Emergency Shelters” in the Ordinance) for homeless individuals in the Institutional Zoning District within Green Cove Springs city limits. Ordinance sets that anyone living in this transitional housing can live for a maximum of 90 days, and that includes services such as counseling and unemployment help to transition homeless individuals to more permanent housing and employment by the end of the 90 day period. Planning and Zoning staff crafted this Ordinance after meeting with community leaders to address homelessness in the community. Community leaders present at the meeting spoke on how the Ordinance will allow them to partner with established homelessness organizations in the community and provide transitional housing to more of the organizations’ clients. 

Council passed the First Reading 5 – 0. Second Reading scheduled for August 25, 2020.

3. First Reading of Ordinance O-10-2020, an Ordinance amending the Gateway Corridor Commercial Zoning District by adding hospitals as a permitted use, and establishments for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption and gas pumps as an accessory use to a convenience store or other retail store as special exceptions. 

City Council expressed support for the Ordinance, but concerns of not establishing designated areas within the Gateway Corridor Commercial Zoning District for these uses. Several Council Members said that they would prefer to see these uses mapped out in specific areas within the zoning district. 

Council Member Steven Kelley motioned to approve the Ordinance with addition of adding hospitals as a special exception. Mayor Van Royal recused himself from the vote as he is a member of the board of Ascention St. Vincent’s Clay County Hospital. Motion passes 4 – 0 by City Council. 

Consent Agenda

1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the Mayor to execute, Disbursement Reqest #3, which includes Mittauer Invoice #20291 in the amount of $3,500.00 (HRWWFT ground storage tank #3 design (which is already paid)) and Mittauer Invoice #20293 in the amount of $12,500.00 (Magnolia Point Pressure Improvement (which is already paid)) for a total of $16,000.00 for the Design Loan Agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Drinking Water, State Revolving Fund (SRF), Loan DW 100102 for $356,800.00 for design of capital improvements to the City’s Water System. 

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council 

2. City Council approval of  Pay Request #1 in the amount of $308,653.20 to General Underground for Bid Award LC 2020-06, Reynolds Water System Improvements in the amount of $685,724.00 (Base Bid), and Alternate #1 (sewer & sewer extension to MOBRO) in the amount of $314,275.00 for a total amount of $1,049,000.00.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council 

3. City Council approval of FY 2020 Revenue and Expenditures Report and the Quarterly Investment Report for the Period Ending June 30, 2020. 

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council 

4. City Council approval to declare items listed on Exhibit “A" as surplus and to process accordingly. 

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council 

Council Business 

1. Continued discussion of Clay County Chamber’s request to hold Annual Gala in Spring Park  - October 16, 2020.

City Council discussed the event proposal at the July 21, 2020, Council meeting and requested that the Clay Chamber find a way to serve alcohol away from Spring Park property and get Clay Emergency Manager John Ward’s feedback on hosting 250 people at Spring Park. Executive Assistant and City Event Coordinator Kimberly Thomas reported that Ronnie’s agreed to host the drink table in its parking lot, and Ward’s response to the Chamber was that with how they would have the gala set up with roaming food stations the park would be big enough to discourage gatherings and allow social distancing with an attendance of 250 people.

Even with these responses, City Council continued to be hesitant with allowing an event of that size in Spring Park, given the changing nature of the coronavirus pandemic. Council Member Matt Johnson motioned to allow the event, contingent that it’s canceled if Govenor Ron DeSantis orders the state back to Phase One reopening. Motion failed 2 -3.

Mayor Van Royal motioned to allow the event with the caveat that the number of coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Clay County remains as they are from August 4, 2020, or better when it is reviewed by the City Council again one month before the event date of October 16, 2020. Motion passes 5 -0 by City Council. Thomas will go back to Clay Chamber with the Council’s decision. 

2. Comprehensive Plan budget request 

Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels presented City Council with the current state of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. He reported that the plan was completed in 2005 and updated in 2011. The plan needs to be updated every seven years to stay current, but the City requested the Department of Economic Opportunity to waive the update of the Comprehensive Plan in 2018. 

As it currently stands, the Comprehensive Plan has not been updated in nearly 10 years. Daniels recommended that the Council approve allocating $25,000 for an Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel to assist staff in updating the plan, or allocate $75,000 for staff to hire a professional services consultant to create a new comprehensive plan to better reflect the current state of the City of Green Cove Springs. Daniels said that he preferred hiring a consultant over updating the current plan. City Council agreed, approving that staff proceeds with hiring a consultant in a 5 – 0 vote.

3. Discussion of and possible approval of a revision to the Stormwater mitigation credit policy 

City Manager Steve Kennedy recommended extending the deadline for mitigation credit applications to November 30, 2020, after staff evaluated the process and determined that property owners did not receive adequate notice to aallow sufficient time to properly apply for mitigation credits. Council agreed with the recommendation and approved extending the deadline to November 30, 2020, in a 5 – 0 vote. 

4. City Manager and City Attorney reports and/or correspondence 

City Manager Steve Kennedy reported that the Clay County Board of Commissioners approved the City’s CARES Act funding amount at $620,000 for proposed projects in response to COVID-19.

5. City Council reports and/or correspondence 


North Florida TPO Traffic Safety Survey


The North Florida TPO is asking Clay County residents to fill out its Traffic Safety Survey to assist them in prioritizing safety investments in its update of the Regional Strategic Safety Plan. Residents can fill out the survey until Friday, June 28, and a completed survey is a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card.

RSSP Survey flyer.jpg 


Convo Around the Cove: Open for Business


Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds chats with Planning and Zoning Director Michael Daniels about new business and residential development in Green Cove Springs, as well as new ordinances and other initiatives focused on development for the city. Be the first to hear what's open for business in Green Cove Springs! Intro and Outro music: On the Verge by Joseph McDade

July 21, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


July 22, 2020 –

            Awards and Recognition

  1. City Council and Pam Lewis, Former Council Member, to present Proclamation and Key to the City to Wynema Lovell, Green Cove Springs Food Pantry.

City Council and former Council Member Pam Lewis presented a proclamation and Key to the City to Wynema Lovell for her work as a founder of the Green Cove Springs Food Pantry, dedicating countless volunteer hours to the food pantry and its success for 31 years.

            Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance No O-03-2020, a proposed amendment to Sec. 117-792, regarding spacing requirements of Alcoholic Beverages from churches and schools.

The proposed staff amendment to Sec. 117-792 is to eliminate the spacing and license type requirements in the Central Business District for on-premises consumption of alcohol, an exception of selling alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption which reads:

“Appropriately licensed restaurants in the Central Business District (CBD), the Gateway Corridor District (GCD), or within a commercial shopping center under one common ownership in the C-2 zoning district, which would be allowed no closer than 200 feet from the nearest church of school or which were separated by at least a road or highway. Food must be sold at all times alcohol is and must account for over 50% of business sales.”

Planning and Zoning staff recommends this amendment as it will allow business such as breweries, pubs, nightclubs, and bars to locate within the Central Business District and create a more vibrant downtown.

An applicant still has to apply for a special exception for businesses like breweries, pubs, nightclubs, and bars that still has to be approved by the Planning and Zoning Board. With the approval of this amendment, the spacing limitations will no longer apply to these businesses within the Central Business District.

Second and Final Reading passed 5 – 0 by City Council

Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council.

  1. City Council approval of Minutes from 06-02-2020 and 6-16-2020 Regular Session.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Veteran’s Recognition Ceremony on Saturday, November 7, 2020.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Task Order number 2 to Heart Utilities of Jacksonville, for the Installation of new overhead line on Houston St. from Orange to the substation.

Contract for Heart Utilities of Jacksonville was approved by City Council on January 7, 2020. This is the second task order for work on this project. This task order will cover 18 new utility poles and associated overhead cable and hardware for a cost of $72,000.

                                    Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. Consider adoption of Resolution No. R-11-2020, a Resolution relating to collection of Solid Waste and Recyclable Material within the Magnolia West Subdvision and related issues, including setting a Public Hearing to Final Proposed Solid Waste Service Assessments.

This is the City’s fifth annual assessment of collecting non-ad valorem solid waste assessments on all non-exempt residential property within the Magnolia West subdivision.

                                    Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. Consider adoption of Resolution No. R-12-2020, a Resolution estimating the cost of Stormwater Management Services provided by the City, determining certain tax parcels will be benefited thereby and related issues, including setting a Public Hearing for Final Proposed Stormwater Service Assessments.

This is the City’s fifth annual assessment of collecting non-ad valorem stormwater assessments against all non-exempt real property tax parcels within the City. Staff recommends setting the Public Hearing for Tuesday, September 1, 2020 at 7 p.m.

                                    Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. Approval of Staff recommendations for the award of Bid RFP LC 2020-10 for the purchase of a third power transformer for the Chapman Substation.  

City Staff along with Engineers from Patterson & Dewar recommends SPX Transformer Solutions as the bidder to purchase the third power transformer for the Chapman Substation.

                                    Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Chief Derek Asdot to attend the Florida Executive Development Seminar on September 20-25, 2020 in Key West, FL.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

Supplemental Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. These items are added after the meeting agenda has been posted to the public. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council.

  1. City Council approval of task order to Clark Advisory Services, LLC for Owner Construction Representative Services for oversight of the Augusta Savage Library Construction Project.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of an Interlocal Agreement with Clay County for the Cares Act Funding.

Interlocal Agreement with Clay County for the Cares Act Funding will allow the City to use a portion of the funds given to the County and designated to City of Green Cove Springs to spend on needed projects in response to COVID-19.

                                    Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. Clay County Chamber request to hold Annual Gala in Spring Park – October 2020

Clay Chamber requests use of the entire space of Spring Park for its Annual Gala scheduled for October 16. Executive Assistant and Event Coordinator Kimberly Thomas said that the Chamber is planning for a roaming gala with food stations throughout the park using disposable dishware to serve food, attendees will use picnic tables and benches located in the park and not set up additional seating. Chamber is also asking for road closures around the park for the event and to be able to serve alcohol. Chamber plans to have 250 attendees for this event.

City Council is hesitant with allowing a drink station to serve alcohol in the park, as well as the planned 250 attendees. Council agreed that they would be willing to talk about the event at the August 4 City Council meeting if the Chamber can find a way to serve alcohol outside of the park and get Clay County Emergency Manager John Ward’s advice on the health safety of allowing 250 people in Spring Park at one time.

  1. Scheduling of Required Public Hearings Regarding City’s Local Area Project (LAP) 435677-1-38-02, located at Palmetto Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

City Staff recommends setting the public hearing time and dates to October 6 and October 20 at 5:30 p.m. and asks if City Council would like to participate in those hearings. These public hearings will discuss an 8-foot wide sidewalk to be built on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. from Palmetto Avenue to Vera Francis Hall Park. City Council approved the contract with the Department of Transportation on this project, and to start the design phase of the project, on April 2, 2019.

                                    City Council voiced its interest in participating in the public hearings and passed the proposed hearing dates of October 6 and October 20 at 5:30 p.m. in a 5 – 0 vote.

  1. Establish Tentative Millage Rate for Fiscal Year 2020/2021.

City Council passes the Staff recommended tentative Millage Rate of 3.8 and sets public hearing dates for the Millage Rate on September 15 and September 29 in a 5 – 0 vote.

  1. City manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence

City Attorney Jim Arnold said that Ordinance O-07-2020 to set franchise terms for containerized commercial solid waste providers will be placed in the Aug. 4 agenda for its Second and Final Hearing.

City Manager Steve Kennedy reported to the City Council that the City has hired a company to disinfect the inside of all City buildings for COVID-19 every other Friday until the end of the year.

  1. City Council Reports and/or Correspondence

No significant reports or correspondence from City Council.


City adds School Resource Officers in Partnership with Clay County School Board


Green Cove Springs- City Council approved the interlocal agreement between Clay County School Board and the City of Green Cove Springs that would give $143,534 to the police department for two School Resource Officer positions.

The two officers will be split between Charles E. Bennett Elementary and Green Cove Springs Junior High School, with each assigned to a school. Green Cove Springs Police Chief Derek Asdot said that the officers filling the positions are tenured police officers. Both are receiving certification as School Resource Officers in June.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to place School Resource Officers in Charles E. Bennett Elementary and Green Cove Springs Junior High. We look forward to building upon our current relationship we have with our students and fostering new relationships,” said Asdot. “Thank you to Clay County School Board and Superintendent Davis, as well as the City of Green Cove Springs, City Manager Danielle J. Judd and our mayor and City Council for making this possible.”

The Clay County School Board voted to add School Resource Officers in every public high school and junior high school and a trained School Safety Officer in every public elementary school in early May. This is to comply with a bill Governor Rick Scott signed into law in early March increasing funds to require school districts to put a School Resource Officer in every school in the wake of the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.


March 5 City Council Meeting Brief: City moves forward with water rate study and CIP projects


March 11, 2019, Green Cove Springs – Green Cove Springs City Council approved the updated study of the 2016 Rate Study for Water Utilities by consulting engineers Mittauer & Associates, Inc. and directed staff to return with an ordinance authorizing borrowing of funds for immediate Water Capital Improvement Projects and begin the process of securing a loan during Tuesday night’s meeting.

The presented study was requested by City Council in September 2018 so water rates can reflect the several water infrastructure projects approved for the next five years.

The study identified $16 million in projects prioritized for the next five years, including design and construction of Reynolds Water System Improvements, design and construction of Harbor Road General Storage Tank No. 3, design and construction of Bonaventure Water Treatment Facility Improvements (Magnolia Point 3rd feed), design and construction of Magnolia Point Cul-de-sac Water Main Improvements, and design and construction of Reynolds WTF HS Pumps and Well No. 2 Replacement.

Each of these projects will be funded through a combination of low-interest loans and grants. To accommodate this funding, the study recommends a water rate increase between 2 percent and 5 percent per year over the next 10 years to all Green Cove Springs water customers.

City Staff will first come back with an ordinance for City Council to authorize staff to secure funds for each project--for a total of $16 million—at the March 19 City Council meeting. Staff will then move to the first priority project—the design and construction of the Reynolds Water System Improvements—in April and present City Council to go after the $1.37 million total cost of the project through available funding options.

City Council will review the budget and water Capital Improvement Projects every year, and adjust water rates according to the needs of the budget.


City Council Feb. 5 Meeting Brief: City Honors Police Department Retirees and Moves Forward with City Clerk and Electric Utility Projects


Feb. 7, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – Green Cove Springs City Council honored the retirement of two long-time city police officers. Mayor Connie Butler presented a plaque of service to Green Cove Springs Police Officer James Melvin Acres and Officer Chris Kennison.

Acres worked as a police officer for 28 years, with 18 of those years as part of the Green Cove Springs Police Department. During those years he has served on the Honor Guard, been a part of the FDLE Child Abduction Response Team, and helped train other Green Cove Springs Police officers as one of the department’s firearms instructors, field training officer, and AR15 and Glock Armorer.

Kennison worked as a police officer for 20 years and served as an officer of the Green Cove Springs Police Department since August 1999. During that time, he worked in many areas of the department, including training several officers of the Green Cove Springs Police Department.

Along with saying farewell to these officers, Tuesday’s meeting also brought news of new hires. Human Resources Director Mary Jane Lundy announced two finalists for City Clerk, a position that has been vacant since Julie Clevenger’s retirement in November 2018. Both final candidates are from outside Green Cove Springs, have a Municipal Clerk Certification, a master’s degree in public administration, and 10 years of experience in a city clerk office. Both will be interviewed and selected by the City Council at the end of February.

City Council also approved two purchase orders to Hooper Corporation for electric utility projects. The first purchase order of $86,760 is to install lightning arrestors along power lines from the Chapman Substation into town and proper grounding throughout the entire electric grid. The lightning arrestors will help to prevent extensive damage to power lines in case of lightning strikes, and updating grounding on main points of power in the City’s electric grid will help prevent power surges from traveling down entire circuit lines and damaging electrical equipment.

The second purchase order of $114,900 is to upgrade wire on power lines on Center Street between Palmetto Avenue and Roderico Avenue. Upgrading these lines from copper to aluminum will help the City restore power to those homes and businesses more efficiently during outages, and allow the Clay County School Board offices to switch to the North Substation circuit in order to avoid interruptions to their technical systems during future outages. Both projects are part of the $10.7 million loan for electric upgrades.

Parks and Recreation Programming Director Glee Glisson announced her interest in starting a summer movie series in Spring Park. She plans to hold each movie night by the Spring Park Gazebo once a month from April to September and is looking at cost for movie licensing and equipment such as a projector, projector screen and speakers. The City Council approved the idea and voted for her to come back at the next meeting to present cost options for the monthly event in more detail.


Green Cove Springs City Council to Decide New City Manager This Week


Aug. 27, 2018, Green Cove Springs, FL - The four finalists for the city manager position will be going through a two-day final interview process this Thursday, Aug. 30, and Friday, Aug. 31.

During that two-day period, each candidate will be talking to members of the City Council and city leadership individually.

The interview process also includes a public Meet-and-Greet with all four candidates 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 30, at the Clay County Council on Aging, 604 Walnut Street, Green Cove Springs. Refreshments will be provided. On Friday, Aug. 31, candidates will go through a final interview with the City Council in the City Hall Council Chambers, 321 Walnut Street, Green Cove Springs, from 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. These final interviews will be open to the public, and the city will adjourn after making its final selection for the City Manager position.

The final four candidates for City Manager are Steve Kennedy from Americus, GA, Green Cove Springs Assistant City Manager Mike Null, Green Cove Springs resident Colin Groff, and Mike Renshaw from Winder, GA. Tad Davis dropped out of consideration for the position.


Jan. 8 City Council Brief: City Charter Amendments up for Referendum Vote


Jan. 14, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – Green Cove Springs City Council unanimously voted to bring the proposed City Charter amendments to a referendum vote during the Tuesday, Jan. 8, meeting.

These amendments were brought to the City Council by an appointed Charter Review Committee on the Dec. 4 City Council meeting and include: Providing a general statement the City shall abide by all applicable nondiscrimination laws of the State and Federal government, allow the City Manager to authorize budgeted expenditures of up to $25,000.00, allow City Manager to authorize reasonable and necessary emergency expenditures for operating, public health, and safety disasters, require the City Manager to evaluate the City Clerk annually, and not require the City Attorney to reside or have an office within the city. These amendments will be included in the April 9, 2019, election ballot.

Funding was approved for a couple of emergency stormwater and wastewater repairs on West and Houston Street. A crack in the Houston street trunk line, a major city sewer line, was discovered in mid-December. City Council approved $58,487.29 already spent from the Wastewater Fund Capital Improvement Program budget to repair the crack. An additional $32,500 in a supplemental agenda was approved by City Council to line 340 feet of the Houston street trunk line to prevent future cracks happening on the pipe.

City Council also approved $68,655 as part of the supplemental agenda to repair a storm drainage pipe under West Street. The 54-inch diameter line collapsed between Spruce Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in late December, causing Public Works to close the street and sidewalk. This approval of emergency funding allows Public Works to repair the pipe immediately.

City Council also approved the site plan for a new townhome development and the final phase of Magnolia West. Magnolia West Phase Four will add 126 homes to Magnolia West, with the roads under the responsibility of the City. 

The site development plan for Pinewood Court Townhomes was also approved by the City Council. The new development, located at Pinewood Court, proposes to include 12 townhome units with 26 parking spaces. The site is currently 1.04 acres of vacant land.

Phase One and the master site plan of the Public Works Compound renovations were also approved by the City Council, with the expectation that plans for future phases of the project will be approved only if it is consistent with the approved master site plan. Phase one includes a new 8,000-square-foot administration building and five new public parking spaces. Auld & White Constructors. LLC, have been selected as the contractor for the project, and bidding for sub-contractors will begin in March.

City Council also approved for the City to purchase a used 300 KW generator to have on standby to maintain water and sewage services in the event of a storm or extended power outage for $48,500 and to purchase 100 LED street lights to replace the light fixtures in street lights along U.S. 17 and SR 16 for $24,805.


Dec. 4 City Council Brief: City Moving Forward with Major Projects for 2019


Green Cove Springs, FL – For its last meeting of 2018, Green Cove Springs City Council approved the execution of two significant projects for the City.

City Council executed the loan/grant contract under the Florida Department of Environmental Protection State Revolving Fund program for Phase 1 construction of the Consolidated Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant and improvements to Lift Stations 2 and 4 and the City’s wastewater collection lines. This approval allows Public Works to officially move forward with construction of the wastewater treatment plant and improvements to lift stations and wastewater collection lines.

After spending a majority of 2018 applying for and securing a $600,000 grant through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, City Council approved executing the grant for improvements to the City Pier in Spring Park. This grant will allow the City to design and rebuild portions of the existing pier and floating docks, as well as design and build a new pier and floating docks for larger vessels. Part of the grant will also be used to build a wave attenuating system to protect the pier and docks from wave erosion and damage. This approval allows Public Works to use the grant money and begin work on the City Pier.

City Council also approved to advertise for the city clerk position and a chief building official and a planning and zoning director for Development Services. The city clerk position is currently vacant with Julie Clevinger’s retirement on Nov. 14.

The chief building official and planning and zoning director are part of the restructuring of Development Services, proposed by City Manager Steve Kennedy during the Nov. 13 City Council meeting. The chief building official will report directly to the City Manager and supervise the code enforcement officer. The planning and zoning director will also report to the City Manager and replace the development services director position. This position will focus on supervising planning and zoning. These restructured positions will help support the Development Services Department’s current workload, as well as prepare the department for the anticipated increase in building and development in the future.

The Charter Review Committee gave its concluding report to City Council. Some of the committee’s recommended changes to the charter include adding a nondiscrimination statement, increasing the city manager’s spending authority to $25,000 before seeking approval from the City Council, more clearly defining the scope of city manager’s powers in an emergency and add that the City Council is required to review emergency expenditures made by the City Manager after the emergency, assign annual performance review of the city clerk to the City Manager, and expand the City Council’s field of legal resources removing the requirement for the City Attorney to reside or maintain an office within the City limits. The committee also suggested considerations for future Charter Review Committees once Green Cove Springs reaches a population of 15,000 people, including that the city mayor become an elected position, expand the size of the City Council, review the salary of City Council members, and establish City Council boundary districts.

Parks and Recreation Programming Director Glee Glisson announced new safety rules for Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym. These new rules include no backpacks, purses, or bags of any kind allowed inside the gym, and a minimum of two city staff will be present at the gym. These safety rules apply to the gym’s open hours of 3-7 p.m. seven days a week. Green Cove Springs Police Department officers will also visit the gym every day during open hours. A new sign with these rules will be installed in the gym.

Green Cove Springs residents and visitors will soon see the first mural approved by the City Council under the City’s Mural Program, enacted in 2017. “Cove in Bloom” by Clay County artist Sophie Dentiste will be painted at 404 Walnut Street, on the wall facing Orange Avenue. The mural will feature native Florida flora and fauna in an art deco style. Once the funding is secured, it will take Dentiste two weeks to paint the mural.

Dentiste has set up a GoFundMePage to fund the mural project. All donations will go towards the materials and promotion of the project, with excess funds donated to Mercy Support Services and the Art Guild of Orange Park. After the mural is painted, Dentiste plans to create a key map that visitors can find in local shops and restaurants to identify the native animals and plants featured in the mural. She plans to paint the mural in 2019.


City Begins Spring Park Improvements with $400,000 Grant


Green Cove Springs- City Council approved a $400,000 Land and Water Conservation Fund grant for improvements towards Spring Park. The grant is a matching grant and requires $200,000 from the city, either through general funds or an in-kind match.

The grant will fund several long-awaited renovations and upgrades to Spring Park. Projects include renovating a picnic pavilion, upgrading playground equipment, boardwalk, shuffleboard court and river overlook with fishing pier, extending trails along the river and building new additions such as a canoe/kayak launch, handicap accessible playground, historic replica lighting, and an overlook swing.

These renovations and additions are included in the adopted FY 2018-2022 Capital Improvement Plan and have been part of larger park improvements, which started with the renovation of the Spring Park pool and spring enclosure.

The City submitted a grant application to the Department of Environmental Protection in May 2017.


City Playgrounds and Spring Park Splash Pad Reopens May 22, Outdoor Sports Fields Reopens July 1


May 20, 2020 – Following Clay County Parks and Recreation’s plan to reopen parks, playgrounds, and park facilities, City of Green Cove Springs will reopen all City playgrounds and Spring Park splash pad on Friday, May 22.

All City playgrounds will be open dawn to dusk seven days a week, and the Spring Park splash pad will resume its normal operating hours of 11 a.m .- 8 p.m. daily.

City will also reopen all outdoor sports fields for organized play beginning July 1.

For more information contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7046 or treynolds@greencovesprings.com.


Police Chief Derek Asdot selected to train in the FBI National Academy


Aug. 21, 2018, Green Cove Springs - Green Cove Springs Police Chief Derek Asdot will be heading out to FBI Headquarters in Quantico, VA, this fall as one of 220 law enforcement leaders from around the world selected to participate in the FBI National Academy.

The academy will last 10 weeks—Oct.1 to Dec. 13—and is designed to equip local law enforcement managers with the knowledge and training of best practices in law enforcement to take back to their respective agencies at home. On top of a physical fitness component, the academy includes classes covering topics such as intelligence theory, terrorism and terrorist mindsets, management science, law, behavioral science, law enforcement communication, and forensic science.

“I’m excited about the opportunity to attend the prestigious FBI National Academy and learn the best practices in law enforcement from around the world and bring those skills back to the city of Green Cove Springs,” said Asdot. 

Asdot was nominated by the Jacksonville FBI Field Office to participate in the session this fall.

Plans for Asdot to be nominated and apply for the FBI National Academy have been in the works since he was appointed as Acting Police Chief by City Manager Danielle Judd in April 2017.

Lieutenant John Guzman will serve as Acting Chief of Police while Asdot participates in the FBI National Academy. 


Green Cove Springs Serves New Pickleball Program to Public


September 12, 2018, Green Cove Springs- Twice a week inside Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym laughter and cheering can be heard against the rhythmic pop of racquetball-style paddles lobbing what looks like large ping-pong balls over a tennis net.

It’s the sound of Green Cove Springs swinging into the growing sport of pickleball.

Pickleball is a combination of tennis, badminton and ping-pong. It’s played on a tennis court with smaller boundaries, and players use a large paddle to hit a large, yellow plastic ball with holes over the tennis net to gain points. 

The program is started and led by Green Cove Springs Parks and Recreation Program Director Glee Glisson, a competitive pickleball player. With Tim Murphy, music minister of First Baptist Church in Middleburg, Glisson has competed and won several pickleball tournaments in both age and skill level brackets.

“If you want to be competitive, you can do it at all levels,” said Glisson. “You can play this sport as easy as you want or as competitive as you want.”

The program runs 10 a.m. to noon every Monday and Wednesday and is open to both beginner and competitive players. The city also provides pickleball equipment.

Started in August, the program has already attracted up to 25 people per class, with an average of 10 to 12 people per class. Sign up is on a first-come-first-serve basis at the start of each time block, and the program is open to ages 10 to 100 years old. 

For more information, contact Parks and Recreation Program Director Glee Glisson at 904-297-7500, ext. 3332.


Green Cove Springs New City Manager Starts Oct. 1


September 24, 2018, Green Cove Springs – Steve Kennedy starts his first day as City Manager of Green Cove Springs on Monday, Oct. 1. After City Council offered him the position at the end of August, Kennedy signed a three-year City Manager contract with the city in mid-September.

The City Council will formally introduce Kennedy at its October 2 meeting in the City Council Chambers of City Hall.

Steve Kennedy was born in Waycross, GA, and grew up in Washington, D.C., where his father worked at the Pentagon, before moving to Thomasville, GA, where he graduated high school. He received his bachelor’s degree in finance and accounting at Valdosta State University in 1975. He’s been involved in municipal government operations for over 38 years, including 22 years with Thomasville, GA, one year with Cartersville, GA, 13 years as city manager of Kennesaw, GA, and 3 years as city manager of Americus, GA, before coming to Green Cove Springs. He’s moved to Green Cove Springs with his wife Cheryl. They have two sons: Caleb, who is 28, and Mitchell, who is 26. Along with serving his community, Kennedy enjoys golfing and hunting.

City Manager Danielle Judd ends her time with the city on Thursday, September 27. To assist in transition of city management, Judd will continue to be employed by the city as a Special Advisor to the City Council until October 31, 2018. She will aid the new administration and City Council at their request.


City Council Nov. 13 Meeting Brief: Water/Wastewater Rates Increase


Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, Green Cove Springs – Green Cove Springs City Council passed the second and final reading to increase water and wastewater rates for commercial and residential properties, effective immediately.

This measure increases the monthly water rate by three percent and the wastewater rate by 17 percent. For the average customer using 3,500 gallons a month, this will add 35 cents to the monthly water bill and $4.06 to the monthly wastewater bill. These increases will match the increased use of both the City’s water and wastewater utilities, as well as directly pay back loans the city is currently using to improve both utility systems to handle the increased use.

Some of those improvements that were passed in the Nov. 13 meeting include designing and building new sewer lines to reroute the Cove Apartments and Cove Plaza from Lift Station #2, which is old and in disrepair, to US 17 South force main. This project will require surveying, permitting, blueprints and construction. The City Council approved $71,000 to Mittauer & Associates to design and bid the modifications for this project.

The City Council also approved a new vacuum truck for the Water Department at the cost of $359,961.62. This will help the water and wastewater crews safely repair water and sewage lines when needed. The truck currently used by the department has been in service for over eight years and nearing the need for replacement.

Water, sewer, reclaimed water and electric utilities at the Black Creek Village Development were also approved by City Council. While not located within city limits, the development is still in the City’s water and sewer utility service area. The city will now be responsible for the routine operation and maintenance of the utilities, while the developer will be responsible for establishing the utilities and maintenance for three years.

City Council also approved two projects to move electrical lines underground in two high-traffic areas within Green Cove Springs. The overhead electric line crossing Governors Creek at US 17 will be buried underground. The project design for these underground lines will be done by PowerServices. Seventy-Five percent ($94,500.00) of the project will be funded through the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, provided through funds made available from Hurricane Matthew in October 2016, with the remaining 25 percent paid from the Electric Department fund. Once the designing and engineering portion of the project is completed, FEMA will re-evaluate the project to fund 75 percent of the construction costs through the grant.

The second project is burying electrical lines on CR-15A, where the First Coast Expressway will be built. These lines will be buried within the limits of the Expressway’s new right of way. PowerServices will also design this project. The cost of the project will be reimbursed by the FDOT.

City Manager Steve Kennedy proposed a pilot program for the city to switch to a fuse sacrifice system for Circuit 2 which is out of the Southside Substation of the City’s electrical system. The city is currently on a fuse save system, which impacts the entire circuit when a fault is detected. The fuse sacrifice approach will only shut down power to those on the line that the fuse is controlling to when a fault occurs. Kennedy said that this system will better pinpoint the origin of power outages for crews, and outages will affect fewer homes in the area when one happens. Once frequent causes of outages in the area are eliminated, the circuit will switch back to a fuse save system. The City Council passed an emergency resolution for the pilot program, with requests for monthly reports on the program’s progress. More information will be released to citizens as details on this pilot program are finalized.

Also at Kennedy’s proposal, City Council recommended to stop the sale of the city’s old fire station and to look into restructuring The Development Services office. Kennedy said that the building holds several antique emergency service vehicles and items for annual City and Police Department events that the City doesn’t have room for elsewhere if the property is sold. Kennedy also explained that restructuring of Development Services will make the City poised for future development and annexation with the opening of the First Coast Expressway.

Additional items passed include approving minutes from Aug. 14 and Aug. 21 Council Budget meetings and Aug. 21 and Sept. 4 City Council meetings, replacing the carpet of the first and second floor of the city hall lobby, approving the report for legal services for the Spring Park Project and Legal Report for Annexation, approving the Unaudited FY 2018 Revenues and Expenditures Report and the Quarterly Investment Report for the period ending on Sept. 30, 2018, approving the inclusion of LED lights in the City’s inventory as part of the standard for City streetlights, and approving amendments in the general fund, disaster fund, electric fund, water fund, wastewater fund, reclaimed water fund, and the special revenue building department fund operating budget for FY 2018.  


City Begins Projects Included in the $10.7 Million Loan for Electric Utility Improvements


City Council approved to start three electric utility projects during the month of September. All three projects are part of Electric Department’s $10.7 million Capital Improvements Plan Budget, starting in Fiscal Year 2019.

The projects include Oak St. Railroad Crossing Improvements, Roberts St. Rebuild, and the N. Pine Avenue and N. Cypress Avenue Project. The total contracted cost of all three projects is $770,829, with Hooper Corporation completing the work on all three. The cost of materials for all three projects is estimated at $120,000.

The Oak St. Railroad Crossing Improvements include replacing an old power line pole and improving connections to all six poles at the railroad crossing.

The Roberts St. Rebuild will replace power line poles and conductors on Roberts St. from Green Cove Ave. to Martin Luther King Blvd, a distance of over 1 mile. The project includes installing 24 new wood power line poles, 5 new 50kva transformers, adding lightning arrestors on all new poles, transferring all house service to the new poles, installing 21 new LED street lights, and removing 21 old power line poles, the wire connecting those poles, and all old transformers and streetlights.

The 800 and 900 blocks of N. Pine Ave. and N. Cypress Ave. Project will reconstruct overhead power lines on those blocks, including 11 power line poles on Pine Ave and 15 power line poles on Cypress Ave. The project also includes installation of one pole and five transformers on Pine Ave. and installation of six poles and four transformers on Cypress Ave.


City Approves $10 Million Loan for Electric System Improvements for the Next Three Years


September 6, 2018, Green Cove Springs - In April the Green Cove Springs City Council approved a $10.7 million loan from CenterState Bank in Jacksonville to complete major upgrades to the city’s electrical system. Hooper Corporation, the city’s electric contractor, gave a PowerPoint presentation to the City Council in August detailing the scope of projects within the $10.7 million loan. All of the projects—which are listed in Hooper Corporation’s PowerPoint presentation—are included in the Capital Improvement Projects of the city budget through fiscal year 2023.

The goal of the $10.7 million loan is to accelerate 10 years’ worth of electric utilities projects to be completed in 3 years. The projects listed will increase reliability of the city’s electric system through major repair, rehabilitation and upgrades.

Below are major projects that are included to be completed through the city’s $10.7 million loan:

Grounding Improvements: Grounding rods help redirect lighting strikes or any outside electrical surges to electric power poles directly to the ground. These rods are located on every two to three poles in an electric system. Many of these grounding rods in the city’s electric system are currently either missing or in need of repair. This project will be testing the grounding rods and equipment associated with them currently on poles, and the electric utility will make necessary repairs and replacements to this equipment based on testing results.

Pole Inspection Program: The city’s electric utility recently completed an inspection of 25 percent of the city’s electric power poles—a total of 1,400 poles—and are now in the process of replacing 77 poles that failed inspection. These replacements are expected to be completed by the end of 2018. The city’s electric utility will continue inspecting electric power poles in the city for the next three years—dividing inspections in sections of 1,400 poles—and replace poles that fail inspection. The city is also addressing any additional repairs or replacements that are highlighted in these pole inspections.

Underground Cable Replacement: Underground cable in some areas of the city are over 30 years old. Over the next three years, the city’s electric utility will be testing underground cable and replacing cable as needed.

Substation Inspections and Maintenance: This loan also jump starts annual thorough and detailed inspections of all four substations in the city. Based on the inspection results, the city’s electric utility will make replacements and repairs to its substations. These inspections will continue past the three-year timeline of loan projects.

SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) Improvements: Over the next three years, the city’s electric utility will be making SCADA improvements at its substations and various points in the city electric system. This will allow electric utility employees to monitor the system more regularly and be able to remotely access controls to electric equipment when needed. This will help the electric utility pinpoint problems in the electric system faster, which will reduce the duration of future power outages and how long it takes employees to locate and repair the source of an outage.

Fuse Coordination: The city’s electric utility will inspect fuses that connect sections of the city to the main power line, and will be replacing current fuses as well as installing new fuses throughout the system as needed. This will help minimize the scope of future power outages.

Lightning Arrestors: Lightning arresters are devices on electric power poles that protects insulation and conductors of the electric system from lightning strikes. The city’s electric utility will be inspecting the lightning arrestors installed in the city’s electric system and making replacements as needed, as well as analyzing the entire electric system to make sure that the city has an adequate number of lightning arrestors and that they are installed in the best locations.  

Pole Top Switch Inspections and Replacement: Pole top switches help to open and close the feed of electricity within the city’s electric system. The city’s electric utility will inspect these switches and make replacements as needed. This will help with faster response times in future outages.

County Road 209 Rebuild: A half-mile of power lines will be replaced with concrete poles and stronger cables that can withstand falling trees or tree limbs. As CR 209 is an area with a heavy tree canopy, this replacement will help minimize the damage of falling trees or limbs to power lines during severe storms.

Forbes Street Rebuilding: The city’s electric utility will be rebuilding a section of power lines on Forbes Street and either rebuilding or replacing old infrastructure. A portion of the street will also be converted from 13 KVa (kilovolt) to 23 KVa.

Pine and Cypress Rebuilding: The city’s electric utility will also be rebuilding and replacing two blocks of power cable on each street, for a total of four blocks of cable in this project.

Third Feed to Magnolia Point: The city’s electric utility will be installing a third feed in the Magnolia Point area to better distribute electricity in the area, as well as provide alternate routes of electricity to the north end of the city. This additional feed will also help relieve the currently overloaded circuit in the two feeds in Magnolia Point.  

Chapman Circuit 2 Feeder Rebuild: The city’s electric utility will be rebuilding circuits, replacing power lines and replacing and relocating poles as necessary from north to south on Roberts Street.

Highway 17 Rebuild: The city’s electric utility will be replacing power lines on Highway 17 over the next three years.

Conversion of Core City Voltage: The city’s electric utility will be converting the majority of core city customers (from Governors Creek to SR 16 East) from 13 KVa (kilovolts) to 23 KVa.


Residential Garbage Collection Fee to Increase by $1 after Oct. 1


September, 27, 2018, Green Cove Springs, FL – After Oct. 1, the monthly residential garbage and trash collection fee will increase from $18 to $19.

Green Cove Springs City Council approved the increase at the September 18 meeting. The increase in the fee was originally discussed during budget workshop meetings in August. The $1 increase will generate $35,000 in revenue for the upcoming fiscal year, which will assist in funding the city’s solid waste utility.

Garbage pickup will continue to be twice a week for all city residences, and yard trash and recycling pickup will continue to be once a week under this new fee.


Convo Around the Cove: Building on a Legacy


On this episode of Convo Around the Cove, Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds sits down with City Manager Steve Kennedy to get the latest on the new Augusta Savage Museum and Mentoring Complex. Funding for this new building--built where the former Augusta Savage Library stood--began coming together in January. Now, the City has a building design and a building contractor, and anticipates to start construction soon.

Augusta Savage Museum and Mentoring Center Building Plans


City to Begin Improvements on Spring Park Public Access Pier with $600,000 Grant


October 3, 2018, Green Cove Springs, FL – The City has begun the process of improvements to Spring Park Public Access Pier with the drafting of a contract with Legislative Line Item (LLI) Special Appropriations Grant Program.

The City received a $600,000 appropriation from the state legislature for improvements to the pier, including rehabilitating and rebuilding portions of the existing pier structure and floating docks, building docking facilities for large vessels, and building a wave attenuating system to protect the pier and floating docks from damage by river waves.

The wave attenuating system and improved floating docks will make it easier for boats to dock at the pier and for people to get on and off their vessel, as well as help minimize damage from river tides. The improved floating docks will also allow the pier to always be the same level with the water at both low and high tide. It will also help improve plant growth on the riverbed below the pier, which is vital to many species of wildlife on the river.

The contract will serve as the outline for the scope of the project and work. The City will enter into contracts with an engineer for the design of the pier improvements and a construction contractor to do the work, with city staff assigned to assist both. The City estimates that the project will be complete by October, 1 2019.


City Council welcomes “Cottages on Cove” and makes Spring Park home to Food Truck Friday and upcoming City yoga program


Oct. 17, 2018, Green Cove Springs – City Council approved requested land use and zoning changes for “Cottages on Cove,” a residential development of 11 single-family homes, during its meeting on Oct. 16.

RaeLynn Homes, LLC, contractor for the development, requested to amend the future land use map for the property from Residential Low Density to Residential Medium Density, as well as rezone the property to a Planned Unit Development. “Cottages on Cove” will be located at 915 Bay Street, and take up a block surrounded by Tucker Street, Cove Street, Bay Street, and CSX railroad tracks and the Green Cove Springs Police Department building along Melrose Avenue.

Homes in the proposed development will be valued around $150,000, offering housing within the price range of young families interested in moving to Green Cove Springs.

Spring Park will also see more activity as City Council approved to move Food Truck Friday to the park through the end of 2019, allowing alcohol during the event and designating the City as an official sponsor. Beer and wine brought in coolers will be allowed in a marked “cooler zone” in Spring Park between 5 and 9 p.m. only during Food Truck Friday event dates.

Yoga classes will soon be held in the Pool Pavilion in Spring Park. City Council approved the newest addition to Parks and Recreation programming. Director Glee Glisson encourages citizens to keep an eye out for announcements as soon as the classes have a set schedule and instructor.


City Proposes Increase in Water and Wastewater Rates


Oct. 18, 2018, Green Cove Springs – City Council is in the process of approving an increase to water and wastewater rates for residential and commercial buildings.

Monthly water rates will increase by 3 percent and wastewater rates will increase by 17 percent. The increases are projected to bring the average customer bill up 35 cents for water and $4.06 for wastewater per month.

These increases are recommended to keep up with the increase in operating costs for the city’s water and wastewater utilities. The increase in wastewater is higher to pay back the loan for capital improvements to the City’s wastewater and reclaimed water systems, and money collected during this increase will be designated for funding the debt service on the capital improvement projects. Wastewater rates will continue to increase annually through 2021, with the city reviewing rates each year.

The ordinance for this increase passed the first hearing on Oct. 16. The City Council will have a second and final hearing during its next meeting on Nov. 13. If approved, the increases will take effect immediately after Nov. 13.  


Fuse Sacrifice Pilot Program to Begin in January


Starting January 1, the City electric department will implement a fuse sacrifice system for Circuit 2 of the City’s South Substation. This circuit primarily feeds the area around Melrose Avenue, the area located east of the CSX Railroad and south of SR 16 and the area located east of Orange Avenue.  

The City’s electrical system is currently running on a fuse save system. On this system, the entire circuit sees a blink during an intermittent event, leaving crews to inspect the entire circuit to locate the cause.

On a fuse sacrifice system, only the fuse and the power lines it’s connected to will lose power. Those homes affected by the outage will remain without power for longer, but fewer homes will be impacted during an outage.

Electric Director Steve Howard agreed, emphasizing that fuse sacrifice systems provides greater opportunities for the electric department to isolate and improve power interruptions by identifying the cause of the power outage.

The fuse sacrifice system of South Substation Circuit 2 is a pilot program introduced by City Manager Steve Kennedy during the November 13 City Council meeting and approved by the City Council through an emergency resolution.

The pilot program is in response to reports of numerous power blinks and outages within the area of South Substation Circuit 2 from residents. The City’s goal is to identify and remedy the cause of frequent blinks, or outages, in the area.

South Substation Circuit 2 won’t be the only area converting to a fuse sacrifice system. If this program proves successful in further reducing the number of blinks or outages, then the City plans to convert the entire service area of its electrical system to a fuse sacrifice system. More information will be released as reports of the South Substation Circuit 2 pilot program are presented to City Council.


Roberts Street to Undergo Electric Upgrades


Upgrades to electric lines, poles, transformers and street lights along Roberts Street will begin the week of Dec. 30, 2018. These upgrades are part of the $10.7 million loan that the City obtained earlier this year to improve its electrical system. The work is expected to last until April 2019. Read the full letter from Assistant City Manager Mike Null to get more details about the project and how it will affect those living along the street. 


Tuesday, Sept. 29, 2020, City Council Special Session Brief


Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2020 –

            Presentation

  1. Clay County Local Mitigation Strategy Update

Clay County Emergency Management Director presented to the City Council the Clay County Local Mitigation Strategy, which is the county’s mitigation plan for natural disasters that’s updated every five years. Ward presented the updated plan and municipal mitigation projects that are a part of that plan. City Council accepted and adopted the updated plan in the consent agenda.

Public Hearings

  1. Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-20-2020, a Resolution in compliance with Florida Statute 200.065 establishing a Millage Rate of $3.8000 Per Thousand of Non-Exempt Real Property within the City of Green Cove Springs, Florida for Fiscal Year 2020/202

City Council proposed that the tentative millage rate for FY 2020/2021 be set to 3.8000 mills during the budget workshops in August. The proposed 3.8000 Mills was approved in a first hearing on Sept. 15, 2020.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

           

  1. Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-21-2020, a Resolution setting forth the Annual Budget for Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2020 and ending September 30, 2021.

The total proposed operating budget for the City of Green Cove Springs for Fiscal Year 2021 is $44,940,317. This was approved at a first hearing on Sept. 15, 2020.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-22-2020, a Resolution setting forth the Annual Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Years beginning October 1, 2020 to September 30, 2025.

The original total proposed Capital Improvement Plan for the City of Green Cove Springs for the Fiscal Year 2021 is $19,430,075. After recommendations for adjustments in the General Fund during meetings in August, the proposed Capital Improvement Plan total changed to $18,665,075. This was approved in a first hearing on Sept. 15, 2020.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. First Public hearing and approval for form and legality of Ordinance No. O-13-2020 for the Right of Way (ROW) Closure of Magnolia Avenue between Lamont Street and US 17.

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., is requesting the closure to reuse a driveway connection from US 17 to 1050 N Orange Ave., where they are building a multi-story medical facility. Florida Department of Transportation will not allow them to reuse that driveway connection unless that portion of Magnolia Avenue is closed. The Ordinance will close that portion of Magnolia Avenue with the City maintaining ownership of the land. Staff has proposed to approve the ROW closure with the following conditions:  the roadway (asphalt and lime rock) be removed and that Kimley-Horn and Associates landscape the closed ROW, add curb and gutter on Lamont Street, and ROW closure will not take effect until a site plan for 1050 N. Orange Avenue is approved.

            Approved 5-0 by City Council

            Consent Agenda

  1. City Council approval of Minutes from 8/04/2020, 9/15/2020 Regular Sessions and 8/06/2020, 9/01/2020 Special Sessions.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Resolution No. R-25-2020, a resolution accepting and adopting the Clay County Local Mitigation Strategy Plan document.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval for funding in the estimated amount of $62,060.00 to ImageStoreHouse for the scanning, indexing and storing of existing small and large format paper files in the Development Services Department under the CARES Act. Note that this request is utilizing three quotes and not the Request for Proposals (RFP) formal bidding process.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to distribute in customers’ October 2020 bills the proposed water and sewer rate flier for Fiscal Year 2021.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. Council approval of Resolution R-26-2020, directing and authorizing the City Manager to execute a Job Growth Grant Agreement with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity.

This grant agreement is the same grant that the Clay County Economic Development Corporation submitted on behalf of the City in mid-2019, and was awarded to the City by Governor Ron DeSantis at Clay Day in Tallahassee in February 2020. City has been working with DEO staff to finalize a grant agreement since February and has recently come to the agreed grant amount of $250,000. This will go towards electrical system improvements on HWY 17 and CR 315C to fortify electric infrastructure to serve expanded development in that area. The grant agreement was approved by City Council on Sept. 15, 2020, and this Resolution authorizes the City Manager to execute that agreement.

            Approved 5-0 by City Council

Council Business

  1. City Manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence.

City Manager Steve Kennedy announced several updates to the City Council. The Blood Mobile will be parked by City Hall on Election Day and on December 27. The proposal for SMS service TextMyGov has been approved and the City will move forward with the service soon. He will be meeting with Planet Swim to evaluate the pool operations for the summer, and Planet Swim has expressed that they may be willing to extend the opening of the pool in the future. Discussion of the Citizens Advisory Committee will begin on the October 6, 2020, regular meeting. Lastly, Kennedy expressed that even with Governor DeSantis announcing Phase 3 reopening for the state, he would like to keep the setup and health safety measures for City Council meetings. Council agreed and said that they would like to keep the current layout and health guidelines for meetings through the end of the year.

  1. City Council Reports and/or Correspondence.

Council Member Matt Johnson expressed that he would like to discuss with the rest of the Council announcing the reopening of Green Cove Springs businesses with the Phase 3 reopening, and market that local businesses are now open to the public to support the local economy in Green Cove Springs.

Vice Mayor Ed Gaw presented an idea to City Council to revamp Governors Creek Boat Ramp to extend parking and the ramp to make it a more pleasing and usable public waterfront property. He would like to work with the County to obtain Clay County Sheriff’s Office building by the boat ramp for additional boat ramp parking. He would also like to include boat lifts for Clay County Sheriff’s Office, Green Cove Springs Police Department, and Florida Fish and Wildlife by the public boat ramp to give those agencies easier access to the water when responding to emergencies.

Mayor Van Royal wants to schedule a meeting with City Manager Kennedy and restaurant owners located within city limits to advertise that Green Cove Springs restaurants are open.  


Green Cove Springs Celebrates Black History Month with a Fine Arts Program and Cultural Festival in Honor of Augusta Savage


Jan. 31, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – Green Cove Springs is celebrating Black History Month with events happening throughout the whole month of February, including launching The Augusta Savage Community Fine Arts Program and the annual Augusta Savage Cultural Festival. Friends of Augusta Savage, Inc., through collaboration with local churches, Green Cove Springs Library, and the community, will be hosting events every weekend.

The month kicks off with a trip to The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens to tour “Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman” exhibit on Saturday, Feb. 2. The community is invited to join the youth of African Baptist Church in Green Cove Springs at the museum at 10:30 a.m. The tour will last an hour and a half.

At 6 p.m. that same day Mount Zion A.M.E. Church, 549 Palmetto Ave., Green Cove Springs, hosts the musical “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” Church choirs from across Clay County and Jacksonville gather to celebrate African American heritage through song, including: New Hope Missionary Baptist Church, First African Missionary Baptist Church, First Presbyterian Church, Mount Pleasant Missionary Baptist Church, Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, Mount Zion A.M.E. Church, and The Lord’s Church Ministries in Jacksonville.

On Saturday, Feb. 16, Green Cove Springs Library hosts the first annual Celebration of Augusta Fells Savage from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the library. This program is open to children ages 5-12 to learn about the life and legacy of Augusta Savage, with readings by Clay County Commissioner Mike Cella and Green Cove Springs Mayor Connie Butler followed by making small clay sculptures.

Saturday’s event also kicks off The Augusta Savage Community Fine Arts Program, a series of one-day workshops open to children ages 5-12 and parents to learn from master artists with hands-on activities. Each workshop—held on the second Tuesday and Saturday of each month—focuses on a different artist, with participants creating their own art using that artist’s technique. Workshops will continue from March to May.  

Green Cove Springs Junior High School, 1220 Bonaventure Ave., hosts the Black History Program “Black History is American History” at 6 p.m. on February 16.

The month of celebration ends with the Augusta Savage Cultural Festival, co-sponsored by the City of Green Cove Springs. The festival runs 11 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 23, at Spring Park in Green Cove Springs. Activities throughout the day include a demonstration of West African culture by Kreative Kids and Beyond, Inc, a non-profit organization bringing awareness of the cultural arts, The Afri-Touch Fashion Show, a local artist marketplace, food vendors, and arts and crafts for children. The festival also features music performances by U.S. Navy Jazz Combo, Clay High Drum Line, Heart’s Desire, and Accoustic Visions.


Augusta Savage Community Fine Arts Program Brings Sculptor’s Legacy to Future Generations


February 13, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – A program years in the making, Friends of Augusta Savage, Inc., and Green Cove Springs Library launch the City’s first community fine arts program.

“The Friends believe that there is unlimited, untapped and innate talent right here in Green Cove Springs and Clay County, and that this fine arts program will act as the catalyst and stir up those skills,” said Henrietta Francis, president of Friends of Augusta Savage, Inc.

The Augusta Savage Community Fine Arts Program is a series of hands-on art workshops aimed at elementary school children ages 5-12 years old. Each workshop will focus on the life and work of an influential African-American artist, and give each child the opportunity to create their own art piece using that artist’s medium.

Workshops will be held on the second Tuesday and second Saturday of every month from March through May. Saturday’s workshops will be held at the Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym, 415 Lemon Street, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday’s workshops will be held at the Green Cove Springs Library, 403 Ferris Street, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Each workshop will be taught by Barbara Cornett, director of The Augusta Savage Community Fine Arts Program. An art teacher for private and home-schooled children for over 10 years, Cornett will combine history, principles and elements of art, and hands-on practice for children to understand the influence of the artist and their work.

“What I hope through this group is that every child finds their God-given gifts and uses that to put them on the right path in the world,” said Cornett.

Cornett said that the idea for the program took root after she met Henrietta Francis at the Augusta Savage Cultural Festival in February 2018. The two met every month or every other month to discuss details of the program and make it a reality.

Francis said that a community fine arts program has been part of the community vision of Friends of Augusta Savage, Inc. for years, and the missing piece was a teacher like Cornett. Meeting Cornett was perfect timing for the rest of the pieces of the program to fall into place.

For Cornett and Francis, the program is a way to teach the public about the influence of Augusta Savage and the artists that she taught in Savage’s teaching spirit. They hope to expand the program in the future by holding a monthly workshop during the school year, focusing on a different artist and different art medium in each workshop. As the program grows, Francis wants to include music, dance, drama, and poetry as the focus of workshops in the fine arts program.

The Friends of Augusta Savage, Inc’s larger vision is to establish an Augusta Savage Art Studio in the Augusta Savage Community Center.

The program’s first workshop is being held this Saturday, February 16, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Green Cove Springs Library. It will focus on the life and work of Augusta Savage, including a reading by Green Cove Springs Mayor Connie Butler and District 1 Board of County Commissioners Chairman Mike Cella, followed by a clay sculpting arts and crafts session.

For those interested in signing up their children for workshops or with any additional questions can contact Barbara Cornett at AugustaSavageFineArtsProgram@gmail.com.

Augusta Savage Community Fine Arts Program Dates

Discovering Jacob Lawrence: Tempera Painting (emphasis on color and shape)

Saturday, March 9 – Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym

Tuesday, March 12 – Green Cove Springs Library

Discovering Faith Ringgold: Fiber Arts/Story Quilt and Oil Pastels (texture and perspective)

Saturday, April 13 – Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym

Tuesday, April 16 – Green Cove Springs Library

Discovering Romare Bearden: Photo Collage/Mixed Media (juxtaposition and rhythm)

Saturday, May 11 – Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym

Tuesday, May 14 – Green Cove Springs Library


Green Cove Springs Community Celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Jan. 17, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – The City of Green Cove Springs comes together to celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with its 3rd annual MLK Day Ceremony.

It will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 21, at Vera Francis Hall Park, 1400 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., Green Cove Springs.

This year’s ceremony features Senior pastor of Mount Zion AME Church Rev. James Pernell, Sr., as the ceremony’s Keynote Speaker, and the First African Missionary Baptist Church Youth Group, directed by Mrs. Procha Sweet, performing an instrumental selection on Cello by Jackson Brown IV.

The City Council started organizing a ceremony for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2017 to connect the community to the national holiday in a personal way. Since the first ceremony, it’s grown in attendance, speakers, and performances every year.

“We wanted to commemorate the work of Martin Luther King, Jr., in civil rights. It’s a reminder to the community of his work, as well as educate the community on the civil rights movement,” said Green Cove Springs Mayor Connie Butler. “Civil rights is an every day occurrence, and that it’s for all people.”

Green Cove Springs City Hall and all city departments will also be closed on Monday, Jan. 21, in recognition of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

More information about the 3rd Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Ceremony, including a full schedule, can be found HERE.  


May 7 City Council Brief: Community Clean Up Week a Success


May 8, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – Assistant City Manager Mike Null reported that Community Clean Up Week—which ran from April 22 to May 3—was a success for the City.

Null said that City Solid Waste and additional Public Works employees picked up a total of 41.11 tons of mixed trash and 6.85 tons of tires during that two-week period.

In other City Council business, Council Member Pam Lewis nominated Ronald Baker III to the Planning and Zoning Board to replace Robert Lewis, who recently submitted his Letter to Retire after serving the board for eight years. Her nomination was unanimously approved.

City Council also approved to reschedule the July City Council meetings to July 9 and July 23 and cancel the meeting on Dec. 17. This new schedule will be updated on the City website.

City Council also recognized several designated weeks in May with proclamations. They included National Safe Boating Week, presented to Coast Guard Auxiliary Dan Hess, Rick Preston, Kathy Fisk, Military Service Day, presented to Green Cove Springs VFW Post 1988 Junior Vice Commander Carmon Wulf, National Police Week, presented to Green Cove Springs Police Chief Derek Asdot and officers, and Public Service Week, which was presented to all present City employees.


Feb. 19 City Council Brief: Fuse Sacrifice System Update, Changes to Public Works Building Plan


Feb. 21, 2018, Green Cove Springs, FL – Steve Howard of Hooper Corporation updated the City Council on the progress of the Fuse Sacrifice System. This system transition covered Circuit 2 of the City’s South Substation, which includes Melrose Avenue, areas east of CSX Railroad and Orange Avenue and South of SR 16. He reported that since the switch was made on January 2, 2019, there have been only two outages in the area.

With the Fuse Sacrifice System in place vegetation and wildlife have been identified as the cause of past power “blips” and outages. Howard said that Hooper Corporation is reducing those causes by trimming fast growing and high density areas of trees, and installing grounding equipment around electric poles to make electric lines safe for wildlife to cross.

Howard also gave an update on that status of projects under the $10.7 million electric loan for electric system improvements. They have now completely replaced 78 electric poles, completed improvements to electric poles and power lines on CR 209, completed improvements around the railroad crossing on Oak Street, and conversion of our 4kV system. They are currently in the middle of replacing fuse connectors throughout the electric grid and working on improvements along Roberts Street.

Another point of discussion during Tuesday night’s meeting were proposed changes to new public works building design. Assistant City Manager Mike Null said that after looking at half of the design plan with Bhide and Hall Architects and Auld & White Constructors, costs for the building already exceed the budgeted $1.3 million for the project. Null proposed the following changes to the design plan, including: removing restroom wall tile, reducing quantity of windows, installing fire sprinklers instead of firewalls in the building, remove interior insulation, and removing the planned bike rack. As a way to cut down costs even further, Null suggested that the site and utility work can be done by city public works employees.

Null said that part of the increase was due to design elements that the city had to add to meet state building codes. These costs weren’t factored into the estimated cost of the building. Null also said that making these changes now will prevent more significant changes to the plan when the designs are complete.

The council unanimously approved of these changes, with City Council Member Van Royal voicing concerns about using city staff for the site work.

City Manager Steve Kennedy announced he will be presenting a contract for renewal of red light cameras at the next City Council Meeting, with the contract to also include the capability to utilize license plate readers. He also announced that City staff are working on plans for an upcoming City clean up day.


Pavement Rehabilitation Work Begins Aug. 27


The City of Green Cove Springs will begin
re-paving streets during the week of August 27, 2019.

Work is being performed on the following streets: 

                                               

Kirk Street, From Harring St to Forbes St.                                Palm Street

Spring Street, From Esplanade to Roberts St.                          Wall Street

Walnut Street, From Roberts to Citizens St.                             Lemon Street

Citizen Street, From Forbes to Bonaventure St.                       Cooks Lane

Center Street, From Highland to Oakridge Ave.                        Belle Avenue

Palmer Street, From Highland to Oakridge Ave.          


We will be starting work at 7:00 AM (M – F) and will finish around 5:30 PM.  If you are within the active work zone limits and park your car in your driveway at night, please be sure to move it prior to the 7:00 AM start time.   All other parking restrictions, including no parking on these streets, will still be in effect. Residents should know that access to their driveways may be prohibited for most of the day during the paving operations. If you plan to drive your vehicle while rehabilitation is scheduled in your area, please park it outside the construction area to avoid oil spray or other complications. Please note that the oil and asphalt used during construction is not easily removed from feet, shoes, floors and rugs.  If you have any questions, please contact the Public Works Department at (904) 297-7012.


VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS


POD Call To Action (1).jpg

IN THE EVENT CLAY COUNTY IS FACED WITH A NATURAL DISASTER, IT MAY BECOME NECESSARY TO DESIGNATE AREAS IN THE COUNTY AS POINTS OF DISTRIBUTION (P.O.D.).   THESE PODS WOULD BE USED TO DISTRIBUTE SUPPLIES TO CITIZENS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY IN THE DAYS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING A DISASTER.  IF IT BECOMES NECESSARY FOR THE CITY OF GREEN COVE SPRINGS TO ESTABLISH A P.O.D., THEN THE CITY WOULD NEED CITIZENS TO VOLUNTEER TO MAN THE P.O.D.

IN PREPARATION FOR SUCH AN EVENT, WE HAVE INCLUDED A LIST OF SUPPLIES A VOLUNTEERS SHOULD BRING WITH THEM INSIDE THE ATTACHED FORM “WHAT IS A P.O.D.” THIS FORM EXPLAINS HOW YOU CAN BECOME INVOLVED IN THE OPERATIONS OF THE P.O.D. SUCH AS UNLOADING AND DISTRIBUTING SUPPLIES TO OUR CITIZENS, AND THE MANY OTHER WAYS THAT YOU MAY VOLUNTEER.  

IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING, KNOW OF ANYONE ELSE WHO IS INTERESTED OR HAVE ANY ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS, PLEASE CONTACT KIMBERLY THOMAS, EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT TO THE CITY MANAGER – ACTING P.O.D. COORDINATOR AT #904-297-7054 or kthomas@greencovesprings.com.


Spring Park playground closed for replacing and installing playground equipment


20180801_134752.jpg

Spring Park playground will be closed to the public starting Thursday, August 8, to Friday, August 16, 2019, to replace portions current playground equipment as well as install new equipment. These upgrades are part of the City's Spring Park Improvements project, which started in mid-2018. through a $400,000 grant from the state Land and Water Conservation Fund. The playground equipment was approved by City Council on April 2, 2019, and includes replacing all current playground equipment and adding a spinner and handicap swing set. The total cost of the playground upgrade is $55,198. 


April 16 City Council Meeting Brief: Ordinances on Wireless Facilities and Beer and Wine Consumption Approved


April 17, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – Green Cove Springs City Council approved the second and final reading of two City Ordinances during Tuesday, April 16, meeting.

Ordinance No. O-06-2019, pertaining to utility poles for wireless facilities on City rights-of-way, amends Chapter 74 of the City Code of Ordinances and creates Chapter 82 entitled “Communications Facilities Rights-Of-Way Ordinance.” This ordinance is in response to the state legislature bill “Advanced Wireless Infrastructure Deployment Act,” passed in June 2017, which regulates how wireless communication companies can place new utility poles and equipment on city rights-of-way. The council passed this ordinance as a way to manage the growth of wireless communications facilities within city limits in accordance with this new state law.

Ordinance No. O-08-2019 amends City Code Section 62-138(2), which allows the possession, consumption, or serving of beer and wine at City sponsored events in Spring Park under limited condition. Amendments in this ordinance includes extending the period of time of serving beer and wine from three hours to four hours, and establishes signage to mark the area where the consumption of beer and wine is allowed.

 City Council also agreed to move the discussion to participate in Florida Municipal Power Association’s solar program to May. Several other Florida cities have agreed to be part of the program, which would allow FMPA to work with these cities in how to incorporate solar power into the city electric grid.

Other topics moved to May for discussion include evaluating the priority of projects in the City’s loan for electrical grid upgrades, discussing partnerships with i9 Sports for fall sports programming and Planet Swim for the funding of swim lessons for Summer 2019.


April 2 City Council Meeting Brief: Council Amends Beer and Wine at City Sponsored Events, Moves Forward with Park Trail and New Playground Equipment


April 4, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – City Council passed the first reading of Ordinance O-08-2019, which amends City Code to allow the possession, consumption or serving of beer and wine at City sponsored events in Spring Park under limited conditions.

This ordinance will directly apply to events like CalaVida and Food Truck Fridays, where beer and wine are allowed in specific, contained areas of Spring Park. The specific changes that this ordinance will make include extending the maximum time of serving beer and wine to four hours and requiring the event organizer or the vendor specifically serving to have a state beverage permit and other necessary permits and licenses in order to allow alcohol during the event. These changes do not include the sale of beer and wine.  

Ordinance O-08-2019 will have its second and final reading on Tuesday, April 16.

City Council also plans to contribute to removing an 85-foot derelict Burger Motor Yacht from Muddy Cove. The estimated total cost of hauling away the steel cabin cruiser is $172,805. Clay County was recently awarded a 75% grant from Florida Wildlife Commission and requires the county to provide the remaining 25% of the grant, a cost of $43,201.25.

City Council indicated an interest in providing the county up to $10,000 of the total remaining grant cost. It directed City staff to identify an appropriate funding source and present their findings at the next City Council meeting on April 16.

Two park projects are approved to move forward as part of the consent agenda. One is approval of a Local Area Project agreement with the Florida Department of Transportation for the design phase of an 8-foot wide multi-purpose trail from Oak Street to Governor Street along Palmetto Avenue and from Palmetto Avenue to Vera Francis Hall Park along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. With this approval, City staff can now proceed with hiring a contractor for the design and placement of the trail.

The other is approval of a purchase order to Playworx Playset, LLC, to both renovate and install new playground equipment at Spring Park. New equipment to the playground includes a spinner and a handicap swing set. The total cost of new and replacement playground equipment is $55,198.  


City Reintroduces Swim Lessons for Summer 2019


May 1, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – The City of Green Cove Springs is partnering with Ponte Vedra Beach- based company Planet Swim to offer swim lessons at its City Pool for the third summer in a row.

Lessons are offered to children ages 4 through 12 for one of two four-week sessions. The first session will be held June 4 to June 28 and the second session will be held July 2 to July 30. Classes during these sessions will be held two days a week during one of three 40-minute time slots. Parents and guardians have the option to sign up for a Tuesday and Thursday or Wednesday and Friday class schedule and can choose between time slots of 9:00-9:40 a.m., 9:45-10:25 a.m., and 10:30-11:10 a.m. during those days.

This summer swim lessons are open to the public. Lessons are $50 per swimmer for one four-week session. Parents can register their children for swim lessons with Executive Assistant Kim Thomas on the second floor of City Hall. Registration applications can be filled out at City Hall or printed and filled out through the City’s website greencovesprings.com. The City will accept cash, card, money order or check to pay the swim lesson fee.

Registration is on a first come, first serve basis, and will remain open until all day and time slots for both sessions are filled.

For more information please contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at treynolds@greencovesprings.com or 904-297-7500, ext. 3329.


June 4 City Council Meeting Brief: Major Utilities and Park Projects Earn Approval for Next Steps


June 5, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – City Council approved the next steps for two major City projects during its June 4 meeting.

City Council authorized the issuance of the $1,500,000 loan to Synovous Bank for the City water distribution system improvements in the Reynolds Park area, which is part of a larger project to improve the City’s water distribution system.

City Council also approved staff to move forward with an agreement with firm TOCOI Engineering to work on engineering for the Spring Park Public Access Pier. The City was awarded $600,000 from the state through the Legislative Line Item Special Appropriations Grant Program in October 2018, and part of that grant is to pay for engineering of the project.

City Council also approved nominations to two boards. For the Planning and Zoning Board, two renominations of Ed Gaw for Seat 5 and Henrietta Francis for Seat 4 were approved, and the nomination of Gary Luke for Seat 3 by Vice Mayor Van Royal was approved. City Council approved the reappointment of Deborah Wiedman and Luke Byrne on the Green Cove Springs Police Pension Board for another two-year term.  

The City Council also recognized Mr. Robert Lewis for his six years on the Planning and Zoning Board with a proclamation and plaque, and Council Member Constance W. Butler for her service as mayor of Green Cove Springs from May 15, 2018 to May 21, 2019.


North Florida TPO Telephone Town Hall Meeting June 12 & June 13


North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) will be hosting a Telephone Town Hall Meeting 6:30-7:30 p.m. June 12 and June 13. The organization will be talking about its Path Forward 2045 long range plan, which maps out the transportation projects the region will be working on for the next 20 years and is updated every five years to reflect the changing needs of the region.

Unlike traditional town hall meetings, people will just need to call in and listen to the presentation. Anyone interested in registering for the Telephone Town Hall Meeting can go to https://tthm.wufoo.com/…/register-for-our-live-telephone-t…/

For more information about the Telephone Town Hall Meetings or the Path Forward 2045 long range plan go to http://pathforward2045.com/

Town Hall Flyer_handout-Pg1.jpg  Town Hall Flyer_handout-Pg2.jpg


City Clears Potential Mosquito Breeding Grounds Through Community Clean Up Week


May 15, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – City of Green Cove Springs Solid Waste, Public Works and Water Departments teamed up to collect just under 48 tons of mixed waste and tires during Community Clean Up Week, April 22 to May 3.

During those two weeks, the City collected a total of 41.11 tons of mixed waste and 6.85 tons of tires. A majority of the mixed waste was construction debris, but City of Green Cove Springs Public Works Field Supervisor Mike Worley said that the biggest positive impact of the event was the number of tires that were picked up from residential yards.

“Another big plus is that picking up so many tires that contained rain water were a breeding ground for mosquitoes,” said Worley. “Hopefully this will help to reduce their population.”

Worley, Assistant Public Works Director Steve Thomas, and Assistant City Manager Mike Null, who worked together to organize Community Clean Up Week, said that they are glad the event helped to clean out so many residential yards of debris that wouldn’t normally be included during normal trash pick up schedules.

Community Clean Up Week is a two week period where City of Green Cove Springs Solid Waste Department will pick up tires, construction debris, yard waste, and discarded household appliances on top of normal garbage pick up. The Solid Waste Department was assisted this year by Steve Thomas, Richard Jackson, Shayne Taylor, Nathan Nettles, and Sean Thacker of Public Works and Ryan Andersen of the City of Green Cove Springs Water Department.


City Expands Fuse Sacrifice System Switch to North Substation Circuit 1


May, 16, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – With the success of South Substation Circuit 2 switch to Fuse Sacrifice System, the City will expand Fuse Sacrifice to North Substation Circuit 1 on Monday, May 20.

Circuit 2 covers the area north of SR 16 bounded by Oakridge Avenue and Vermont Street, the area south of SR 16 bounded by Vermont Street and West Street, Bonaventure Avenue, Esplanade Avenue, and Center Street.

The City’s electrical system is currently running on a fuse save system. On this system, the entire circuit sees a blink during an intermittent event, leaving crews to inspect the entire circuit to locate the cause.

On a fuse sacrifice system, only the fuse and the power lines it’s connected to will lose power. Those homes affected by the outage will remain without power for longer, but fewer homes will be impacted during an outage.

 Electric Director Steve Howard agreed, emphasizing that fuse sacrifice systems provides greater opportunities for the electric department to isolate and improve power interruptions by identifying the cause of the power outage.

For more information contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7500, ext. 3329, or treynolds@greencovesprings.com.


May 21 City Council Brief: Re-Elected City Council Seats Sworn in and New Mayor and Vice Mayor Elected


May 23, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – The newly sworn in City Council elected Steven Kelley, Council Member Seat 5, as Mayor and Van Royal, Council Member Seat 4, as Vice Mayor of Green Cove Springs at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Both Kelley and Royal, as well as Council Member Constance Butler, were also sworn in to their re-elected seats. This will be Royal’s third term, and Kelley’s and Butler’s second. The term of all three seats ends May 17, 2022.

City Council also voted to move forward with the new Public Works Building and contract with Auld & White Constructors for the construction of the project. The City has been in negotiations with the architect on the design of the building since February, and has been able to bring the cost of the design of the project down by $454,600 to $1,345,400. This is closer to the original project budget of $1,300,000, but at the sacrifice of changing several elements of the building to more cost-effective options. These changes do reduce the longevity of the building.

Assistant City Manager Mike Null said that these changes were made by staff after several discussions to keep the project on budget. While City Council understood the reasoning behind the changes and approved the amended design, the Council said that they are disappointed that the cuts will reduce the quality of the building for public works employees.

Council approved City staff to pursue a loan not to exceed $1,500,000 for improvements to the City’s water distribution system in Reynolds Park. These improvements are a Priority 1 project of the Water Master Plan, adopted by the City Council in June 2018, and incorporated into the Water Capital Improvement Program (CIP).  

City Council also approved the Green Cove Springs Police Department to purchase a used K9 police vehicle from the North Miami Beach Police Department for $7,500. The department will add the Green Cove Springs Police decals and safety features to the vehicle. The department is working on adding a K9 unit to its law enforcement through the GRIT Foundation K9 Partnership Program, and anticipates to bring its first K9 officer on board in the summer.

City Manager Steve Kennedy told the City Council that he plans to present the schedule of Food Truck Friday through 2020 at the June 4 meeting. With the popularity of the monthly event, Kennedy said that the event’s organizer Ed Gaw already has local bands requesting to play at the event next year. Kennedy also said that he would like the City to take a more proactive role as a sponsor in the event, and would like to discuss ways that the City can be more involved with the event.


Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym Open to the Public Starting Friday, June 19


City of Green Cove Springs will reopen Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym to the public on Friday, June 19, 2020.

Following Florida Phase 2 Reopening standards, the gym will be open under the modified hours of 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. seven days a week. A maximum of 30 people will be allowed in the gym at one time. City Staff will be present in the gym to count and monitor the number of people using the gym during operating hours.

City also encourages the public to use the gym for physical activities only, such as basketball or pickleball, in order to be courteous of others waiting to use the gym. CDC Health Guidelines for COVID-19 will also be enforced, including social distancing and proper sanitation.

With these measures in place, the City is confident that the public can safely and responsibly use Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym. Gym hours, capacity, and rules will change as Florida continues the phased reopening process.

For any questions contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7046 or treynolds@greencovesprings.com.


City Council July 23, 2019, Meeting Brief


Mayor Steven Kelley, Vice Mayor Van Royal, Council Member Connie Butler, and Council Member Pam Lewis were present at the meeting. Council Member Mitch Timberlake was absent.

Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

1. Second and final reading of City Ordinance 0-10-2019 rezoning 0.570 acres of property located on Houston Street from R-2 (Residential Medium Density Land Use) to PUD (Planned Unit Development) to develop two proposed duplexes for a total of four single family units with an attached garage. Property owner is Wiggins Construction Co. of North Florida and applicant is Fleet & Associates Architects/Planners, Inc.

            Approved 2-1 by City Council, with Mayor Steven Kelley voting against. Council Member Connie Butler recused herself from voting because her family owns property adjacent to proposed development, presenting a conflict of interest.

2. Second and final reading of City Ordinance 0-11-2019 amending the Future Land Use Map for 1.46 acres of property located at 806 Oak Street from INS (Institutional) to RHD (Residential High Density) to develop a proposed 17-unit apartment complex. Property owner is Wiggins Construction Co. of North Florida and applicant is Fleet & Associates Architects/Planners, Inc.

            Approved 4-0 by City Council.

3. Second and final reading of City Ordinance 0-12-2019 rezoning 1.46 acres of property located at 806 Oak Street from RPO (Residential Professional Office) to PUD (Planned Unit Development) to develop a proposed 17-unit apartment complex. Property owner is Wiggins Construction Co. of North Florida and applicant is Fleet & Associates Architects/Planners, Inc.

            Approved 4-0 by City Council.

Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council. Below are highlighted items taken out of the Consent Agenda and discussed and voted on separately.

1. City Council approval of and authorization for the Mayor to execute a Letter of Concurrence for setback waiver for 302 St. Johns Avenue to construct a dock within 25 feet of adjacent upland riparian property.

            Approved 3-0 by City Council. Vice Mayor Van Royal recused himself from voting due to his involvement with the property as a real estate agent.

6. First reading of City Ordinance No: O-13-2019, an ordinance amending City Code Section 90-123(j) authorizing the contribution in aid of construction (“CIAC”) to be paid to the City in limited circumstances over a period of up to 24 months. Specifically, in the case of the construction of large electric system improvements.

            Approved 4-0 by City Council.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

2. City Council establishes tentative millage rate of 4.0 mills for FY Budget 2019/2020. This rate of 4.0 mills is the first proposed increase from 3.6 mills since 2015. Council has also set the first and second hearing dates for the tentative millage rate for 7 p.m. September 3 and September 17, both regular City Council meeting dates.

            Approved 4-0 by City Council, with Vice Mayor Van Royal proposing the tentative increase from 3.6 to 4.0 for discussion during FY 2019/2020 City Budget workshops. The millage rate for FY 2019/2020 will be set during the September hearing dates.


June 18 City Council Brief: Council Moves on Economic Development Updates


June 24, Green Cove Springs, FL – City Council approved a revision of economic development section of the City Code Tuesday evening, and for City Staff to come back to City Council with permanent changes at a later date. The change is that large business customers will pay the full price for an electric upgrade on their property, but pay a proportionate amount to the City on electric upgrades on City land.

This change was proposed by City manager Steve Kennedy and Assistant City Manager Mike Null after two businesses—PASS and AMCOM—on CR 315 requested that the City upgrade its electric service in order to accommodate the amount of power both businesses will use once opened. This will require the City to replace all the electric transformers on that section of CR 315 to accommodate the increase of power.

 Because this upgrade will amount to a significant cost, City Manager Steve Kennedy proposed that the cost will be split between the businesses and the City. This upgrade will also improve the electric system overall, as well as the reliability and capacity of the electric utility on CR 315. In the past, the City has expected the business to pay for all costs related to development.

City Council also approved the first reading of City Ordinance No. O-09-2019, which amends City Code Section 117, Article 1 “In General.” Development Services Staff created a Future Land Use and Zoning Compatibility Table, Table of Permitted Uses, and a Lot Requirements Table to add to this section of the City Code. These tables were created to make this information more accessible and user-friendly, as well as allowing for easy comparison of permitted uses and lot requirements between zoning districts.

The City Council also approved to send Mayor Steven Kelley to the 93rd Annual Florida League of Cities Conference in Orlando on August 15-17. Mayor Kelley will represent the City of Green Cove Springs and vote on all items discussed during the conference. The Council also directed staff to submit Resolution No. R-13-2018 (St Johns River – Maritime Highway) which was submitted for the Florida League of Cities’ consideration during the same conference in 2018, and reiterate the City’s support for Home Rule.


First Coast Expressway Stakeholders Summit Encourages City to Stay Poised for Growth


The annual First Coast Expressway Stakeholders Summit held Thursday, June 20, at the Thrasher-Horne Center in Orange Park shared the current progress of the expressway as well as the anticipated future impacts to the project’s county, municipal and business stakeholders. The City of Green Cove Springs is a municipal stakeholder of the project.

The first phase of the expressway, from Blanding Boulevard/State Road 21 in Clay County north to I-10/U.S. 90 in Duval County, started in 2013 and is expected to be completed this spring, with tolling on that segment also to begin in Spring 2019. The second segment of the project, divided into a north project from north of SR 21 to north of SR16 and a south project from north of SR 16 to east of CR 209, began this year. The north project was started in February 2019 by Sacyr Construction, and the south project is scheduled to begin in Spring 2019 by Superior Construction. The third and final segment will be a new four-lane bridge over the St. Johns River just south of the current Shands Bridge and will connect the new expressway to I-95 in St. Johns County, and is expected to begin in 2023 or late 2022.

Clay County Economic Development Director Chereese Stewart talked about the business and residential development that will grow around the First Cost Expressway. Two proposed large mixed-use developments are already planned to be built around expressway interchanges. One on the interchange connecting SR 16 north to U.S. 17 south just outside of Green Cove Springs will develop the former Gustafson’s property to Governors Park, which proposes 6,000 residential units, 700,000 square feet of office space, 840,000 square feet of commercial space, 2 million square feet of warehouse space, and a 400-room hotel.

As a stakeholder the City is preparing for the continued progress of the expressway and development surrounding it through its major electric system and water and wastewater system upgrades, and its recent restructure of its Development Services department to help hone the City’s focus of planning and zoning within City Limits as the surrounding area grows with the expressway.


June 16, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


June 17, 2020 –

Awards and Recognition

  1. Proclamation – Sarah Spurrier – Retiring Planning and Zoning Board Member.

City Council recognizes Sarah Spurrier for her 31 years of service to the City of Green Cove Springs and its citizens as a member of the Board of Zoning Adjustment from May 1986 to February 1995 and a member of the Planning and Zoning Board from 1995 to 2008 and 2011 to 2020. This proclamation highlighting her service was passed 5 – 0 by the City Council.

  1. Recognition – Steven R. Kelley – Mayor May 21, 2019 – May 19, 2020

 City Council recognizes Council Member Steven Kelley’s year serving as the City of Green Cove Springs Mayor.

Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council.

5. City Council Award Bid No. LC 2020-09 Augusta Savage Arts & Community Center – Library new Construction in the amount of $456,000 and to approve to add Aternates 1,2,3,4 to bring the total to $476,826.00 to KBT Contracting Corp.

City Council approved 5 – 0 to award the contract of Augusta Savage Arts & Community Center – Library New Construction to KBT Contracting Corp. This new building will be built where the former Augusta Savage Library stood, and house an art gallery, mentoring center, dance studio, and kitchen. The Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center – Library is supported by Clay County.


City Council July 9, 2019, Meeting Brief


Full Agenda for July 9 City Council Meeting can be found HERE

Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

Vice Mayor Van Royal, Council Member Connie Butler, and Council Member Pam Lewis were present for the July 9th meeting. Mayor Steven Kelley and Council Member Mitch Timberlake were absent and on vacation with loved ones and family.

1. Second and final reading of City Ordinance 0-09-2019 amending City Code Section 117, Article 1 “In General” to include a Future Land Use and Zoning Compatibility Table, a Permitted Use Table, and a Lot Requirements Table. These amendments were added by Planning and Zoning staff to assist the public in better understanding Land Use and Zoning maps and terms.

            Passed 3 – 0 by City Council.

2. First reading of City Ordinance 0-10-2019 rezoning 0.570 acres of property located on Houston Street from R-2 (Residential Medium Density Land Use) to PUD (Planned Unit Development) to develop two proposed duplexes for a total of four single family units with an attached garage. Property owner is Wiggins Construction Co. of North Florida and applicant is Fleet & Associates Architects/Planners, Inc.

            Passed 3 – 0 by City Council. Second and final reading on July 23.

3. Frist Reading of City Ordinance 0-11-2019 amending the Future Land Use Map for 1.46 acres of property located at 806 Oak Street from INS (Institutional) to RHD (Residential High Density) to develop a proposed 17-unit apartment complex. Property owner is Wiggins Construction Co. of North Florida and applicant is Fleet & Associates Architects/Planners, Inc.

            Passed 3 – 0 by City Council. Second and final reading on July 23.

4. First Reading of City Ordinance 0-12-2019 rezoning 1.46 acres of property located at 806 Oak Street from RPO (Residential Professional Office) to PUD (Planned Unit Development) to develop a proposed 17-unit apartment complex. Property owner is Wiggins Construction Co. of North Florida and applicant is Fleet & Associates Architects/Planners, Inc.

            Passed 3 – 0 by City Council. Second and final reading on July 23.

Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council. Below are highlighted items taken out of the Consent Agenda and discussed and voted on separately.

5. City Council approved a $200,000 purchase order to Atlantic Coast Asphalt Company for the Fiscal Year 2019 Asphalt Overlay Improvement Project. Area of the asphalt overlay project includes 900 block of Cooks Lane, Kirk Street from Harring Avenue to Forbes Street, Spring Street from Esplanade Avenue to Roberts Street, Walnut Street from Roberts Street to Citizen Street, Citizen Street from Forbes Street to Bonnaventure Avenue, Bell Avenue, Lemon Street including parking, Palm Street, Wall Street, Center Street along Highland Avenue and Oakridge Avenue, and Palmer Street along Highland Avenue and Oakridge Avenue.

            Passed 3 – 0 by City Council.

7. City Council approved the final plat for the Clay Habitat Commons 3-lot Subdivision located on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Owned by Clay Habitat for Humanity, this lot will develop three single-family homes which will be occupied through Clay Habitat for Humanity’s program.

            Passed 3 – 0 by City Council.

11. City Council approved the following dates for workshops to review the Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Play for Fiscal year 2019/2020: August 6 at 9 a.m., August 8 at 9 a.m., August 13 at 9 a.m. and August 20 at 9 a.m.

            Passed 3 – 0 by City Council.

12. City Council approved September 3 at 7 p.m. and September 17 at 7 p.m. as the hearing dates for the first and final hearing to adopt the City of Green Cove Springs Operating Budget and Five Year Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 2019/2020.

            Passed 3 – 0 by City Council.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

3. City Council discussion and consideration for staff to provide 90-day notice of termination for convenience of the Electric Distribution System Services contract with Hooper Corporation. City Council approved the contract with Hooper Corporation for its Electric Distribution System Services in April 2019. Since then, Hooper has added staff to the Electric Department and helped to develop a Capital Improvement Project which led to a $10.7 million loan to improve on electric system reliability. However, Hooper Corporation has also struggled to keep positions filled while in contract with the City. This has led to Hooper using some of their outside construction crew members to do day-to-day work on the electric system, which has significantly slowed the progress on some of the CIP loan’s ongoing projects.

City Manager Steve Kennedy and Assistant City Manager Mike Null have determined that the City would be paying less by hiring its own electric construction crew and day-to-day electric crew to continue with the CIP loan projects to improve the electric system and daily operation of the system. Both have requested the City Council to authorize the City to give a 90-day notice of termination to Hooper, as per the contract, and to allow City staff to move forward with hiring one Electric Department Director, one Electric Department Superintendent, four Electric Department Linemen, one Electric Department Apprentice, and one Electric Department Low-Voltage Technician.

            Passed 3 – 0 by City Council.

City Manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence

City Manager Steve Kennedy, along with Finance Direct Marlena Guthrie, introduced the City Council to the City’s new utility bill format. The City’s Finance Department worked with Enco Utility Services Florida, LLC, to develop a format that breaks down customers’ monthly bill by utility and includes up to date announcements and frequently asked questions. The new bill format will be introduced to Green Cove Springs utility customers in August.


August 6, 2019 Meeting Brief


Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. Second and final reading of Ordinance No. O-13-19 amending City Code Section 90-123(j) authorizing the contribution in aid of construction to be paid to the City in limited circumstances over a period of up to 24 months.

First reading was passed on June 18, 2019, City Council meeting.

Passed 5 -0 by City Council

Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council. Below are highlighted items taken out of the Consent Agenda and discussed and voted on separately.

  1. City Council Approval of minutes from 6-18-2019 Regular, 7-9-2019 Regular, and 7-23-2019 Regular City Council meetings. (Removed to accurately reflect the absence of a City Council member)

Passed 5 -0 by City Council


Registration Open for The Augusta Savage Community Fine Arts Program


Copy of Augusta Savage Community Fine Arts Program 2019-20 Schedule (1).jpg

The Augusta Savage Community Fine Arts program continues through the school year for youth

ages 5 - 17 years old. See the Full Schedule for date, time, and description of each class and how to register!


Summer Yoga in the Park


Yoga Instructor Tori Glod hosts a five-week yoga series every Saturday morning starting Saturday, August 24, 2019. 

Tori Glod Yoga in  the Park 2019.jpg           Yoga in the Park 2 - 2019.jpg

tori glod - yoga.jpg

Yoga Instructor Tori Glod 


City Council August 20, 2019, Meeting Brief


Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. Presentation for the All Creations Inter-tribal Powwow being held at the Clay County Fairgrounds on November 28, 29, and 30. Members of the board of the Powwow explained the growth of the annual event in Clay County, and requested that the Council draft a proclamation recognizing November as Native American Heritage Month as well as request that the City become a sponsor. City Council directed staff to look into the details to fulfill both requests.

  1. City Council discussed options for a complaint regarding carport regulations brought before the Council on July 23 as a part of public comment by resident Peter Gomes. Mr. Gomes said that his request to permit a carport in April 2016 was denied, but has given examples of other carports permitted during the same time frame. On August 20, Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels presented the Council with four options: staff to review current ordinance and draft revisions for clarification on carports, allow Mr. Gomes to appeal the denial to Planning and Zoning, determine that no changes are necessary, or for the Council to give staff other directions. After some discussion, Council unanimously voted to accept Mr. Gomes application for a carport permit, provided that Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels confirms that the application is similar to those permits approved during the same time frame in 2016.    

City partners with i9 Sports for Fall Youth Sports


I-9 Sports are taking registrations as we speak for Flag Football and Soccer. Games are being played Every Saturday at Vera Francis Hall Park 8 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. September 21st thru November 9, 2019.  For registrations and info call the i9 Sports call center at  904-425-5575.

2019 fall winter flyer-i9sports.jpg


City Council September 3, 2019, Meeting Brief


Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. First Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-17-2019 adopting the Tentative Millage Rate for Fiscal year 2019/2020 and set September 17, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. as the final hearing date.

Passed 5-0 by City Council, with the Tentative Millage Rate of 3.8 mills. Final hearing and approval is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 17.

  1. First Public Hearing on the Fiscal Year 2019/2020 Annual Operating Budget and approval of Resolution No. R-18-2019 adopting the Tentative Annual Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2019/2020 and set September 17, 2019 at 7 p.m. as the final hearing date.

Passed 5-0 by City Council, with the Tentative Annual Operating Budget of $45,032,403. Final hearing and approval is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 17.

  1. First Public Hearing on the Five Year Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 2020/2024 and approval of resolution No. R-19-2019 adopting the Tentative Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 2020/2024.

Passed 5-0 by City Council, with the Tentative Capital Improvement Plan to cost $16,028,554. Final hearing and approval is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 17.

  1. Public Hearing and approval of Final Assessment Resolution No. R-20-2019,  a Resolution relating to the reimposition of Stormwater Management Service Assessments against real property within the City of Green Cove Springs; Approving the Stormwater Assessment Roll; and Confirming the Initial Assessment Resolution.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Public Hearing and approval of Final Assessment Resolution No. R-21-2019, a Resolution relating to the reimposition of Solid Waste Service Assessments in the Magnolia West Assessment Area, Approving the Solid Waste Assessment Roll; and Confirming the Initial Assessment Resolution.

Passed 5-0 by City Council


County Supervisor of Elections Warns of Misleading Mail by Voter Participation Center (VPC)


Misleading VPC Mailing.jpg


Convo Around the Cove: Improving Green Cove Springs' Parks


Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds sits down with Assistant Public Works Director Steve Thomas to talk about the progress on improving the City Pier, Spring Park, and other new additions to parks throughout Green Cove Springs. 


City Council September 17, 2019, Meeting Brief


Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-22-2019, a Resolution in compliance with Florida Statute 200.065 establishing a Millage Rate of $3.8000 Per Thousand of Non-Exempt Real Property within the City of Green Cove Springs, Florida for Fiscal Year 2019/2020.

Passed 5-0 by City Council.

  1. Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-23-2019, a Resolution setting forth the Annual Budget for Fiscal Year beginning October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2020.

Passed 5-0 by City Council with the final Annual Operating Budget of $45,032,403.

  1. Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-24-2019, a Resolution setting forth the Annual Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Years beginning October 1, 2019 to September 30, 2024.

Passed 5-0 by City Council with the final Capital Improvement Plan to cost $16,028,554.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. City Council Approval of Site Development Plan for Dunkin Donuts at the Northeast corner of Bayard Street and Orange Avenue.

Passed 5-0 by City Council. The Dunkin Donuts site is planned to be a 2,260 square foot building with drive-through and parking to the sides and back of the building. The building will face Orange Avenue. Application was passed 4-1 by the Planning and Zoning Board on Tuesday, August 27, with the following conditions: An eight-foot fence of more substantial material than board-on-board will replace the proposed six-foot board-on-board fence, and the applicant will comply with any FDOT Level of Service requirements.

  1. City Council approval to allow Clay Theatre to provide alcohol on the sidewalk during cocktail hour for an upcoming wedding on October 5, 2019 from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Denied 5-0 by City Council, with direction for staff to come back with city ordinances from neighboring cities that will address alcohol consumption on right of ways adjacent to private businesses.

  1. Discussion of property purchase – Rivers House

City Council passed a motion 5-0 to direct City Manager Steve Kennedy to reach out to home seller to hold selling the property so City can look into cost and potential for preservation and/or renovation of home.


City Council October 15, 2019, Meeting Brief


Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. First Hearing for Gateway Corridor Neighborhood (GCN) Architectural Requirements. Planning and Zoning Director Michael Daniels presented proposed changes to the architectural requirements in the Gateway Corridor Neighborhood Zoning District to better match City Visioning goals. Proposed changes include: Prohibit specific exterior building materials, require building entries along the primary building facade, require roofs to be between a 5:12 and 12:12 pitch or a decorative parapet is required, and utilitarian functions (HVAC equipment, dumpsters, etc) shall be screened from public view.

Passed 5-0 by City Council. Second and final hearing will be scheduled for November 5, 2019, regular City Council meeting.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. Presentation of proposed City of Green Cove Springs Government podcast “Convo Around the Cove.”

Approved 5-0 by City Council, directing staff to purchase equipment needed for recording, editing, and airing podcast episodes.

  1. City Council approval of a Master Site Development Plan for O’Reilly Auto Parts Store located at 350 Governors Street. Proposed plan includes a 7,716 square foot building , dumpster and parking area. Site will be landscaped with an 8-foot tall wall and 10-foot landscape buffer along the property to the west. An oak tree will be removed and tree mitigation fee of $5,920 will be paid to the City for the tree’s removal.

Approved 5-0 by City Council.

  1. Discussion and possible action on Clay County School District offer on Roderico property.

City Council agreed to deny the Clay County School Board’s offer of $85,000 to purchase the property and offer Clay County School Board a one-time purchase opportunity at $135,000, contingent upon Clay County’s commitment to give the fire station on Oakridge Avenue back to the City when the new station is constructed to the west.


Brief Power Outage on Oct. 28, 2020


A brief power outage that affected half of City customers occurred at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020. The cause of the outage was a contractor accidentally knocking out power to one of the City's two main electrical circuits while connecting new powerlines for the Third Feed to Chapman Substation. Power was restored in 10 minutes after a breaker connected to that circuit at Chapman Substation was reset. Electricity was turned to safe mode in order to protect workers for the Chapman Third Feed Project in an event of an accident.  


City Introduces Full-Time Electric Department Personnel Crew as Part of Long-Term Electric Utility Improvements


GCS_Electric_Dept.JPG

City of Green Cove Springs Electric Department (left to right): Assistant City manager Mike Null, Electric Superintendent Joe Hansford, Director of Electric Utility Steve Howard, Electric Admin Assistant Rosa Oyola-Jerez, Lineman Robby Mayben, Lineman Donnie Vara, and City Manager Steve Kennedy

Oct. 15, 2019, Green Cove Springs, FL – At the crack of dawn this morning, the first wave of the City’s new electric work crews drove out of the Electric Department Headquarters and hit the streets of Green Cove Springs.

Today, Tuesday, October 15, is the first official day that the electric department is once again operated by City personnel. City of Green Cove Springs has contracted with Hooper Corporation for Electric Distribution System Services since April 2016. Through this partnership, Hooper Corporation has helped the City improve its electric system and develop the Capital Improvement Project plan that led to the $10.7 million loan for electric system improvements approved by City Council in April 2018.

Due to staffing issues, City Council approved a 90-day notice of termination of the contract with Hooper Corporation in July 2019. This transition of contract crews to full-time personnel includes the City hiring one director, one superintendent, four linemen, one apprentice, and one low-voltage technician.

City staff have hired a full-time daily maintenance crew to maintain the City’s power lines and electric facilities. City is currently in the process of hiring a full-time electric construction crew that will oversee Electric Utility Capital Projects. Upcoming projects include underground cable replacement, Chapman Substation 3rd Feed, and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) installation to allow electric crews to remotely monitor and control electric utility equipment.


April 21, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


April 22, 2020 –

Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance O-04-2020 to amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) from Residential Low Density (RMD) to Residential Medium Density (RMD) for property located at the 500 & 600 Block of Vermont Avenue.

Request by Brent White of BMHB Ventures, applicant and agent for property owner Graylon Oaks Land Trust to amend future land use map for a maximum of 30 dwelling units to be developed on the property. Recommended by staff and Planning and Zoning Board for City Council to pass the proposed amendment.

Second and Final Reading approved 5 – 0 by City Council.

  1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance O-05-2020 to amend the zoning map from Residential Low Density (R-1) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) for property located at the 500 & 600 Block of Vermont Avenue.

Second request by Brent White of BMHB Ventures, applicant and agent of property owner Graylon Oaks Land Trust to amend the zoning map to comply with proposed plans to develop either 28-unit duplex complex or a single family home subdivision. Recommended by staff and Planning and Zoning Board for City Council to pass the proposed amendment.

Changes since first reading include requiring developer to provide a 15 ft. landscape buffer along Vermont Ave. and a 20 ft. natural area buffer on south side of property, and arborist will be identifying any diseased trees on property that are hanging over adjacent properties. Developer is deciding between a 28-unit duplex complex or single family home subdivision with HOA.

City Council approved 5- 0 amendment as read with option for developer to build a 20 ft. for duplex or a 6 ft. fence with 10 ft. landscape buffer on property side for single family homes

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. City Manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence

City Manager Steve Kennedy addressed the Council about upcoming appointments to replace outgoing members of the Planning and Zoning Board, which are due by May 18.

City Manager Kennedy also requested the Council’s feedback on the City suspending utility Non-disconnection action, which ends April 30, 2020. Council agreed on keeping the April 30 end date and for Finance Department staff to work with customers on payment plans to continue paying their utility bill.


City Park Multipurpose Fields reopen to the Public


Tuesday, May 26, 2020 -  Effective Tuesday, May 26, all multipurpose fields in Green Cove Springs parks are open to the public. This includes the baseball field, multipurpose field, and basketball court in Vera Francis Hall Park, the soccer field and baseball field by Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym, the basketball court in Augusta Savage Friendship Park, and the beach volleyball court in Spring Park. Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym remains closed to the public.

Organized athletic associations must submit a safety plan for approval and an updated active insurance policy to City Manager Steve Kennedy. Documents can be emailed to Executive Assistant Kimberly Thomas at kthomas@greencovesprings.com.


Welcome to Convo Around the Cove: A City of Green Cove Springs Government Podcast



Addressing July 10-13, 2020, Electric Power Issues


As you are aware, the City has been experiencing a series of electric outages over the weekend and today, Monday, July 13. The City is currently experiencing power bumps because the entire city has been running on one of two electrical circuits since noon today, overloading the electric capacity for that circuit. Parts to repair the second circuit are in route from South Florida and should be here this evening. As soon as the City receives these parts repairs will be made and the electric system will be back to normal.

In the meantime, we should expect to continue seeing power bumps as this single circuit is currently overloaded.

We understand the frustration that these outages have caused and are working as quickly as possible to resolve these issues. We will provide more information this week about this situation and what we are doing to prevent similar electric power issues in the future. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to resolve this.

UPDATE: Circuit was repaired and the City was back to normal operations as of 8:30 p.m. Monday, July 13, 2020. 


City Council November 5, 2019 Meeting Brief


Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. First reading of Ordinance No. O-17-2019, an Ordinance modifying Water Rates – Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.

The proposed Ordinance will increase Water Rates by 3% and the monthly water utility bill by $.50 to $.60. This increase is part of the water and wastewater rate study done by Mittauer & Associates and approved by City Council in September 2016, which recommends increasing water rates through Fiscal Year 2021 to support increased use of the water system and cost to improve and maintain the system with this increased use. This 3% increase was discussed and approved by City Council as part of the FY 20 Budget on September 16, 2019.

            Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with Council Member Pam Lewis absent. Second and final reading will be held at the November 19 regular council meeting.

  1. First Reading of Ordinance No. O-18-2019, and Ordinance modifying Wastewater Rates – Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.

The proposed Ordinance will increase Wastewater Rates by 17% and the monthly wastewater utility bill by $5 to $7. This increase is also part of the water and wastewater rate study done by Mittauer & Associates and approved by City Council in August 2016, which recommends increasing wastewater rates through FY 22. Money collected through this gradual rate increase will be used to pay back the loan approved by City Council in June 2016 to make major improvements to the City’s wastewater system. This includes the new Advanced Water/Wastewater Treatment Plant and lift stations, which will replace the two current treatment plants. This 17% increase was discussed and approved by City Council as part of the FY 20 Budget on September 16, 2019.

            Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with Council Member Pam Lewis absent. Second and final reading will be held at the November 19 regular council meeting.

  1. First Reading of Ordinance No. O-15-2019, an Ordinance creating a Short Term Rental Ordinance.

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with Council Member Pam Lewis absent. Second and final reading will be held at the November 19 regular council meeting.

  1. Second and final reading of Ordinance No. O-14-2019, an ordinance creating Architectural Requirements for the Gateway Corridor Neighborhood Zoning District.

Planning and Zoning Director Michael Daniels presented proposed changes to the architectural requirements in the Gateway Corridor Neighborhood Zoning District to better match City Visioning goals. Proposed changes include: Prohibit specific exterior building materials, require building entries along the primary building facade, require roofs to be between a 5:12 and 12:12 pitch or a decorative parapet is required, and utilitarian functions (HVAC equipment, dumpsters, etc) shall be screened from public view.

            Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Pam Lewis absent.


City Council March 3, 2020 Meeting Brief


Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. First Hearing for Ordinance No. O-02-2020, an Ordinance Amending the Official Zoning Map for 22 Parcels, 6.134 Acres, Located on Bonaventure and Idlewild Avenue, from Residential Professional Office (RPO) and Gateway Corridor Residential (GCR) to Gateway Corridor Neighborhood (GCN)

First reading passed 5 – 0 by City Council

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. Discussion of the Roderico Property.

This is a continuation of negotiations between Green Cove Springs City Council and Clay County School Board over the purchase of the property on 25 Roderigo Avenue, formally Fire Station 1 which was approved by City Council as surplus property on Sept. 4, 2018. City Manager Steve Kennedy requested that the Council approve of him gathering the contract and other relevant documents to present to the Council to discuss on the March 24 City Council meeting. City Manager Kennedy will also invite the School Board to the March 24 meeting to present its future plans for the property to City Council.

City Manger Kennedy’s request was approved 5 – 0 by City Council.


Convo Around the Cove Episode 3: What's Coming Down the Pipe for GCS


In the third episode of Convo Around the Cove Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds sits down with Assistant City Manager and Public Works Director Mike Null to talk about the City projects in the works that will upgrade Green Cove Springs water and wastewater utilities, as well as the new Public Works Admin Building which will be completed in early 2020. Intro and Outro Music: On The Verge by Joseph McDade


City Administration Mandates Face Masks in City Buildings


Tuesday, July 14, 2020 – Effective immediately, face masks will be mandatory when entering any Green Cove Springs City buildings. This includes City Hall, Public Works Administrative Building, and Green Cove Springs Police Department.

            This policy change applies to anyone entering a City building to conduct business with City staff, or anyone attending a meeting at City Hall, Public Works, or the Police Department.

“We enacted this City Policy change in light of the increasing numbers of new COVID-19 cases in Florida, as well as a concern for the health of staff, the public, and their loved ones,” said City Manager Steve Kennedy.

            Hand sanitizer and disposable face masks will be available in every lobby area for those that do not have a face mask when entering a City building. Mandatory mask notices and availability of masks and hand sanitizer will be placed at all entrances and doors to lobby areas in City buildings. 

            This policy change also applies to City Staff. Staff are required to wear a face mask once entering a City building, while walking to and from staff common areas and offices, and while assisting the public inside a City building.

            Contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds for any questions concerning this policy change at treynolds@greencovesprings.com.


City Council November 19, 2019 Meeting Brief


Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance No. O-17-2019, an Ordinance modifying Water Rates – Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.

The proposed Ordinance will increase Water Rates by 3% and the average monthly residential water utility bill by $.50 to $.60. This increase is part of the water and wastewater rate study done by Mittauer & Associates and approved by City Council in September 2016, which recommends increasing water rates through Fiscal Year 2021 to support increased use of the water system and cost to improve and maintain the system with this increased use. This 3% increase was discussed by City Council as part of the FY 20 Budget, which was approved on September 16, 2019.

           

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council.

  1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance No. O-18-2019, and Ordinance modifying Wastewater Rates – Fiscal Year (FY) 2020.

The proposed Ordinance will increase Wastewater Rates by 17% and the average monthly residenital wastewater utility bill by $5 to $7. This increase is also part of the water and wastewater rate study done by Mittauer & Associates and approved by City Council in August 2016, which recommends increasing wastewater rates through FY 22. Money collected through this gradual rate increase will be used to pay back the loan approved by City Council in June 2016 to make $34 million in major improvements to the City’s wastewater system. This includes the new Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant and lift stations, which will replace the two current treatment plants. This 17% increase was discussed by City Council as part of the FY 20 Budget, which was approved on September 16, 2019.

           

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council.

  1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance No. O-15-2019, an Ordinance creating a Short Term Rental Ordinance.

The proposed Ordinance establishes guidelines for short term rentals within Green Cove Springs City Limits, which is defined as any individually or collectively owned single family, two family, three family or four family house or dwelling unit which is rented more than three times a year for less than 30 days. Guidelines established in the ordinance include that the owner must secure a business tax receipt, a Short Term Vacation Rental Certificate, all applicable state licenses, and an Affidavit demonstrating compliance with Short Term Rental standards to the City to be a registered Short Term Vacation Rental. All registered Short Term Vacation Rentals can house one occupant for every 250 sq. ft. and must have one available parking space per bedroom.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. Review and approval of the Preliminary Plat / Improvement Plan for the Cottages on Cove 11-lot Subdivision.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council.

  1. Rivers House Discussion.

Vice Mayor Van Royal made a motion, seconded by Council Member Pam Lewis, to make an offer to Tom Rivers of $285,000 with a deposit of $20,000, contingent upon obtaining financing within 90 days, and 30 days to close.

           

            Passed 5 – 0 by City Council.


Convo Around the Cove Episode 2: Powering Green Cove Springs


City of Green Cove Springs Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds sits down with Electric Director Steve Howard to talk about the ways that the City has strengthened the Electric Department to serve the growing community of Green Cove Springs. 

Intro/Outro Music: On the Verge by Joseph McDade


Preserve at Magnolia West and Magnolia West Recycling Schedule Changes in 2020


RECYCLING CHANGES STARTING

JANUARY 6th, 2020

FOR PRESEVE AT MAGNOLIA WEST AND MAGNOLIA WEST

EFFECTIVE January 6th, 2020 – Due to the increase of recycling and growth in your area, we will be changing the pick-up day for recycling in your neighborhood.  Your NEW recycling day will now be on Monday.  Due to this change, there will be no recycling pickup in your area on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

There will be no changes to your household garbage and yard waste schedules.

Please call Public Works with any questions or concerns at 904-297-7012.  Thank you.


City Council Special Session on Stormwater User Fee Rate Structure Analysis Special Session, November 19, 2019, Meeting Brief


Presentation of Stormwater Utility User Fee rate structure analysis by CHW and City Council direction regarding implementation of a user fee.

            Assistant City Manager and Public Works Director Mike Null, along with Robert Walpole, PE, with CHW, presented the estimated stormwater user fee to fund capital projects for the stormwater system, which will cost the City $750,000 per year for the next 10 years to complete long-term, unmet capital projects of the stormwater system.

            City Council approved a task order of $20,000 for CHW to do additional analysis to establish a usage fee to fund stormwater capital projects in June 2017. When CHW came back with its analysis in September 2018, City Council directed that an analysis of all non single family developed parcels within City limits be done to determine a final user fee rate.

            On November 19, 2019, CHW presented City Council a final usage fee of $209 per 1 Equivalent Stormwater Unit (ESU), which equates to every 2,400 sq. ft. of areas that would create stormwater run-off, or impervious coverage, of each parcel in City limits. This is in addition to the $42 fee to the Stormwater Utility Fund, which covers two full-time personnel, supplies, and equipment that make up the stormwater utility department. The $209 cost will allow the City to fund $750,000 every year for capital stormwater projects.

Exceptions to this proposed fee include agriculture properties with farm operations, unimproved land, and the North City Planning Unit, which includes Magnolia Point, as long as those properties continue to operate and maintain all roadways, stormwater basins, and conveyance systems through a Homeowners Association and all discharge is to Governors Creek and not a City owned system. Properties with on-site stormwater treatment will be eligible to apply for mitigation credits equal to 50 percent or 100 percent of their user fee.

After extensive discussion, City Council unanimously voted to start the stormwater capital project usage fee at $125, and for the Council to revisit the fee annually. Staff will create a stormwater usage fee ordinance with that fee and present it to the City Council in January. The ordinance will go through two public hearings before final approval by City Council.


Convo Around the Cove: Chat with Matt Johnson


Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds talks to Matt Johnson, one of the two new members on the City Council. Get to know Matt and what he values most about Green Cove Springs.


City Council January 7, 2020 Meeting Brief


Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. Second and Final Hearing of Ordinance No. O-16-2019, amending City Code Chapter 78, Article V, concerning transient merchants.

This proposed amendment reorganizes transient merchants into three divisions, with mobile food vendors—commonly known as food trucks—as an added third division of transient merchants. This added division for mobile food vendors includes specific permitted zoning where food trucks can be located, adds two permits of Mobile Food Vendor, Individual Food Vendor or Property Owner and Special Event that mobile food vendors can apply for, and establishes a specific application review and permitting process, and restrictions for mobile food vendors.

On the December 3 City Council Meeting the Council passed the amendment with recommendations to add a liability insurance section and to remove the buffer restrictions. Planning and Zoning Director Michael Daniels presented the amended ordinance with those changes.

Passed 4 -1 by City Council with reinstating the buffer restrictions between mobile food vendors and brick and mortar businesses and taking out the restriction of a food truck doing business in front of a brick and mortar business offering similar products or services. Council Member Mitch Timberlake voted against, disagreeing with reinstating the buffer restrictions to the amendment.

Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council. Below are highlighted items taken out of the Consent Agenda and discussed and voted on separately.

            4. Council approval of Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) with Clay County for the funding for the Museum/Mentor Center at the Augusta Savage Complex. Clay County approved the IGA at their 12/10/19 Commission meeting. City Manager recommends approval.

                        Council Member Pam Lewis praises Vice Mayor Van Royal and Clay County District 1 Commissioner Mike Cella for the Clay County Board of Commissioners for approving the funding. Item passed 5 – 0 by City Council.

7. City Council approval of a purchase order to KMC Marine Construction in the amount of $29,977.00 to construct 150 foot of dock for the kayak launch in Spring Park.

            Council Member Pam Lewis expresses her excitement for the kayak launch and thinks it will be a great addition to Spring Park. Item passed 5 – 0 by City Council.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. Classification and Compensations Study Contract with Evergreen Solutions, LLC.

Human Resources Director Mary Jane Lundy presented the staff recommended vendor for the City’s Classification and Compensation Study. The study was discussed during the FY 19/20  Budget Workshops and approved in the FY 19/20 Human Resources Budget.

Passed by the City Council 5 -0.


Convo Around the Cove: New Year, New Green Cove Springs


Green Cove Springs City Manager Steve Kennedy sits down with Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds to talk about the progress of past episode topics and what's on the horizon for Green Cove Springs in 2020. Below is a time stamp list of all the upcoming initiatives and projects covered in this episode, so you can jump to what interests you! 1:00 - Recap of past episode topics 5:00 - New Spring Park dock and kayak launch 7:03 - Town Hall Meetings and Citizen Advisory Committee 12:50 - Coordinating with Clay County and neighboring cities and towns in Clay 15:00 - Augusta Savage Museum and Mentoring Center 22: 00 - Downtown redevelopment and economic development in Green Cove Springs 29:50 - Smart City initiatives 33:05 - Blight Ordinance 34:44 - CALEA (Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies) 38:55 - Final remarks

City Council January 21, 2020, Meeting Brief


Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council.

All Consent Agenda items were approved under one vote in the January 21, 2020 meeting. Below are highlighted items from the Consent Agenda.

            9. Study Request to include US 17 as a Corridor Study Project in the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) Special Projects Budget.

            City Development Services staff will be submitting a request to the North Florida Transportation Planning Organization to include a corridor study of US 17 in the Special Projects Budget of its 2021-2022 Unified Development Work Program. The requested study would span US 17 between SR 16 and Orion Road and its purpose would be to analyze and recommend changes to the design of the corridor to further define Green Cove Springs as a destination, in addition to improving safety and efficient movement of traffic.

10. Approve a Non-Binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Smart City Capital, LLC, that will support steps in our effort to become more of a Smart City in our operations.

            City Manager Steve Kennedy presented the MOU to Council. The signed MOU will establish the City’s partnership with Smart City Capital, LLC, to start working with them to develop technology related projects for infrastructure. The process includes Smart City Capital and the City of Green Cove Springs establishing Smart City priorities and use those priorities to complete projects through Public Private Partnerships.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. City Council discussion on rescheduling Council Meetings due to elections and holidays.

City Council voted to move the City Council Meeting dates of March 17, August 18, and November 3, to March 24, August 25, November 10 and change December meeting date to December 8.

  1. City Council discussion and direction reguarding bidding for Construction of the Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center (ASACC) Library Building.

City Council voted to have City Building Official Bill Golberg to look over the original building plans and make recommendations on how it can be updated to meet 2017 Florida Building Code. These recommendations will then be given to an architect to change the design.


Friends of Augusta Savage Celebrates Black History Month 2020



Green Cove Springs City Council Resumes In-Person Meetings Beginning June 16


Thursday, June 11, 2020 – Green Cove Springs City Council will be returning to the Council Chambers in City Hall for its regular council meeting starting at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16.

The Council Chambers will be open at 50% capacity for public meetings. City staff has arranged the chambers for the Council and City Administration to adhere to social distancing. Audience seating will also be marked to encourage social distancing and maintain 50% capacity.

Temperature checks will be taken at the entrance to the City Council Chambers, and hand sanitizer and face coverings will be available for the public to use during public meetings.

Anyone unable to attend the meeting in-person but who has a public comment can either register telephonically at 904-297-7047 or email their comment to City Clerk Erin West at ewest@greencovesprings.com. Members of the public have until 3 p.m. on Tuesday, June 16, to register or submit their comments.

For any questions contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7046 or by email at treynolds@greencovesprings.com.


City Announces New Security Measures for City Council Meetings


            Starting Tuesday, February 18, City of Green Cove Springs will implement new security measures to ensure the safety of City Council, City Staff, and members of the public that attend City Council meetings.

Only the front entrance to City Hall on Orange Avenue will be open as an entrance and exit to the building. A Green Cove Springs Police Officer will be standing outside the entrance to City Council Chambers to check for concealed weapons.

The City appreciates the public’s cooperation and patience as the City transitions to these new security measures in City Hall.


Harbor Road Railroad Crossing Project


CSX will be repairing the railroad crossing on Harbor Road from Thursday, July 16 through Friday, July 17. While repairs are being made, traffic will be detoured via a bypass built south of the train tracks on Harbor Road. Anyone living inside Magnolia Point will use the back gate of the gated subdivision as an entrance and exit while repairs are made. 

Harbor Road will not be accessible to delivery trucks on Thursday, July 16, and Friday, July 17. 

Any surrounding businesses with questions can call CSX Capital Project Manager Tommy Termer at 904-536-0278


February 4, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

2. First reading of Ordinance O – 01- 2020 making comprehensive changes to Chapter 70 – Stormwater Utility.

            The proposed changes to Chapter 70 – Stormwater Utility is introducing a yearly Usage Fee of $125 per Equivalent Stormwater Unit (ESU), which is set to 3,000 square feet of impervious area or one single-family residential dwelling. This fee was set by City Council at the Special Session Meeting on November, 19, 2019, followed by a presentation bringing together seven years of study and analysis to establish a Stormwater Utility and a base fee/user rate fee structure. The proposed fee, originally recommended to be set between $200 and $250 per ESU, will be used to help support support an annual budget of $750,000 in stormwater capital improvement needs and allow the City to fund much needed stormwater system projects.

            City staff presented an Ordinance setting the user fee of $125 per ESU annually during the February 4, 2020, meeting and the ordinance will be advertised for a second and final public hearing on February 18, 2020.

            City Council approved Ordinance O – 01 – 2020, establishing the stormwater Usage Fee to $125 per ESU and recommended exemptions and mitigation credits, 4 -1 with Council Member Mitch Timberlake voting against.


Green Cove Springs City Council Candidates Run Unopposed for 2020 Municipal Super Tuesday Election


As of close of qualifying week at noon on Friday, February 7, Clay County Supervisor of Elections announced that qualifying candidates for all open elected municipal seats, including Green Cove Springs, are running unopposed. Therefore, all qualifying candidates win the seats they registered and qualified for, and there will be no Municipal Super Tuesday Election on April 14.

Green Cove Springs City Council Seats 1 and 2 were open for election for 2020 Municipal Super Tuesday. Edward Gaw will succeed Pam Lewis for City Council Seat 1. “Matt” Johnson will succeed Mitch Timberlake for City Council Seat 2. Both will start their term on May 19, 2020.

City of Green Cove Springs would like to refer any questions to the Supervisor of Elections, which can be reached by phone at 904-269-6350 or through its website at ClayElections.gov.


Convo Around the Cove: Stormwater Usage Fee


Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds talks with Assistant City Manager and Public Works Director Mike Null about the new Stormwater Usage Fee, which will go through its second and final hearing in front of the City Council on Feb. 18, 2020. Null breaks down the new fee and how it will impact the City ling term.


November 10, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


November 12, 2020 –

            Awards and Recognition

  1. Veterans Day Proclamation

Coast Guard received the Veterans Day Proclamation.

Public Hearings

  1. First Reading of Ordinance No. O-11-2020, an Ordinance modifying Water Rates – Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.

This is a first reading to increase water rates by 3% for FY 2021, which was approved by City Council as part of the FY 21 budget. This increase will take effect on December 8, 2020.

                                    Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. First Reading of Ordinance No. O-12-2020, an Ordinance modifying Wastewater Rates – Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.

This is a first reading to increase wastewater rates by 9% as outlined in the rate study to finance proposed capital improvements to the City’s wastewater and reclaimed water systems that was approved by City Council in August 2016. This increase will take effect on December 8, 2020.

                                    Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-30-2020, a Resolution amending the Special Revenue Building Department Fund operating budget for Fiscal Year 2020 per Exhibit “A.”

This approval is for budget adjustments for fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2020, and this adjustment recognizes any unexpected revenues and expenditures as of Sept. 30, 2020.

                                    Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-31-2020, a Resolution amending the Disaster Fund and General Fund operating budgets for Fiscal Year 2020.

This approval is for budget adjustments for fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2020, and this adjustment recognizes any unexpected revenues and expenditures as of Sept. 30, 2020.

                                    Passed 5-0 by City Council

Consent Agenda

  1. City Council approval of Minutes from 10?20?20202 Special Session and 10/20/20202 Regular Session.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the mayor to execute, Modification #1 to the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Federally-Funded Subaward and Grant Agreement #H0297 / Project Number 4337-217-R, for $537,018.75, for Utility Mitigation and Generator Project to install generators on 17 of the City’s lift stations.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for funding in the amount of $348,7600 to Mastry / Yanmar utilizing the Sourcewell Purchasing Cooperative ID #103544, and funding in the amount of $90,003.63 to Cummins Southeast using the Florida Sheriffs Association FSA20-EQU18.0, for a total amount of $438,771.63 to purchase generators as part of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP), Federally-Funded Subaward and Grant Agreement #H0297 / Project Number 4337-217-R, for $537,018.75, for Utility Mitigation and Generator Project to install generators on 17 of the City’s lift stations. Note: When you factor in the 75% funding from HMGP, the actual budgetary impact will be $109,692.90. Staff has requested an advance from HMGP in the amount of $333,578.20 but due to lead times the generator order need to be placed prior to receipt.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Amendment to the 4th Extension of the Professional Engineering Services Agreement for FY 20/21.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the Mayor to execute, the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD), Cost share Agreement Contract #36028, granting the City $1,500,000.00 towards the construction of the Harbor Road Water Reclamation Facility Phase 2 Project.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the City manager to execute, Amendment #1 in the amount of $56,100.00 to the Design Loan Agreement for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection(FDEP), Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan Application DW 100102 for $356,800.00, for the design of capital improvements to the City’s Water System.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to pay Application #3 to KBT Contraction Corp in the amount of $84,537.36 for the new library building and approval to pay Application #1 for the food bank project in the amount of $39,955.73.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Pay Request #3 in the amount of $19,695.70 to General Underground for Bid Award LC 2020-06, Reynolds Water System Improvements in the amount of $685,724.00 (Base Bid), and Alternate #1 (water and sewer extension to MOBRO) in the amount of $314,275.00 for a total amount of $1,000,449.00

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to purchase a 2021 F-250 work truck for the Florida Sheriff’s bid # 18-VEL 26.0, in the total amount of $40,222.00 from Duval Ford and to surplus truck # 803, a 2008 F-250 which has far outlived its useful life.

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Review of a Master Site Development Plan for the Narducci Storage Office at 409 N Palmetto Avenue, 017639-001-00

Pulled from Consent Agenda for further information by City Council.

                        Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Review and Approval of Green Cove Springs Citizens Christmas Parade

Pulled from Consent Agenda for further information by City Council.

                        Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Contractors Pay Request #4 in the amount of $44,215.20 to Jax Utilities Management for Bid Award LC 2020-07, US 17 / SR 16 Force Main Modifications in the amount of $412,915.00

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Award of Bid LC 2020-15

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Award of Bid LC 2020-16 two 27 kV Breakers

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Award of Bid LC 2020-14

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Mural Program Application - #ClayStrong Mural by Sophie Dentiste

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. Council Approval of financing contract with NCL Government Capital for the purchase of two Heil Rear Load Garbage Trucks from Tampa Crane and Body Acquisitions, LLC in the amount of $255,600.00

Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Resolution No. R-32-2020, correcting scrivener’s error on the Stormwater Mitigation Credit application due date.

Pulled from Consent Agenda for more information by City Council.

            Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Resolution No. R-33-2020, updating the City’s Stormwater Mitigation Credit Policy.

Pulled from Consent Agenda for more information by City Council. The original required compliance was replaced by wording that states that properties need to follow St. Johns Water Management District Standards, making it a living document.

            Passed 5-0 by City Council

Council Business

  1. FMPA – November 2020

  1. Review and approval of Resolution No. R-29-2020, implementing Traffic Study Guidelines for New Development.

Development Services Staff have created the Traffic Impact Analysis Guidelines due to the potential for large-scale development projects coming into Green Cove Springs and comprehensive plan requirements that dictate that new development must comply with the designated Level of Service standards for transportation.

The guidelines are designed to require developers to hire a traffic engineer to analyze roadways within the study area and determine if the projected traffic from the proposed development will degrade the roadways below the Level of Service standards for roads connected to or surrounding the new development. If it does, then the applicant will be required to pay the City a proportionate fair share of the cost of improvements to those roadways, as specified in the City’s Consurrency Ordinance.

            Passed 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence/Executive Summary Reports.

City Manager Steve Kennedy: Requested that the City Council make an emergency motion to approve the new Interlocal Agreement with Clay County, which is in line with the new standards for CARES Act funding, and to rescind the original project list for CARES Act funding so Staff can make a modified project list to comply with the new funding standards.

            Council Member Connie Butler moves to make the emergency motion and Council Member Matt Johnson seconds the motion. Emergency Motion passes 5-0 by City Council.

City staff have been walking the downtown area from the post office to Walgreens and down to Spring Park to take note of any improvements that need to be made, as well as projects that are already underway. City Manager Kennedy has passed that list along to City Council, and will periodically update the Council on the progress of those improvements.

City Manager Kennedy is also working with community groups to come up with an after-school curriculum for the new Augusta Savage Mentoring Center.

The StoryWalk Project with Clay County Library System is moving forward in Spring Park. The project will be installed in Spring Park within the next few weeks.

There will be a presentation on the Smart City Projects that have been happening in Green Cove Springs during an upcoming City Council meeting.

City Manager Kennedy called Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels to the podium to talk about a recent proposal to develop of flag lot in Green Cove Springs. Owner wants to use the lot as a single family home, but lot does not meet the setbacks required for a single family home. Daniels does not recommend approving development on flag lots, which are lots with one narrow access point that opens up to a larger area of land. Mayor Van Royal suggested giving an exception for this lot with caveats on how to develop the property. Daniels said that the lot will go to the Planning and Zoning Board, then back to the City Council for approval.

  

  1. City Council Reports and/or Correspondence.

Council Member Connie Butler said that the County Preservation Board is working on an Augusta Savage Marker.


Proposed Green Cove Springs Mask Mandate Failed on 3-2 Vote by City Council


Tuesday, July 14, 2020 – A proposed Emergency Ordinance NO O-08-2020 Providing for Mandatory Indoor Use of Face Coverings in Response to Continued Spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 failed in a 3-2 vote by the Green Cove Springs City Council.

The emergency ordinance needed a 4-1 vote to pass. Mayor Van Royal, Vice Mayor Ed Gaw, and Council Member Connie Butler voted for the ordinance, and Council Member Steven Kelley and Council Member Matt Johnson voted against the ordinance.

The emergency ordinance proposed a mandate to use of face coverings in indoor settings in the City of Green Cove Springs when social distancing cannot be maintained. The proposed ordinance had several exceptions to wearing face coverings.

For any questions or more information, contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7046 or treynolds@greencovesprings.com.  


City Playgrounds and Sports Fields Closed as of Sundown Monday, March 30, 2020


March 30, 2020 – In an abundance of caution to protect the public and to encourage physical distancing, City of Green Cove Springs will be closing City park playgrounds and sports fields to the public as of sundown Monday, March 30, 2020. This is in line with Clay County and City of Keystone Heights parks, which will also close its playgrounds and sports fields to the public sundown Monday, March 30, 2020.

This includes Spring Park splash pad, playground, and beach volleyball court; Vera Francis Hall Park playground, basketball court, and softball field; Augusta Savage Friendship Park playground and basketball field; Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym; and Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center playground, soccer field, and softball field.   

City will place fencing and signage around these areas to discourage the use of City playgrounds and sports fields.

City still encourages passive use of City parks (including walking and jogging trials and park benches), canoe and kayak launches, boat launches, and fishing piers for individual use. Individuals who use the park are strongly encouraged to follow guidelines issued by the CDC to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus:

  • Sanitize any high-touch surfaces before use
  • Gatherings should be limited to 10 people or less
  • Practice physical distancing and maintain a physical distance of 6 feet away from others
  • Wash hands frequently and avoid touching your face
  • Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow and throw tissue away after use
  • Stay home if you are sick

For any questions related to COVID-19 please contact the Clay County Emergency Management Hotline at 877-252-9362.


Green Cove Springs City Hall, Police Department Lobby and Public Works Lobby Closes to the Public Starting Monday, March 30


March 26, 2020 – Out of an abundance of caution to protect the health and safety of staff, residents, and the public, Green Cove Springs City Hall, police department lobby, and public works lobby will be closed to the public indefinitely starting Monday, March 30.

All City departments, public works, police department, and customer service can still be reached by phone or email. The Customer Service drive through is still open to take utility bill and permit payments in person. Residents can also use the City’s online services for utility payments. Contact City Customer Service Department for any questions or concerns about utility billing by phone at 904-297-7500, ext. 3300 or by email at customerservice@greencovesprings.com.

City of Green Cove Springs will continue to inform the public of any updates through the City website www.greencovesprings.com, City’s Facebook (Green Cove Springs City Government), and Twitter (@gcsTODAY). Please contact the Clay County Emergency Management Hotline for questions related to COVID-19 at 877-252-9362.


Convo Around the Cove:Springing into Spring Park Wi-Fi


Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds chats with Network Administrator Angel Alicea about the newest addition to Spring Park: its public Wi-Fi network. Angel explains the network and how it serves as a foundation to future Smart City projects he plans to build on top of the network. Intro and Outro Music: On the Verge by Joseph McDade


City of Green Cove Springs Declares Local State of Emergency for COVID-19


March 17, 2020 – Green Cove Springs City Council declared Local State of Emergency for COVID-19 as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

With this declaration the City aligns itself with Clay County in mitigating costs related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the latest on measures the City is taking for the health safety of its residents and staff, go to greencovesprings.com, “City of Green Cove Springs Government” on Facebook, @gscTODAY on Twitter, and City of Green Cove Springs on Nextdoor.


City Awarded Quarter Million Dollar Grant for Support in Expanding Manufacturing Operations for AMMCON and PASS


City of Green Cove Springs received a $250,000 Job Growth Grant from Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for electric system infrastructure enhancements to the properties of AMMCON and Precision Airparts Support Services, or PASS.

The grant award was presented by Governor Ron DeSantis during the fourth annual Clay Day in Tallahassee on Thursday, February 20.  

This grant will assist the City in upgrading electrical services to the properties of these businesses to adequately support the amount of electricity in expanding its manufacturing operations.

“Through the growth of the two companies, PASS and AMMCON, the City realized the need to provide for more electric capacity in the northern part of our Electric Service Area to be able to serve these two great companies as well as to improve capacity and reliability. We are excited to experience this growth as well as many more growth and expansion opportunities through future partnerships,” said Green Cove Springs City Manager Steve Kennedy. “It is great to have the Governor and the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity seeing this need and putting their money where it will not only benefit the City of Green Cove Springs, but the greater Clay Community and the State of Florida. Thanks again to Governor DeSantis and his team.”

In June 2019 City Council approved a revision to the economic development section in the City Code for businesses to be able to partner with the City to make upgrades on its electric grid for business operations. AMMCON and PASS agreed to pay for portions of the upgrade on their property and City agreed to pay for portions on City right of way on CR 315.

President of Clay Florida Economic Development Corporation J.J Harris applied for the grant on behalf of the City in July 2019, and the project was chosen and awarded by the Department of Economic Opportunity.


Green Cove Springs City Pool Opens May 12 Under Management of Planet Swim, LLC


April 30, 2020 – City of Green Cove Springs announces that the City Pool will be open for the 2020 season on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.

The 2020 season also marks the beginning of Planet Swim, LLC, managing the City Pool under a Professional Services Agreement passed by the City Council on February 18, 2020. Planet Swim, who was previously contracted by the City to run summer swim lessons at the City Pool, will now manage activities, staff, and entry fees to the City Pool. The City will continue to be responsible for any repairs and weekly maintenance of the pool.

The City Pool will be open 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday from Tuesday, May 5, to Sunday, September 27, 2020. Planet Swim staff will be available at the City Pool office from May 5 to May 10 to answer questions and inform the public on hours, prices, and passes. City Pool will be open for public swim starting Tuesday, May 12.  In accordance with state executive orders and CDC Guidelines, Planet Swim will keep use of the pool to 10 people or fewer per hour and expand public use as larger groups are allowed to congregate in public spaces.

Pool passes for the 2020 season are $100 for individuals, $75 for seniors (ages 65 and older) and active military, $75 for children (ages 2-17), and $225 for a family (groups of 5). Pool passes are a one-time fee that grants unlimited access to the City Pool for the season. Daily entry rates will be $5 for adults, $3 for seniors (ages 65 and older) and active military, and $3 for children (ages 2-17).

Prices for pool passes and daily entry fees have increased because daily pool hours have increased, resulting in the City Pool open and fully staffed 50 days longer than it has been in the past.

There will be more specific information in future social media postings and press releases regarding swim lessons and other pool activities organized by Planet Swim.

Public can reach Planet Swim with any questions or concerns at greencove@planetswim.org or by phone after Tuesday, May 5, at 904-297-7070.


Local State of Emergency Issued in Clay County Florida for COVID-19


imageFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Friday, March 13, 2020

 

Annaleasa Winter

Board of County Commissioners - Clay County, FL  

904-529-5397/cell: 904-436-3102

Annaleasa.Winter@claycountygov.com

 

Local State of Emergency Issued in Clay County Florida for COVID-19

 

 

Green Cove Springs, FL –The Clay County Board of County Commissioners and County Manager, in conjunction with the Division of Emergency Management and Florida Department of Health in Clay County Unified Command, has issued a Local State of Emergency for COVID-19 as of 8:00 a.m. on Friday, March 13, 2020. 

 

Clay County currently has one confirmed positive case of Coronavirus disease (COVID-19). This individual is isolated and will continue to remain isolated until cleared by public health officials. It is currently unclear whether this was a travel-related case; the epidemiological investigation is ongoing.

 

The Emergency Operations Center has activated a call center to answer questions from the public. Clay County residents can call (877) 252-9362 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. today, and through the weekend.

The State Florida Department of Health 24-hour call center is also available at (866) 779-6121.

 

A video announcement and latest update on COVID-19 from the Unified Command is available here: https://youtu.be/ScEpvDp6nas.

 

Follow Clay County Emergency Management on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/ClayCtyEm/ and Twitter @ClayCounty_EM for the latest information from the Florida Department of Health. Sign up for emergency notifications through www.alert.claycountygov.com.  


Message from City Manager: Food Truck Friday Health Precautions Amid Concern of COVID-19


City of Green Cove Springs Citizens:

Everyone has been tracking the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) over the last few weeks, including the City of Green Cove Springs.  

With this said, we are continuing to be very cautious and aware of what is going on but are not shutting down the activities of the City.  This Friday is our first Food Truck Friday of the season.  The event will be held as planned with the City and the Food Truck vendors taking some precautions to make the event a safe and enjoyable experience. The Food Trucks will be paying special attention to their serving areas and making sure they keep their locations and equipment wiped down regularly.  The City will be placing more hand washing stations around the park for your use and making sure there is plenty of soap and hand wash in the bathrooms and around the Park.

Echoing the Green Cove Springs Food Truck Friday organizers, we ask of you, our Citizens, to consider the following:

  • If you are ill or feel ill, kindly stay home and take care of yourself and plan to join us at the April Food Truck Friday event.
  • If your health is compromised, please make decisions consistent with your condition
  • LifeSouth Blood bank will be attending the event on Friday and reports a shortage in our local blood supply. Health permitting, consider donating some blood.

With the assistance and caution of everyone in the Community, we can continue to enjoy our Community events in a safe and healthy manner.

See you on Friday!

Steve Kennedy 

City Manager 


Convo Around the Cove: Getting to know Code Enforcement


Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds sits down with Code Enforcement Officer Ben Plourd to explain what code enforcement is and and some of his initial goals as the City's newest Code Enforcement Officer. Residents also play a role in keeping properties within city limits safe and up to code. To report a code violation, residents can either contact Ben Plourd directly at bplourd@greencovesprings.com or go through the City's online 311 system on the city's website at www.greencovesprings.com. The online report system is located on the site's homepage as a red warning sign icon on the left hand side. Intro and Outro music: On the Verge by Joseph McDade

City of Green Cove Springs Meeting and Event Cancellations through April 4


March 16, 2020 – City Administration is cancelling or postponing the following meetings and events due to recent public health concerns considering Clay County’s Local State of Emergency for COVID-19:

  • Red Light Camera Hearings for March and April cancelled
  • Special Magistrate on Wednesday, March 18, postponed
  • City of Green Cove Springs Police Department’s Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 4, cancelled
  • Community Action Program cancelled for the next two weeks. City will reassess the program’s future schedule at the end of the twoweek closure.

In addition to meeting and event cancellations, Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym will also be closed for the next two weeks. City will reassess the gym’s future schedule at the end of the two-week closure.

Following preventative actions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, the Finance Department’s customer service desk will be closed starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, and all bill and permit payments will be taken through the drive through or online at greencovesprings.com/payment-options.

Finance Department will only be accepting new service applications via the following e-mail customerservice@greencovesprings.com, or by fax at 904-284-8118. Customers may call the department at 904-297-3304 or 904-297-3300 to get information on what is required to establish new residential service. Customers can also call the Finance Department through the number above to request disconnection of service.

Development Services Department (Building, Code Enforcement, and Planning & Zoning) requests that inquiries and applications are made via e-mail or phone. See contact information for members of the department below.

As of March 17, 2020, the payment processing department will be closed to customer contact. Payments must be made by credit card through our automated phone system (dial 1-855-474-4075, press option 2, know your application number and payment amount) or through the Drive-Thru on the northern side of City Hall.

If payment is made through the Drive-Thru, the cashier can notify our department during processing so your permit can be provided in the drive-thru.

City also encourages residents to follow Centers for Disease Control’s recommended preventative actions. These preventative actions would apply when interacting with City emergency personnel in person, including staying six feet away from others when outside your home, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, and staying home when you are sick.

City of Green Cove Springs is closely monitoring COVID-19 with Clay County and State of Florida. We will continue to provide updates as the situation changes. 


Memorial Day City Service Closures


May 21, 2020 – City of Green Cove Springs City Hall Departments and solid waste pickup will be unavailable Monday, May 25, in honor of Memorial Day.

Departments will be unavailable by phone, and customer service drive-thru will also be closed.

            There will also be no solid waste pick up on Monday, May 25, and service will resume on the next scheduled pick up day.

            City Hall, Police Department Lobby, and Public Works Lobby continue to be closed to the public until further notice.

For more information please contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7046 or treynolds@greencovepsrings.com.


Clay County Provides Updates on COVID-19 and Local Closures


Annaleasa Winter

Board of County Commissioners - Clay County, FL                                                    

904-529-5397/cell: 904-436-3102

Annaleasa.Winter@claycountygov.com

Clay County Provides Updates on COVID-19 and Local Closures

Green Cove Springs, FL –On March 17, 2020, the Florida Department of Health announced there are 173 Florida residents confirmed positive for COVID-19. Non-Florida residents tested and confirmed positive in the state is 19, for a total of 192 positive cases statewide. There are 558 cases self-isolated and being monitored by the Florida Department of Health.  

One new COVID-19 positive case was identified in Clay County (a 66-year-old female), bringing the total number of cases in Clay County to four. All confirmed cases are and will remain isolated until cleared by the Florida Department of Health. None of the Clay County cases have been determined to be travel related.

Florida Department of Health has launched a new COVID-19 Case Dashboard. To keep Florida residents and visitors safe, informed and aware about the status of the virus, this dashboard will be updated twice daily.

Call Centers

The Emergency Operations Center has activated a call center to answer questions from the public. Clay County residents can call (877) 252-9362 from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. daily. The State of Florida Department of Health 24-hour call center is available at (866) 779-6121.

Social Distancing

The Clay County Board of County Commissioners will follow all directives from the Florida Department of Health and will recommend guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. 

Many individuals may spread the Coronavirus before symptoms develop or with only very mild symptoms. To stop the spread of the virus, the following guidelines should be followed:

  • Avoid public gatherings of more than 10 people, including gatherings in the home.
  • Avoid discretionary travel, domestic and abroad.
  • Avoid dining in restaurants, bars and public food courts- consider takeout, delivery or purchasing gift cards to be used later. (Beginning at 5:00 p.m. today, all Florida restaurants will operate at 50 percent occupancy). 
  • If you are sick, stay home.
  • If any member of your household has been diagnosed with the Coronavirus, all members of the household should quarantine at home for 14 days.

Animal Shelter Limiting Public Access

On Monday, March 16, Clay County Animal Services announced that until further notice, only limited public access will be allowed at the shelter in Green Cove Springs. Access for owner reclaims and foster pick-ups will be scheduled by appointment only. Call (904) 269-6342 to schedule an appointment. Pet owners are encouraged to have animals microchipped and to keep identification tags on pets at all times.

The following changes to services at the shelter will be in effect:

  • Stray pick-ups will be conducted for emergencies and public safety issues only.
  • No stray drop-off services will be available, and no owner surrenders will be accepted.
  • Trap, Neuter, and Release (TNR) services have been suspended. Please call Clay Humane for Wednesday TNR services (904) 276-7729.

The Clay County Animal Services website will be kept current with information on all animals in the shelter. https://www.claycountygov.com/departments/animal-services.  Visit www.FindingRover.com to view adoptable, lost, and found pets in your area.   

Garbage and Recycling Services

Curbside collection services for garbage and recyclables in Clay County will continue to operate as scheduled. All items should be placed at the curb by 6:00 a.m. on the scheduled collection day.  Containers should be removed promptly from the road after collection. Residents are encouraged to utilize curbside collection services to avoid unnecessary public contact at solid waste collection facilities.  The residential curbside collection standards can be viewed here: https://www.claycountygov.com/departments/environmental-services/residential-curbside-services

Meeting Cancelations

The March 17 Board of County Commissioners Finance and Audit Committee Meeting is canceled.

The March 17 Solite/Stoneridge Farms Public Meeting is canceled and will be rescheduled at a later date.

Fire Stations Limiting Public Access

All Clay County Fire Stations will be providing limited public access for walk up assistance, until further notice. If you have an emergency, dial 911 for assistance.

Library Closures

All Clay County Public Libraries are currently closed until further notice. Any materials or library card expiration dates have been extended to April 1, 2020.

There is a list of distance learning resources available including story time readings, webcasts, learning games, etc. Visit http://www.claycountygov.com/departments/library/distance-learning-resources to view these resources. 

Closure of Senior Centers

Out of an abundance of caution, effective Wednesday, March 18, 2020, all Clay County senior centers will suspend programming and activities. Anticipate these changes to last for at least 30days.

To-Go meals will be provided from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at the clients registered center, Monday through Friday. Meals will be brought out to your vehicle.  Please call (904) 240-2589 for information on program operations.  

Orange Park Senior Center                                                     Middleburg Senior Center

414 Stowe Ave., Orange Park, FL 32073                               3916 Section St., Middleburg, FL 32068

904-269-4731                                                                            904-291-3520

Clayton and Mildred Revels Senior Center                          Keystone Heights Senior Center

604 Walnut St., Green Cove Springs, FL 32043                   125 NE Commercial Cir., Keystone Heights, FL 32656

904-284-3134                                                                           352-473-7121

Restaurant Update – 3/17/20

The following Clay County restaurants have adjusted their seating capacity to accommodate social distancing (tables being 6 ft. apart) or have voluntarily decreased their seating capacity to 50 or less:

  • Hibernia Pub at Fleming Island Golf Club
  • Hurricane Grill & Wings Fleming Island
  • Irie Diner
  • The Pub at Magnolia Point Golf Club
  • Grumpy’s
  • Farmhouse Chicken & Donuts
  • Brewer’s Pizza/Pinglehead Brewery
  • Whitey’s Fish Camp
  • OP Fish House & Oyster Bar
  • Just a Pinch Café
  • Palermo Puerto Rican Kitchen
  • Johnny’s BBQ Keystone Heights

The following restaurants have closed their dining rooms, but offer takeout or drive thru service:

  • Crafty Crab
  • Snowie of Clay County
  • Chick-fil-A
  • McDonald’s
  • Starbucks

Curbside/Takeout/Drive Thru Service Offered

  • Grumpy’s
  • Santioni's Italian Restaurant
  • Whitey’s Fish Camp
  • Anthony’s Catering
  • OP Fish House & Oyster Bar
  • Palermo Puerto Rican Kitchen
  • Islander Sandwich Company
  • Johnny’s BBQ Keystone Heights
  • Mackey’s Munchies
  • Metro Diner
  • Mush Armenian Kitchen
  • Sweet Sensations
  • The Bakery in Keystone Heights
  • Culver’s Middleburg

GrubHub Restaurants

  • Hurricane Grill & Wings Fleming Island
  • Hibernia Pub at Fleming Island Golf Club
  • Farmhouse Chicken & Donuts
  • Brewer’s Pizza/Pinglehead Brewery
  • OP Fish House & Oyster Bar
  • Just a Pinch Café
  • Tunis Seafood Wings & Subs
  • Mackey’s Munchies
  • Maple Street Biscuit Company
  • Midori Sushi & Grill
  • Clean Eatz
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Ruby Tuesday
  • Your Pie
  • O’Charley’s
  • Wendy’s
  • Taco Bell
  • Papa John’s
  • Captain D’s
  • Burger King
  • Denny’s
  • Auntie Anne’s
  • Steak ‘n Shake
  • Great American Cookie
  • Krystal
  • Olebaba
  • Kentucky Fried Chicken
  • Panera Break
  • Subway
  • Wawa

DoorDash Restaurants

  • Hurricane Grill & Wings Fleming Island
  • Hibernia Pub at Fleming Island Golf Club
  • Irie Diner
  • Farmhouse Chicken & Donuts
  • Brewer’s Pizza/Pinglehead Brewery
  • Spice
  • Akaya Grill & Sushi
  • OP Fish House & Oyster Bar
  • Metro Diner
  • Pig BBQ
  • Tunis Seafood Wings & Subs
  • MoJo BBQ
  • Midori Sushi & Grill
  • Tropical Smoothie Café
  • Firehouse Subs
  • Hooter’s
  • Dick’s Wings
  • McDonald’s
  • Chick-fil-A
  • Panera Bread
  • Wendy’s
  • Papa John’s Pizza
  • Wawa
  • Panda Express
  • IHOP
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Arby’s
  • Denny’s
  • Chili’s Grill & Bar
  • Wingstop
  • Miller’s Ale House
  • Outback Steakhouse

UberEats Restaurants

  • Hurricane Grill & Wings Fleming Island
  • Hibernia Pub at Fleming Island Golf Club
  • Farmhouse Chicken & Donuts
  • Brewer’s Pizza/Pinglehead Brewery
  • OP Fish House & Oyster Bar
  • Metro Diner

Bite Squad Restaurants

  • Hurricane Grill & Wings Fleming Island
  • Farmhouse Chicken & Donuts
  • Brewer’s Pizza/Pinglehead Brewery
  • MoJo BBQ


April 7, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


April 8, 2020 –

            City Council passes Resolution R-06-2020 as an emergency motion. This resolution establishes the criteria of public meetings during this State of Emergency and confirms that the City of Green Cove Springs will follow open meetings law during this time.

Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. First reading of Ordinance No O-03-2020, a proposed amendment to Dec. 117-792, regarding spacing requirements of Alcoholic Beverages from churches and schools.

Council passes 4-0 (Council Member Pam Lewis still connecting to online meeting) to table Ordinance No O-03-2020 until after State of Emergency has passed.

  1. First reading of Ordinance O-04-2020 to amend the Future Land Use Map (FLUM) from Residential Low Density (RLD) to Residential Medium Density (RMD) for property located at the 500 and 600 Block of Vermont Avenue.

Request by Brent White of BMHB Ventures, applicant and agent for property owner Graylon Oaks Land Trust to amend future land use map for a maximum of 30 dwelling units to be developed on the property. Recommended by staff and Planning and Zoning Board for City Council to pass the proposed amendment.

Council passes 5-0 (Council Member Pam Lewis present in online meeting). Second and final reading scheduled on April 21.  

  1. First reading of Ordinance O-05-2020 to amend the zoning map from Residential Low Density (R-1) to Planned Unit Development (PUD) for property located at the 500 & 600 Block of Vermont Avenue.

Second request by Brent White of BMHB Ventures, applicant and agent of property owner Graylon Oaks Land Trust to amend the zoning map to comply with proposed plans to develop either 28-unit duplex complex or a single family home subdivision. Recommended by staff and Planning and Zoning Board for City Council to pass the proposed amendment.

Council passes 5-0. Second and final reading scheduled on April 21.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

            2. Roderico property proposal and presentation.

                        Clay County School District makes final offer to purchase 21 Roderico Avenue (formally Green Cove Springs Fire Station 1) for $125,000, and confirm the closing of Roderico Avenue between Walnut and Center Streets with all City easements and rights of way remaining. If accepted by Green Cove Springs City Council, final decision will be made by the School Board of Clay County at its next scheduled meeting.

                        Tentative plans for property by the Clay County School District include paving School District Office parking lot, removing construction fencing to create unified parking and renovate building on property to potentially house Police, safety, and security departments. Vice Mayor Van Royal approves of plans, but would like more landscaping to be added to the plans. Council Member Mitch Timberlake disagrees with offer, saying that the City should not sell the property at a price below market value unless the Clay County School District can work to guarantee that the Clay County Board of County Commissioners will transfer the existing county fire station on Oakridge Ave to the City once they move from that location to a new one further west on SR 16. Council Member Connie Butler agrees with Timberlake. City Manager Steve Kennedy says that the transfer of fire station can be done, but not sure if it would be feasible for School Board of Clay County to guarantee this transfer since Clay County and the Clay County School District are two separate entities.  

                        Vice Mayor Van Royal motions to accept $125,000 offer. Council passes 3 -2, with Council Member Connie Butler and Mitch Timberlake voting against.

  1. City Council discussion and award of Bid No. LC 2020-05, Green Cove Springs Pier Extension.

Assistant City Manager Mike Null explained to City Council that this bid is part of the $600,000 Legislative Line Item Grant awarded to City of Green Cove Springs in 2019 for pier reconstruction and renovation. Grant has covered permits and design of the pier, and will cover a large vessel pier and associated floating docks and a wave attenuating system (wave break). Original design included the wave break to be a part of the 256 ft. pier extension with new decking, surfacing, and wood railing, with additional floating docks for a future phase of the project. Design was put out for bid, with original design costing more than remaining amount of grant. To ensure construction will be covered by grant, City staff decided to remove decking and surface of walkable portion of the pier extension, wood railing for walkable portion of pier extension, 60 ft. of  wave break system on easterly side of extension, new 30 ft. ramp, floating dock replacement on the northern side of pier, and two or the four proposed mooring dolphins. Revamped bid includes a 200 ft. wave attenuation system, and the fixed existing pier with framework built for pier extension to be done in the future.  City staff asks that City Council approve staff’s recommendation to award construction bid to Harbor Marine Dock Company with deletions in pier extension design.

City Council passes 4 – 0 (City Council Member Connie Butler dropped out of online meeting and is attempting to reconnect).

  1. City Manager and City Attorney Correspondence

City Manager Steve Kennedy requested that the City Council approve to use $37,000 of Conservation Funds for electric bill assistance program. Once fund request is accepted, City staff will come up with program qualifications and time period and present to City Council at a later meeting. Says that since disconnections are currently waived, this assistance will be for future bill payments. City Council directed Kennedy to request funding.

City Manager Kennedy also requested that City Council approves City staff to use up to $85,000 in credit from the Power Cost Stabilization Fund towards March consumption which is April billing so current bills will not be impacted by Power Cost Adjustment. In emergency motion, City Council approved to proceed with waiving Power Cost Adjustment for March which is April billing in a 5 -0 vote.


May 19, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


May 20, 2020 –

            Reorganization of the City Council and Mayor and Vice Mayor Election

                        Edward Gaw sworn in as City Council Member for Seat 1 and Matt Johnson sworn in as City Council Member for Seat 2. City Council elected the City Mayor and Vice Mayor for the year 2020/21. Vice Mayor Van Royal was voted as Mayor and City Council Member Edward Gaw was voted as Vice Mayor in a 5 – 0 vote.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

2. City Council Approval of Nominees for Planning and Zoning Board Seats 1, 2, and 5.

            City Council Member Steven Kelley nominated James Hall for Planning and Zoning Board Seat 5, Vice Mayor Edward Gaw nominated Brian Cook for Planning and Zoning Board Seat 1, and City Council Member Matt Johnson nominated Richard Hobbs for Planning and Zoning Board Seat 2. All three nominations were passed in a 5 – 0 vote by the City Council.


Updates on Green Cove Springs Memorial Day RiverFest 2020


March 19, 2020 – The City of Green Cove Springs is using an abundance of caution with consideration of COVID-19 in its planned events for Spring and Summer, including Memorial Day RiverFest scheduled for Monday, May 25, 2020.

As of now City administration plans to continue Memorial Day RiverFest as scheduled. With information surrounding COVID-19 changing hourly, the City will not make a final decision to cancel this event until early May.

Memorial Day RiverFest is one of the City’s most anticipated events of the year for both residents and City staff involved with and working the event. The City doesn’t take any decisions about Memorial Day RiverFest lightly, and will keep vendors, planned entertainment, and the public informed of any change of plans as soon as possible.

For now, keep your calendars marked for Memorial Day RiverFest 10 a.m. – 9.p.m on Monday, May 25, in Spring Park. City invites all veterans to join in the Opening Ceremonies and Veterans Recognition Ceremony at 10 a.m., followed by a day filled with vendors, family-friendly activities, and a fireworks show at 8:45 p.m.


City Offers Free Wi-Fi at Spring Park


July 23, 2020 – City of Green Cove Springs is excited to announce that free Wi-Fi is now available at Spring Park. While in Spring Park, visitors can connect to SpringParkGuest. No password is needed.

            “The free Wi-Fi encourages users to access the service and take advantage of immediately available information such as local news and the latest on what’s happening in Green Cove,” said City of Green Cove Springs Network Administrator Angel Alicea.

            Alicea began the process of installing a free Wi-Fi network in Spring Park in 2018 with site surveys and laying down the fiber infrastructure throughout the park. With the installation of this free Wi-Fi network the City’s goal is to not only provide internet access, but also to improve the quality of life in Green Cove Springs and lay the groundwork to help implement future Smart City initiatives and support the local economy. Uses of Smart City initiatives with this free Wi-Fi network include providing internet connectivity for events and markets in Spring Park and the use of digital media screens in the park.

Spring Park Wi-Fi uses Cisco Meraki NextGen Firewall, which has advanced intrusion detection. Network also blocks website categories such as adult content, nudity, auctions, gambling, hate and racism, malware sties, spam URLs, phishing, and peer to peer sharing, with more categories added as people utilize the network.

Even with these security features in place, the City of Green Cove Springs would like to remind residents and visitors that Spring Park Wi-Fi network comes with the same risks as any publicly available Wi-Fi and that users should always refrain from accessing sensitive information while using public Wi-Fi. Users can also install and update anti-virus/anti-malware protection on their devices for additional security.

For any questions please contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7500 ext. 3329 or treynolds@greencovesprings.com.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          


Convo Around the Cove: Breaking Down City Budget


This month's episode of Convo Around Cove Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds talks with Finance Director Marlena Guthrie all about the City Budget. Guthrie explains the budget process, breaks down the three different parts of the budget, and where the yearly budget can be found on the City's website.

Keep Green Cove Springs Clean with GCS311


May 28, 2020, Green Cove Springs, FL – See a street sign that needs attention, road or sidewalk that needs repaired, or other code enforcement violations in the City?

Now it’s easier than ever to report these concerns with GCS311. Located on the bottom of the home page of the City’s website, the system lets residents give detailed reports of code enforcement violations with just a tap of a finger or a click of a mouse.

Residents are prompted to create a customer account before filling out the online form, complete with the ability to take pictures on the spot and use GPS for the location of the violation. Once a report is submitted, the resident who filed the report will be notified when City staff receives the report as well as every time staff updates the report up to the resolution of the reported issue.

This system can be accessed and used with any device connected to the Internet, allowing residents to report issues as they see them. The online tracking system not only covers code enforcement violations, but also covers issues including abandoned vehicles, animal complaints, noise issues, any damage to City parks or buildings, illegal construction or dumping, and flooding and sewer issues to name a few.

The City urges residents to sign up and start using GCS311 today. The sooner an issue is reported the sooner City staff can address and fix the issue. It takes everyone to keep Green Cove Springs a safe and clean city to live.


City Council Votes to Cancel Memorial Day RiverFest and Move Vet Recognition Ceremony to November Amid COVID-19 Concerns


March 25, 2020 – At the request of City Staff, Green Cove Springs City Council voted in an emergency motion on Tuesday, March 24, to cancel Memorial Day RiverFest 2020 and move the Veterans Recognition Ceremony to November.

Executive Assistant and Event Coordinator Kimberly Thomas requested direction from City Council amid City Staff’s growing concerns about the COVID-19 virus in relation to large gatherings. Thomas has also received concerns from participating entertainers, vendors, and officials about the health and safety of attendees and invited veterans.

“The City of Green Cove Springs and its employees take great pride in hosting the Annual Memorial Day Festival, and it was with heavy hearts that the City Council moved to cancel this event. However, the health and safety of our citizens, partners and employees are of the upmost importance.” says Executive Assistant to the City Manager, Kimberly Thomas. “We hope that all will understand our decision and make plans to return for next year’s Memorial Day Festival on May 31, 2021!”

For vendor refunds contact Executive Assistant Kimberly Thomas at kthomas@greencovesprings.com or 904-297-7500 ext. 3320. For questions contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at treynolds@greencovesprings.com or 904-297-7500 ext. 3329.


Green Cove Springs May 5, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


May 6, 2020 –

Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council.

9. Council approval of Pole Attachment Agreement with Vero Fiber Networks, LLC.

                        Vero Fiber Networks, LLC, has approached the City asking to install fiber on City-owned electric poles. Vero has recently been contracted by the Clay County School Board to connect all of their buildings in Clay County—including schools—by fiber. Vero will be installing fiber on 92 City-owned poles for a rental fee of $12 per pole annually, generating $1,100 in revenue for the Electric Department every year.

Vice Mayor Van Royal asked about the locations of poles that will be installed with fiber and voiced health concerns on 5G cells brought to his attention by residents. City Manager Steve Kennedy said that Vero will only be installing fiber, not 5G cells. Council Member Mitch Timberlake requested that the agreement be approved with an amendment to include a provision that if the City takes utilities underground Vero would have to pay to also move the fiber underground. Mayor Steven Kelley agreed.

            City Council approves agreement 5 - 0 with amendment that Vero will pay for underground fiber installation if City moves its utilities underground.

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

            2. Discussion of the funds received from the sale of the Roderico Property

                        Council Member Mitch Timberlake requested that the Roderico Property sale funds be placed in the general fund for negative unassigned balances of projects from Fiscal Year 2018 and 2019. Rest of the council agreed.

            Timberlake’s request approved by the City Council 5 – 0


City Council March 24, 2020, Meeting Brief


March 25, 2020

Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. Second and Final Hearing for Ordinance No O-02-2020, an Ordinance Amending the Official Zoning Map for 22 Parcels, ±6.134 Acres, Located on Bonaventure and Idlewild Avenue, from Residential Professional Office (RPO) and Gateway Corridor Residential (GCR) to Gateway Corridor Neighborhood (GCN).

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. Presentation by James Moore and Company of the Audited Financial Statements for the period ending September 30, 2019.

Accepted by City Council in a 5 – 0 vote.

  1. City Manger and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence.

City Manager Steve Kennedy introduced Executive Assistant Kimberly Thomas to discuss the cancellation of Memorial Day RiverFest and postpone the Veterans Recognition Ceremony to later in 2020. In an emergency motion, City Council approved to cancel Memorial Day RiverFest and postpone the Veterans Recognition Ceremony to November in a 5 – 0 vote.


City of Green Cove Springs Suspends Utility Disconnections in response to COVID-19


March 26, 2020 - City of Green Cove Springs administration is working to address increasing concerns and mitigate the impact of the coronavirus on our utility customers. Starting Thursday, March 26, 2020, the City will be suspending utility disconnections on past-due accounts until April 30, 2020.

The City encourages customers to continue paying toward their bill if they are able to do so. Current amounts due and future charges will still be owed.

Any customers with any questions or concerns about their bill can call the City’s Customer Service Department at 904-297-7500, ext. 3300 or email at customerservice@greencovesprings.com. Customer Service Department is only available by phone or email 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

We want customers to know we take the coronavirus disease pandemic seriously. We are actively monitoring the coronavirus updates from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and actively working with Clay County Emergency Management. The City will continue to respond based on the best advice of public health authorities and medical professionals.


City Council Meetings Moving Online Starting April 7, 2020


April 2, 2020 – Green Cove Springs City Council meetings will be moving to an online platform starting Tuesday, April 7, 2020, and will continue to be conducted online until quarantine orders are lifted.  

City decided to make this move to encourage the public to follow CDC guidelines and limit gatherings to less than 10 people.

City Council will be conducting meetings via the Zoom Meeting platform. Instructions to spectate or participate in the meeting are provided below.

To participate in the City Council meeting on April 7, 2020, which begins at 7 p.m., you have the following options:

1. Provide public comment prior to the meeting and watch the meeting online:

You may provide written comments by emailing City Clerk Erin West by April 6, 2020 at 5:00 p.m. at ewest@greencovesprings.com or place questions in the Drop Box in the drive thru at City Hall. Provide your full name and address and if you are a city business owner, list the business name and address. If commenting on a specific agenda item, please note the agenda item number and title in the comment. City Council meeting agendas will be posted at www.greencovesprings.com at least 24 hours before the scheduled meeting date and time.  Written comments received by the deadline will be distributed to the mayor and city council members and the appropriate staff prior to the start of the meeting. Written comments will be read into the record at the appropriate time. Time limits will be enforced so written comments must be limited to 3 minutes.

2. Watch the meeting online and provide public comment during the meeting:

Zoom instructions:

For the April 7, 2020 meeting, please use the meeting link https://zoom.us/j/136410490 to virtually attend and watch the meeting by computer, tablet, or smartphone. You must pre-register to speak during the meeting, and will follow the same steps as written comments above in order to speak during the meeting. Those whom have pre-registered to speak will be called upon and the appropriate time limits will be enforced. If joining from a tablet or smartphone, you will need to download the free Zoom app from your device’s app store. If joining from a computer, your computer will automatically download and install (if needed) the Zoom program. If you currently have Zoom installed on your computer, tablet, or smartphone, you may join the meeting by entering the meeting ID 136410490. Please check the City website or City social media prior to each meeting for the unique meeting number. The meeting ID number will be different for each City Council meeting.

For additional information or assistance please contact the following prior to the meeting: Erin West, City Clerk, ewest@greencovesprings.com or (904) 297-7047


Planet Swim Updates City Pool Public Swim Guidelines and Hours


May 8, 2020 –  City of Green Cove Springs has hired Planet Swim, LLC, to manage the City Pool for the 2020 Summer Season. As the pool manager, Planet Swim oversees staffing, daily entry rates and pool passes, and any organized activities in the pool.

Planet Swim, LLC, has updated public swim guidelines and pool hours to better protect pool patrons and staff before the City Pool opens for public swim on Tuesday, May 12, 2020.

Planet Swim will now require pool patrons to reserve their swim time in advance of arriving at the City Pool. Patrons can reserve one two-hour time slot per day and cannot reserve more than one time slot on the same day. Each two-hour time slot will allow for a maximum of ten people to swim, and time slots will be closed for reservations once the ten-person capacity is reached.

Patrons can call the City Pool office at 904-297-7070 during pool operating hours or email Planet Swim at greencove@planetswim.org to reserve their time slot.

            New operating hours for the City Pool are 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 11 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

            Patrons can reserve the following two-hour time blocks for swim time:

            9:00 - 11:00 a.m. (Tuesday - Friday)

11:00 - 1:00 p.m.

1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

5:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Daily pool entry fees remain the same and Planet Swim staff will properly sanitize the pool area and enforce social distancing guidelines at all times.

These updated guidelines will remain in effect until lager social gatherings are deemed safe by either the state or CDC. Check the City of Green Cove Springs website and City’s Facebook and Twitter pages for any further updates from Planet Swim, LLC.


City Adds Electric Utility Bill Relief Options for Customers During COVID-19 Pandemic


April 13, 2020 – Along with suspending utility disconnections until April 30, 2020, City of Green Cove Springs recently added two new measures to support its utility customers impacted by COVID-19.

The first measure is removing the Bulk Power Cost Adjustment (BPCA) amounts from the electric utility portion of each customer’s consumption for March. This will be reflected in April’s utility bill.

Bulk Power Cost Adjustment makes up between 12 and 18 percent of the monthly utility bill and fluctuates monthly based on the actual cost to generate the power that the City buys. The City uses the BPCA Stabilization Fund to level out these monthly cost adjustments. Money is taken out of this fund if the amount billed to customers is less than the cost to generate our power to make up the difference, and money is placed in the fund if the amount billed to customers is more than the cost to generate our power for that month.

As of Mach 31, 2020, there is enough excess money in the fund to cover the Bulk Power Cost Adjustment for March. The City will use this excess to pay for the percentage of Power Cost Adjustment in March and remove that cost in customers’ bills that will be received in April.

The second measure is implementing a short-term bill assistance program using money in the City’s Electric Conservation Fund. Florida Municipal Power Association (FMPA) adds money to this fund monthly and the City uses these funds as reimbursement whenever it reimburses a utility customer for making energy conservation purchases for their home.

City of Green Cove Springs currently has about $37,000 in this fund, and has been authorized by FMPA to use $35,000 of the Electric Conservation Fund to assist utility customers experiencing difficulty paying their electric utility bills due to circumstances directly related to COVID-19. Customers who qualify for electric bill assistance include those that have a history of paying their bills on time, have not been delinquent in paying their bill for more than one month, and have not received any bill subsidy in the last 12 months. This bill assistance only applies to the electric portion of a customer’s utility bill, and assistance will be available until funds drawn down from the Electric Conservation Fund have been depleted.

City of Green Cove Springs is working in solidarity with other Florida municipalities to assist its utility customers during this COVID-19 Pandemic. Customers can reach out to City Customer Service with any questions or concerns at 904-297-7500, ext. 3300 or customerservice@greencovesprings.com.


City Distributes Face Masks and Goldshield 75 Disinfectant to Businesses Starting June 1


May 28, 2020 -  City of Green Cove Springs has partnered with Clay County Development Authority, Clay Chamber, Clay County Economic Development Corporation, City of Keystone Heights, Town of Penney Farms and Town of Orange Park to provide Goldshield 75 and face masks to local businesses across Clay County.

Goldshield 75 is a long-lasting antimicrobial disinfectant that can be applied to both surfaces and textiles and last on those surfaces for as long as three months and up to two years.

This disinfectant will help businesses keep all areas of their business clean, and mean less of a chance to spread COVID-19.

Businesses within Green Cove Springs City Limits can pick up their supply of Goldshield 75 and face masks at the Public Works Admin Building, 900 Gum Street, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Letters are also going out to individual Green Cove Springs businesses notifying them of face masks and Goldshield 75 available for their business.


June 2, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


June, 3, 2020 –

Awards and Recognition

  1. Proclamation – Code Enforcement Officers’ Appreciation Week

City Council unanimously passed the proclamation declaring the week of June 1 through June 5 as Code Enforcement Officers’ Appreciation Week, and recognized Code Enforcement Officer Ben Plourd on his work.

Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council.

            5. City Council approval of the submission of a Competitive Florida Technical Assistance Grant Application in the amount of $40,000 to the Department of Economic Opportunity to prepare a Comprehensive Online Mapping System for the city.

                        Council Member Steven Kelley pulled the item from the Consent Agenda to compliment Planning and Zoning Director Michael Daniels on seeking out the grant and submitting a grant application for an online mapping system on behalf of                            the City.

                        Item passed by City Council 5 – 0  

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. Approval of Staff’s Recommendation of Award of Bid RFQ LC 2020-08 Broker Services for Health, Dental, Vision, Life and other Insurance Benefit Plans.

City Manager Steve Kennedy asked the City Council to accept the staff’s revised request of rejecting all current bids and for the review committee to bring subsequent recommendations at a later date. This decision arose due to information presented to the review committee that wasn’t available during scoring bids.

            Council Member Connie Butler made the motion to reject all bids and have review committee come back with subsequent recommendations. Motion seconded and passed by City Council 5 – 0


City Warns of Utility Billing Phone Scam


January 6, 2021 – City has received calls from local businesses saying that a person has called them identifying themselves as the City and demanding payment for their utility usage. The person on the phone gave these businesses the phone number 877-256-6782 to call and make a payment.

The City wants to let their customers know that this call is a scam. The City does not take utility payments over the phone directly. Customers can pay their utility bills through Point & Pay Payment Service online or over the phone by calling 1-855-474-4075.

If you receive this call please hang up and notify the City at 904-297-7500, ext. 3300.


Green Cove Springs Now Accepting New Reservations for Park Pavilions


June 9, 2020 – City of Green Cove Springs accepts new applications for park facility reservations as of Tuesday, June 9, 2020.

This is the first time that new reservations are accepted since the City closed reservations on March 23, 2020.

As per Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Phase 2 Reopening guidelines, reservations will only be accepted for groups of 50 people and less. Park pavilions are still available on a first come, first serve basis. However, reservations at any pavilion will take precedence.  

For any questions please contact Executive Assistant Kimberly Thomas at 904-297-7054 or kthomas@greencovesprings.com  


City of Green Cove Springs Government Buildings Open to the Public Starting Monday, June 15


Thursday, June 11, 2020 – The lobby of Green Cove Springs City Hall, Public Works Administration Building, and Police Department Building will be open to the public beginning Monday, June 15, 2020.

            Anyone entering the lobby of these buildings are asked to adhere to CDC Guidelines for COVID-19 of social distancing, and face coverings are encouraged. Customer Service areas of City Hall and Public Works Administration Building will have floor markers to encourage social distancing for Green Cove Springs residents and the public.

All City departments are still available by phone and email, and the Finance Customer Service drive-thru remains open for customers who prefer to not conduct business with the City in person.

For any questions please contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7046 or treynolds@greencovesprings.com.


August 25, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


August  26, 2020–

Awards and Recognition

  1. City of Green Cove Springs Police Chief Derek Asdot introduces three new Police Department Officers to the City Council: Officer Arnold, Officer Lee, and Officer Newton.

Public Hearings

  1. Second and final reading of Ordinance O-09-2020, an Ordinance amending the Land Development Code, including adding definitions for Emergency Shelter and Recreational Facility, as well as amending the permitted uses and special exceptions of the institutional zoning district for clarity, naming specific uses such as government uses, hospitals, and emergency shelters; adding supplemental regulations for emergency shelters.

This Ordinance would allow for private individuals and organizations to establish transitional housing (referred to as “Emergency Shelters” in the Ordinance) for homeless individuals in the Institutional Zoning District within Green Cove Springs city limits. Ordinance sets that anyone living in this transitional housing can live for a maximum of 90 days, and that includes services such as counseling and unemployment help to transition homeless individuals to more permanent housing and employment by the end of the 90 day period. Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels presented City Council with the following revisions to the ordinance in response to the Council’s comments during the first reading on August 4: Manager/Owner of the property would need a Point of Contact—either City or City Police—to address any issues on the property, housing would need to meet the distance that sexual predator must reside away from schools, day care center, and parks and playgrounds, every person living in the transitional housing facility will need to have a background check, and managers cannot accept people charged with violent crimes.  

Council passed the Second Reading 4 – 0. Council Member Steven Kelley was absent.

  1. Second and final reading of Ordinance O-10-2020, an Ordinance amending the Gateway Corridor Commercial Zoning District by adding hospitals as a permitted use, and establishments for the retail sale of alcoholic beverages for off-premises consumption and gas pumps as an accessory use to a convenience store or other retail store as special exceptions.

City Council expressed support for the Ordinance, but concerns of not establishing designated areas within the Gateway Corridor Commercial Zoning District for these uses. Several Council Members said that they would prefer to see these uses mapped out in specific areas within the zoning district.

Council Member Steven Kelley motioned to approve the Ordinance with addition of adding hospitals as a special exception.

For the Second Reading, Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels presented the Council with two ordinances with hospitals as a permitted use and as a special exception. After discussion and assurance from Daniels that all uses in this ordinance will go through the Planning and Zoning Board, Council decided to pass the Second and Final Reading with hospitals as a permitted use. Mayor Van Royal recused himself from the vote both times as he is a member of the board of Ascention St. Vincent’s Clay County Hospital.

Motion passes 3 – 0 by City Council, with Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

Consent Agenda

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the Mayor to execute, Disbursement Request #$, which includes Mittauer Invoice #20333 in the amount of $17,500.00 (HRWWTF Ground Storage Tank #3 Design (which is already paid)) and Mittauer Invoice #20334 in the amount of $15,000.00 (Magnolia Point Cul-de-sac Pressure Improvement (which is already paid)) for a total amount of $32,500.00, for the Design Loan Agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Drinking Water, State Revolving Fund (SRF), Loan DW 100102 for $356, 800.00 for the design of capital improvements in the City’s Water System.

This authorization will allow City Staff to pay $32,500.00 to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection Drinking Water, State Revolving Fund Loan, which covers the cost of the HRWWTF Ground Storage Tank #3 Design and the Magnolia Point Cul-de-sac Pressure Improvement.

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.  

  1. City Council approval to pay remainder of Law Enforcement classes from SJRSC for Terry Arnold in the amount of $463.29.

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

  1. City Council Award of Bid for City Wide Concrete Construction Work

Assistant Public Works Director Steve Thomas recommends awarding the City’s Bid for city-wide concrete construction work to both C.W. Builders & Associates, Inc. and Jax Utilities Management, Inc. This contract will last a year and covers concrete removal and building as needed within City Limits.

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

  1. City Council approval of pay request to Harbor Marine Dock Company, Inc. Bid # LC 2020-05 in the amount of $297,770.48 for the pier extension project.

This payment request is for Harbor Marine Dock Company, Inc.—who was awarded the bid for improvements to Spring Park Public Access Pier in April—and covers work completed through July 31, 2020. This is the first payment request for this project.

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

  1. City Council approval of First Addendum to Building Official Agreement.

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

  1. City Council approval of 202000665, Gateway Corridor and Central Business District Matching Grant Application for a Monument Sign for First Baptist Church located at 615 Walnut St.

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

  1. City Council review and approval of the Final Plat for the Cottages on Cove 11-lot Subdivision

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

  1. City Council approval of Task Order #2, in the amount of $52,872.40, to Bid Award LC 2020-07, US 17/SR 16 Force Main Modifications, to Jax Utilities Management, for installation of a water main on Washington Lane.

This project, awarded to Jax Utilities Management, will replace a ¾” water line on Washington Lane with a 6” water main line that will run along Washington Lane from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard to Walburg Street.

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

  1. City Council approval of America Cruise Lines 2021 Docking Schedule

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

  1. City Council approval to declare Harbor Road WWTF digester aerators as surplus and to process accordingly

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

  1. City Council Approval of and authorization for the Mayor to execute a Letter of Concurrence for Setback Waiver for 200 St John’s Avenue to construct a dock within 25’ of the adjacent upland riparian property

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

  1. Approval of Staff recommendations for the award of Bid ITB LC 2020-11 for the feeder reconductoring work at the Chapman Substation

Passed 4 – 0 by City Council, with City Council Member Steven Kelley absent.

Council Business

  1. Continued discussion of remaining City Sponsored/Organized Special Events for 2020

City Event Coordinator Kimberly Thomas said that after much discussion, City Staff and the community organizations that they work with for City-sponsored events have determined that they will not be able to hold Veterans Recognition Ceremony, Christmas on Walnut Street, and the Green Cove Springs Christmas Parade as normally planned this year. Instead City Staff have come up with a mix of digital and socially-distanced, in-person alternatives to these events this year.

In lieu of an in-person Veterans Recognition Ceremony, originally scheduled for Saturday, November 7, City Staff will contact local veterans groups to put together a veteran tribute video to showcase on the City website and social media on Veterans Day. Thomas will schedule times for veterans to visit City Hall for Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds to film each veteran give their name, rank, years of service, and any personal comments on their time serving the U.S. (in an environment following CDC COVID-19 Health Guidelines). Reynolds will edit the clips together to create a tribute video for Veterans Day.

As Santa won’t be able to visit Spring Park for Christmas on Walnut Street, City Staff will set up a personal mailbox to Santa in the park for families to mail or drop off letters. Called “Letters to Santa,” families will have until a certain date before Christmas to mail or drop off their letters to Santa. City Staff ask that addresses be included on the letter, as Santa will be sending a letter back to each family that participates.

The Green Cove Springs Business League has decided to focus their energy on their House Decorating Contest in lieu of its annual Christmas parade this year. The Business League will expand the contest to the entire Green Cove Springs City Limits, and split the contest into three categories: Residential, Business, and People’s Choice. They are working on creating a digital map of the entries for the public to locate and vote for their favorite decorated home and business.

Parade of Trees will still happen in Spring Park as scheduled, but without a Lighting Ceremony event. Trees will be lit every night through December, and the public can walk through the park to look at them at their leisure. City Staff will be starting sign ups for Parade of Trees soon.

City Council voiced their support of all presented event ideas.  

  1. FMPA Report

  1. City Manager and City Attorney reports and/or correspondence
     
  2. City Council reports and/or correspondence


City Hall Finance Customer Service and Development Services Temporarily Closed Until Further Notice


August 17, 2020 –

UPDATE 12:40 - Only Customer Service will be opening at 1 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 17. Development Services remains closed to walk-in traffic until further notice.

UPDATE: Drive Thru is now staffed and open to the public, and both Customer Service and Development Services will be open to walk-in traffic at 1 pm. on Monday, Aug. 17.  

Due to the City’s concerns over the health and safety of customers and employees, finance customer service and development services are temporarily closed to walk-in traffic.

Customers can still make payments via online at www.greencovesprings.com/payment-options or utilize the Drive Thru window payment box to drop off payments.

For additional customer questions call Customer Service at 904-297-7500, ext. 3300. For questions pertaining to Development Services call 904-297-7500, ext. 3315.

City will notify the public on any changes as soon as possible.


September 1, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


September 2, 2020–

Awards and Recognition

  1. Florida Country Magazine presentation by Commissioner Mike Cella on behalf of the Tourist Development Council.

Clay County Commissioner and Chairman of the Clay County Tourist Development Council Mike Cella presented City Council with the June issue of Florida Country Magazine, a travel magazine, which includes a feature story on Green Cove Springs as a travel destination. Each Council Member received a copy of the magazine, and Cella gifted the City Council with a framed spread of the feature story.

Council Business item was moved to precede Public Hearings by Mayor Van Royal

  1. City Council approval of Resolution No. R-16-2020, authorizing temporary emergency expenditures relating to Coronavirus CARES Act Relief Funding, designating all CARES Act projects as emergencies and waiving the formal bid process on the CARES Act projects.

This approval will allow City Staff to use CARES Act Relief Funding on the list of projects approved by the County and bypass the formal bid process and City Council approval for each project. Quotes from three vendors must still be obtained.. This allows City Staff to start on these projects immediately in order to make the CARES Act completion deadline of December 31, 2020.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council.

Public Hearings

  1. Public Hearing and approval of Final Assessment Resolution No. R-14-2020, a Resolution relating to the reimposition of Solid Waste Service Assessments in the Magnolia West Assessment Area, Approving the Solid Waste Assessment Roll; and Confirming the Initial Assessment Resolution.

This is the final step to authorize the collection of solid waste and recyclable material assessments within the Magnolia West Subdivision for the next year, and the fifth year that the City has collected Solid Waste Service Assessments annually. This also ensures that all homes within Magnolia West pay for their monthly solid waste services on a yearly basis. This resolution must be adopted by the City Council following the public hearing.

Approve 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. Public Hearing and approval of Final Assessment Resolution No. R-15-2020, Resolution relating to the reimposition of Stormwater Management Service Assessments against real property within the City of Green Cove Springs; Approving the Stormwater Assessment Roll; and Confirming the Initial Assessment Resolution.  

This is the final step in authorizing the City to collect Stormwater Service Assessments within the entire city annually rather than monthly. This resolution must be adopted by the City Council following the public hearing.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

Consent Agenda

  1. City Council approval of pay application #1 to KBT Contracting Corp in the amount of $77,656.32 for the new Library building.

This amount is part of the total $476,826.00 that the City agreed to pay for KBT Contracting Corp to build the new library building at Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval Pay Request #2 in the amount of $171,373.50 to Jax Utilities Management for Bid Award LC 2020-07, US 17 / SR 16 Force Main Modifications, in the amount of $412,915.00.

This is a payment from the City to Jax Utilities Management for work on the US 17 / SR 16 Force Main. Specifically, to reroute wastewater from Cove Plaza and Cove Apartments away from Lift Station #2 (which is in bad shape and can’t handle the flow of wastewater and river water during storms and extremely high tide conditions) into the US 17 South force main. This amount will take the project from design through completion.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Change Order #1 in the amount of $9,622.00 to Sawcross for modifications to the associated piping / appurtenances to support the residuals (sludge) processing for the Harbor Road Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility.

This is an approval of a change of the work in the contract awarded to Sawcross on February, 4, 2020, for improvements to the Harbor Road WWTF residuals (sludge) processing system.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval for funding in the amount of $52,791.96 to Rock Solid Plumbing Company for touchless urinals and faucets at city facilities under the CARES Act. Note that this request is utilizing three quotes and not the Request for Proposals (RFP) formal bidding process.

This is approval to pay Rock Solid Plumbing Company to install touchless urinals and faucets in City facilities. The need for touchless urinals and faucets was identified as part of the City’s CARES Act proposal to the County Board of Commissioners.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval for the Mayor, City Attorney and City Clerk to execute Amendment #1 to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) State Revolving Fund (SRF) Construction Loan Agreement WW100402 / Grant Agreement SG100403 for Phase I Construction of the Consolidated Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (AWWTP) and associated Lift Station Improvements in the amount of $6,120,600.00 (project cost) with a principal forgiveness (grant) amount of $4,063,4200 providing for an actual repayment amount of $2,057,175.00. Amendment #1 reflects a reduction of <$397,430.00> in the project final cost.

The approval for Amendment #1 reflects the change of the total cost of the Phase one Construction of the Consolidated Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant, which is a reduction of $387,430.00 of the awarded amount for the project.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Resolution No. R-13-2020, correcting scrivener’s errors on the specific allowed use table set forth in Subpart B of the Land Development Code, Chapter 117, Article I, Section 117-3.

This approval officially changes the corrections of the allowed use table in Subpart B of the Land Development Code, Chapter 117, Article I, Section 117-3 as an official part of the code.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council Accept the Subaward and Grant Agreement Z2198, with the Department of Homeland Security for the payment of COVID-19 related costs.

This acceptance will allow the City to use eligible FEMA related reimbursement funding for COVID-19 emergency preparation costs, such as cleaning supplies, and PPE, through September 30, 2020.  

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

Council Business

  1. FMPA Report – September 2020

  1. City Manager and City Attorney reports and/or correspondence

City Manager Steve Kennedy announced that City Staff has been looking into a text bot service as a direct two-way communication between the City and residents. Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds explained the service and presented the companies that the City is looking to use for this service. City Council agreed with the use of the service.

  1. City Council reports and/or correspondence


Tuesday, September 15, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


Wednesday, September 16, 2020 –

            Presentation

  1. Presentation of the City’s Classification and Compensation Study Provided by Evergreen Solutions, LLC and Adoption of the Proposed Pay Plan and Step Plan.

This study began in January and is designed to make recommended changes to the classification and pay of City positions to keep the City of Green Cove Springs competitive with similar sized municipalities and private companies. 

Approved 5-0 by City Council

            Public Hearings – any new additions or amendments to City Code of Ordinances or City Zoning or Future Land Use Maps are presented to City Council for discussion and vote for approval or denial

  1. First Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-17-2020 adopting the Tentative Millage rate for Fiscal Year 2020/2021 and set September 29, 2020 at 7 p.m. as the final hearing date.

City Council proposed that the tentative millage rate for FY 2020/2021 be set to 3.8000 mills during the budget workshops in August.

First Hearing approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. First Public Hearing on the Fiscal Year 2020/2021 Annual Operating Budget and approval of Resolution No. R-18-2020 adopting the Tentative Annual Operating Budget for Fiscal Year 2020/2021 and set September 29, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. as the final hearing date.

The total proposed operating budget for the City of Green Cove Springs for Fiscal Year 2021 is $44,940,317.

First Hearing approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. First Public Hearing on the Five Year Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 2021/2025 and approval of Resolution No. R-19-2020 adopting the Tentative Capital Improvement Plan for Fiscal Year 2021/2025

The original total proposed Capital Improvement Plan for the City of Green Cove Springs for the Fiscal Year 2021 is $19,430,075. After recommendations for adjustments in the General Fund during meetings in August, the proposed Capital Improvement Plan total changed to $18,665,075.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. Second Public Hearing and approval of Resolution No. R-23-2020 to authorize the execution of the FFY 2019 Florida Small Cities Community Development Block Grant

After hearing from City Council and residents during the First Hearing and Community Meeting for the Community Development Block Grant application, Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels presented the draft grant application to City Council and for public comment. The City’s draft grant will apply towards funding for three City projects in the Neighborhood Revitalization category. Those projects include stormwater pipe replacement along West Street from Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. to Bonaventure Ave. for a total of $472,578.92, adding 7,700 feet of sidewalks along Highland Ave. between Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Idlewild Ave. and along Center Street between Oakridge Ave. and Vermont St. for a total of $215,500, and adding 13 expanded metal picnic tables and six benches to Vera Francis Hall Park for a total of $11,921.08. The total cost of all three projects in the draft application is $700,000, which is the maximum amount of funds that the City is eligible for the Community Development Block Grant.

Draft grant application approved as presented 5-0 by City Council.

      Consent Agenda – Routine items that are approved under one vote, unless pulled by City Council. Consent Agenda items pulled from the Consent Agenda are discussed and voted to either approve or deny by City Council.

  1. City Council approval of Minutes from 7/07/2020, 7/21/2020 Regular Sessions and 7/14/2020, 8/4/2020 Special Sessions.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of pay request #2 to Harbor Marine Dock Company, Inc. Bid #LC 2020-05 in the amount of $102,188.61 for the pier extension project.

Approved 5-0 by the City Council

  1. City Council approval of Pay Request #2 in the amount of $71,079.30 to General Underground for Bid Award, LC 2020-06, Reynolds Water System Improvements in the amount of $685,724.00 (Base Bid), and Alternate #1 (water & sewer extension to MOBRO) in the amount of $314,275.00 for a total amount of $1,000,449.00.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Pay Request #1 in the amount of $40,455.75, to General Underground for Change Order #1 to Bid Award LC 2020-06, Reynolds Water System Improvements and MOBRO Utility Extension, in the amount of $60,245.00, increasing the contract from $1,000,449.00 to $1,060,2900, for replacement of water services in the Cove Subdivision.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Change Order #2 to KBT Contracting Corp. to build out the classroom area at the Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center for the food bank in the amount of $148,100.00.

This is to approve using CARES Act funding allocated to the City to make changes to the classroom area of the Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center for additional storage for the Green Cove Springs Food Pantry. This project is one of two projects for the Food Pantry that are approved CARES Act projects and need to be done by December 31, 2020.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of a Florida Job Growth Infrastructure Grant Agreement with the State of Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for electric system improvements on HWY 17 and CR 315C.

This grant agreement is the same grant that the Clay County Economic Development Corporation submitted on behalf of the City in mid-2019, and was awarded to the City by Governor Ron DeSantis at Clay Day in Tallahassee in February 2020. City has been working with DED staff to finalize a grant agreement since February, and has recently come to the agreed grant amount of $250,000. This will go towards electrical system improvements on HWY 17 and CR 315C to fortify electric infrastructure to serve expanded development in that area.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Resolution No. R-24-2020 designating all projects on the attached CARES Act Project List as “Necessities” in the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 virus. These Projects are critical to impacting the efforts of the City of Green Cove Springs in fighting this pandemic.

This is to approve all City CARES Act projects as “necessary” and allow staff to start on all projects in order to have them finished before the grant deadline of December 31, 2020.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

Council Business – Items that require discussion and vote for approval or denial from City Council

  1. City Council review of proposed site plan changes at the Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center as required to service the Food Pantry per the CARES Act projects.

Changes needed for the Food Pantry include building a circular driveway, connecting long driveway, and covering over the Food Pantry entrance. Vice Mayor Gaw also reported that the Garden Club of Green Cove Springs would like to provide landscaping to the new Augusta Savage Museum and Mentoring Center, as well as around the Arts and Community Center.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

 

  1. City Manager and City Attorney reports and/or correspondence.

  1. City Council reports and/or correspondence.

First Public Hearing for City CDBG Application to be Held Tuesday, September 1, 2020


Thursday, August 27, 2020 – City of Green Cove Springs Development Services Department is interested in applying to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for a FFY 2019 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). The City is eligible to apply for up to $700,000 in the neighborhood revitalization, commercial revitalization, and housing rehabilitation grant categories.

 Before filling out a grant application, Development Services has scheduled two public hearings in September to gather comments and concerns about the City’s economic and community development needs from residents. The first public hearing will be held in the Council Chambers of City Hall 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels will present the different grant categories to the City Council and any public present, and provide data on the City. He will then ask the Council and residents in attendance their most important issues in Green Cove Springs and discuss how those issues can be incorporated in the grant application.  

Development Services Staff will gather public comments from the first public hearing and use them to draft a grant application. That draft application will be presented in the second public hearing for public feedback. The final grant application draft will be sent to the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity by October 5, 2020.

The grant application process will be documented on greencovesprings.com/cdbg.

Please contact Development Services Representative Heather Glisson at 904-297-7500, ext. 3334, or hglisson@greencovesprings.com for any questions.


Tuesday, September 1, 2020 City Council Special Session Meeting Brief


September 2, 2020 –

Council Business

  1. Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 1st Public Hearing

Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels presented the Community Development Block Grant application process to the City Council and public present during the meeting. Daniels said that the grant is administered and funded by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and consists of four funding categories: commercial revitalization, neighborhood revitalization, housing rehabilitation, and economic development. Green Cove Springs is eligible for up to $700,000 in grant funding in three categories—neighborhood revitalization, commercial revitalization, and housing rehabilitation—and a 50/50 match for up to $1,400,000.00 in grant funding for economic development.  

In order for the City to receive CDBG funding, the proposed projects must meet one of the following national objectives: Low-Moderate (at least 51 percent of people directly benefiting from the project must be low and moderate income), Slum and Blight (area must be considered a slum or blighted area by state or local law—only applies to commercial revitalization), and Urgent Needs (project must solve recent issues that pose a serious and immediate threat to people living in the area)

Out of the four funding categories, City Council saw the must opportunity in the Neighborhood Revitalization and Housing Rehabilitation. Neighborhood Revitalization would help the City make much-needed improvements and updates to water and sewer, street and sidewalk paving, flood and drainage, and fire protection. Housing Rehabilitation would allow the City to assist those that need to address code enforcement violations on their property but cannot afford to do so.

After discussion amongst the City Council and residents present, the Council agreed that Neighborhood Revitalization would be the best funding category for the City to pursue CDBG funding. Council directed Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels to move forward with drafting a CDBG application on behalf of the City.

Daniels and Development Services Staff will be soliciting the community’s input on the best funding category for the City’s CDBG application in a community meeting 1 p.m. on Thursday, September 3, 2020, at Thomas Hogans Memorial Gym.

Daniels will them present the City’s draft application during the Council’s September 15 meeting, and will submit the final application by the October 5 deadline.


Convo Around the Cove: Providing Shelter with The Vineyard


This month's episode explains Ordinance O-09-2020, which added Emergency Shelters to the City Land Development Code, and features Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels and special guests John Sanders and Joseph Smith of The Vineyard Transitional Center, and Pastor David Jackson of First UMC. All three play a role with The Vineyard, a community organization started by John Sanders to assist homeless families and individuals in Clay County. Sanders has been partnering with other local organizations and churches in Clay County to open a transitional shelter. Once he found a location for the center in Green Cove Springs, that's when he reached out to Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels to ask about zoning and use for that location. That discussion sparked the Emergency Shelter Ordinance, which was approved to be part of City Code by the City Council in mid-August. Listen to the episode for more details about this partnership and the organizations Sanders is bringing together for this transitional housing center in Green Cove Springs. For more information about The Vineyard or to donate, go to https://www.claycountyhomelessshelter.com/

2020 Virtual Veterans Recognition Ceremony


City of Green Cove Springs has gone virtual for the 2020 Veterans Recognition Ceremony. Local veterans serving from World War II and Vietnam War to present day share their experiences and how serving in the United States Armed Forces has impacted them.

Video shot and edited by City of Green Cove Springs Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds.


Green Cove Springs Cancels City Events Through 2020


October 12, 2020 – Out of commitment to put the community’s health and safety first, City of Green Cove Springs has cancelled all upcoming City-organized and City-sponsored events through the end of 2020.

Affected events include Green Cove Springs Trunk or Treat, Christmas on Walnut Street, and the annual Green Cove Springs Christmas Parade. All three events encourage crowded gatherings of large groups of people, which the Center for Disease Control identified as a factor in increasing the spread of COVID-19.

While these annual events are cancelled, the City of Green Cove Springs still has plans for the fall and holiday season this year.

In lieu of an in-person Veterans Recognition Ceremony in November, the City is currently working on a Virtual Veterans Day video. The video features local veterans sharing the time they served in the US military, and will be played on the City website and social media pages on Veterans Day, November 11, 2020. Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds is interviewing local veterans for the video through Thursday, Oct. 22. Local veterans interested in participating can contact Executive Assistant Kimberly Thomas to schedule an interview time at 904-297-7054 or kthomas@greencovesprings.com.  

The City’s annual Parade of Trees will be on display in Spring Park from December 5 to December 31, 2020. Every evening the City’s display of 130 decorated Christmas trees will be lit until 10 p.m. for the public to walk through Spring Park at their own pace.

New in Spring Park this year is Letters to Santa. Keep an eye out for a red mailbox in the pool pavilion, as that’s where families can drop off their letters to Santa from December 1 to December 15. Families also have the option to mail the letter to City Hall. Make sure to leave a return address so Santa can write back. More information will be posted on the City website and social media in November.

More details for all of these events will be posted on the City website and social media pages. Contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7046 or


Public Hearings on FDOT-Funded Multiuse Trail Project to be Held in October


Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020 – City of Green Cove Springs, in partnership with the Florida Department of Transportation, will be holding two public hearings in October for a Local Area Project of a 8-foot wide multiuse trail in three areas within city limits: Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard between Vera Francis Hall Park and Palmetto Avenue, Oak Street to US 17, and along N Orange Avenue from Governors Creek Bridge to Harbor Road.

Both hearings will be held at 5:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall. The first hearing will be on Tuesday, Oct. 6, and the second hearing will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020. These hearings will provide information about the project to all interested residents, as well as answer any questions or concerns about the project.

Link to Oct. 6 public hearing: https://www.greencovesprings.com/events/52377/

Link to Oct. 20 public hearing: https://www.greencovesprings.com/events/52378/

City Council approved the design phase for the multiuse trail on April 2, 2019, which allowed staff to move forward with hiring a contractor for the design and placement of the trail. Staff then presented the schedule for public hearings for the project on July 21, 2020, and the two October dates were approved by Council.

Once completed, this trail will extend the existing recreational trail in Fleming Island, which ends at Harbor Road, through Green Cove Springs city limits to the south end of the city.

Please contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds with any questions at 904-297-7046 or treynolds@greencovesprings.com


Tuesday, October 6, 2020, City Council Meeting Brief


Thursday, October 8, 2020 –

            Awards and Recognition

  1. Proclamation – Breast Cancer Awareness Month

City Council accepted and presented the proclamation to Executive Assistant Kimberly Thomas for the City’s efforts to raise awareness about breast cancer every October.

Public Hearings

  1. Second and Final Public Hearing and approval of Ordinance No. O-13-2020 for the Right of Way (ROW) Closure of Magnolia Avenue between Lamont Street and US 17.

Kimley-Horn and Associates, Inc., is requesting the closure to reuse a driveway connection from US 17 to 1050 N Orange Ave., where they are building a multi-story medical facility. Florida Department of Transportation will not allow them to reuse that driveway connection unless that portion of Magnolia Avenue is closed. The Ordinance will close that portion of Magnolia Avenue with the City maintaining ownership of the land. Staff has proposed to approve the ROW closure with the following conditions:  the roadway (asphalt and lime rock) be removed by applicant and that Kimley-Horn and Associates landscape the closed ROW, add curb and gutter on Lamont Street, and ROW closure will not take effect until a site plan for 1050 N. Orange Avenue is approved. First hearing was approved 5 – 0 by City Council on September 29, 2020.

                                    Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. First Public Hearing and approval of Ordinance No. O-14-2020 for the revision of the Building Fee permitting schedule.

City Staff is proposing a 10-15% fee reduction of the majority of building permit fees to come into compliance with state statutory requirements.

            Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

Consent Agenda

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the Mayor to execute, Disbursement Request #5, which in Mittauer Invoice #20381 in the amount of $9,875.00 (HRWWTF Ground Storage Tank #3 Design (which is already paid)), Mittauer Invoice #20382 in the amount of $7,500.00 ( Water System Improvements) and Mittauer Invoice #20383 in the amount of $6,000.00 ( Magnolia Point Cul-de-sac Pressure Improvement (which is already paid)) for a total amount of $23,375.00, for the Design Loan Agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Drinking Water, State Revolving Fund (SRF), Loan DW 100102 for $356,800.00 for the design of capital improvements to the City’s Water System.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to use Synagro for wastewater residuals (sludge) dewatering under a piggyback contract with Pasco County in the amount of $60,000 for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of the final one-year (April 2021 – April 2022) extension of Contract #03-17-02, and issuance of a purchase order to Hawkins, Inc., in the amount of $135,000.00 for chemicals used in the treatment of water and wastewater for FY 2021.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council authorization to purchase fuel from Gate Petroleum through Cooperative Bid No. 17-BA-122, effective December 1, 2019, through December 30, 2022, to provide unleaded and diesel fuel for all City Departments, and to issue a Purchase Order to Gate Petroleum in the amount of $160,000 for FY 2021.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Minutes from 8/25/2020 and 9/01/2020 Regular Session.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Invoice #1/Final Invoice, in the amount of $52,791.96 to Rock Solid Plumbing Company for touchless urinals and faucets at City facilities under the CARES Act.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Contractors Pay Request #3 in the amount of $87,369.48 to Jax Utilities Management for Bid Award LC 2020-07, US 17/SR16 Force Main Modifications in the amount of $412,915.00

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to purchase two Refuse trucks from Tampa Crane & Body Acquisitions, LLC, in the amount of $335,600.00 for two new Heil Rear load Refuse trucks and declare truck number #708 as surplus to trade one in for the amount of $80,000.00 bringing the total to $255,600.00

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. (Pulled by City Council for discussion) City Council approval of Permitting, Licensing and Code Enforcement Tracking Software Agreement with Dude Solutions, Inc (DSI) in the amount of $46,251.43

Planning and Zoning Director Mike Daniels presented the SmartGov Residential Permit Application and Tracking System as the department’s chosen software company for an e-permitting system using CARES Act funds. The system will streamline the City’s permitting, planning/zoning, inspections, code enforcement, and business licensing process. It would also allow for payment of permits and other documents to be made online.

            Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. (Pulled by City Council for discussion) City Council approval of Resolution No. R-27-2020, a resolution authorizing staff to submit and Mayor to execute the loan application for SRF Loan #100401 to the Florida department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) State Revolving Fund (SRF) loan program for Phase II Construction of the Consolidated Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (AWWTP) in the amount of $12,000,000.00 with a principal forgiveness (grant) amount of $4,452,835.00 providing for an actual repayment amount of $7,547,165.00

Pulled for explanation of loan.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to declare items listed on Exhibit “A” as surplus and to process accordingly.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Resolution R-28-2020 authorizing staff to request permit fee reduction from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) and the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD)

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of funding in the amount of $150,000.00 for Tree Trimming near Electrical Distribution/Service Lines under a Professional Service Agreement with Davey Tree Expert Company for Fiscal Year 2021.

Passed 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. Purchase of a pre-fabricated concrete restroom building for the Augusta Savage Friendship Park (Tot Lot) from Leesburg Concrete Company, Inc., piggybacking on Lake County, FL Contract Number 16-0214 in the amount of $79,129 under the CARES Act project.

City Manager Steve Kennedy explained that new guidelines on CARES Act funding from the state said that no new structures can be built with CARES Act funding. Because of these new guidelines, City manager Kennedy recommended pulling the project from CARES Act funding.

City Council pulled the Augusta Savage Friendship Park Restroom Building project in a 5 – 0 vote.

Council Business

  1. FMPA Report – October 2020

  1. Discussion of Citizen Advisory Group Structure

City Manager Steve Kennedy explained to the City Council that a Citizens Advisory Committee would function to create citizen involvement and investment, and develop informed ambassadors and future leaders for the City. City Manager Kennedy suggested that he would like to implement an application process for residents to apply to be on the board and applications will be vetted by staff. Kennedy imagines that the committee will be one large group of residents broken up into smaller groups based on topic. Council asked City Manager Kennedy to formally propose his idea of the Citizen Advisory Committee at the next regular session of the City Council.  

  1. City manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence

City Manager Comments: City Manager Kennedy reported to the Council that Planet Swim met with him to evaluate their summer managing the City Pool and determined that they had a successful summer. They will meet with him in January to discuss plans for Summer 2021

  1. City Council Reports and/or Correspondence

With plans for the new multiuse trail to be constructed in Winter 2021, Council voiced concerns about parking around the City. Would like to see clear signage for public parking, and Mayor Van Royal would like to see more signage in the City to keep people informed.


Convo Around the Cove: Citizens Advisory Committee


Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds chats with City Manager Steve Kennedy about the Citizens Advisory Committee, a newly formed board which will serve as the citizen and business owner recommendation to various issues and projects that will be going before the City Council. Listen to hear all the details of the Citizen Advisory Committee and how you can apply.

City Advises Customers Against Using doxo.com for Utility Payments


December 7, 2020 - 

The City would like to warn residents in the use of doxo.com when paying their utility bill. It is a website that is one of the first search results when people search “City of Green Cove Springs utility payments.” We want our customers to know that doxo.com is not affiliated with the City of Green Cove Springs and is not the authorized payment portal for utility payments. The site also takes out a percentage of the utility payment as a fee, resulting in an incomplete utility payment to the City.

Please pay your utility bills online through the City website at greencovesprings.com/payment-options. You can also pay over the phone at 1-855-474-4075, opt. 1, or pay in-person at the customer service lobby or the drive thru window at City Hall.


City of Green Cove Springs Now Accepting Applications for Inaugural Citizens Advisory Committee


December 7, 2020 – The City of Green Cove Springs is now accepting applications for its inaugural Citizens Advisory Committee, which is anticipated to hold its first formal meeting in early Spring 2021.

The Citizens Advisory Committee will consist of residents and business owners whose business is located within Green Cove Springs City Limits. Residents include anyone living within City Limits and Clay County residents who live within one mile of existing City Limits.

The committee will consider issues in nine major areas but there is no limit to the topics that can be considered. Each assignment will focus on an issue important to the City, such as economic development, stormwater, transportation, and public safety, just to name a few.  Members of the committee will provide feedback on any specific project or policy brought before them. City officials and members of the City Council will take feedback from the Citizens Advisory Committee into consideration when making decisions on discussed topics. 

Green Cove Springs City Manager Steve Kennedy said, “The Citizens Advisory Committee is a great way to increase transparency, as well as encouraging more public involvement in the City decision-making process.”

The Citizens Advisory Committee will be held to the same level of accountability and transparency as other appointed boards and elected bodies of the City. Meetings will be scheduled monthly and each meeting will be publicly announced and recorded by the City Clerk, with agendas and minutes published to greencovesprings.com for public view.

Residents and business owners may fill out an application at greencovesprings.com/CitizensAdvisoryCommittee and email completed applications to City Clerk Erin West at ewest@greencovesprings.com. Applications will be vetted by City Staff and accepted applicants will be contacted after January 1, 2021. There is no deadline to turn in applications, but the City urges anyone interested in becoming a member of the committee to send in a completed application as soon as possible.

For any media inquiries please contact Communications Coordinator Tiffanie Reynolds at 904-297-7046 or treynolds@greencovesprings.com. Any interested applicants with questions about the Citizens Advisory Committee may contact Executive Assistant Kimberly Thomas at 904-297-7054 or kthomas@greencovesprings.com.


January 5, 2021, City Council Meeting Brief


January 5, 2021, City Council Meeting Brief

January 6, 2021 –

            Awards & Recognition

  1. Proclamation – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Approved by the City Council and read by Mayor Van Royal

  1. Proclamation – Arbor Day

Approved by the City Council and read by Mayor Van Royal. Proclamation received by Garden Club of Green Cove Springs.

Public Hearings

  1. Second and Final Reading of Ordinance No. O-15-2020 Amendment regarding Condominium and Townhouse Requirements and requiring approval of a Special Exception for Multifamily Dwellings in excess of 35’ in height in the R-3 High Density Residential Zoning District.

Staff is proposing changes to the Residential High-Density R-3 Zoning District in that Condominium and Townhouse Development will have the same density control requirements as Multifamily (rental) dwellings. Staff also proposes adding a requirement to all multifamily development (including Condominium and Townhouse) that any development that exceeds three stories in height must be approved as a special exception subject to specific conditions. The first reading of this ordinance was approved by City Council in a 5-0 vote on Dec. 8, 2020.

            Second and Final Reading approved 5-0 by City Council.

Consent Agenda

  1. City Council approval of Minutes from 11/10/2020 and 12/08/2020 Regular Sessions.

Approved 5 -0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval for the Water and Wastewater Departments to piggyback the City of Atlantic Beach RFP 21-01 Annual Contract for Environmental Laboratory Services with AEL for Water & Wastewater laboratory services or FY 21 in the amount of $55,000.00

Pulled by Vice Mayor Ed Gaw for background clarification.

            Approved 5 -0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to purchase a 2021 F 250 work truck from Duval Ford in the amount $38,123.00 and surplus truck #247 which is a 2005 F 350 with 48,500 miles on it.

Approved 5 -0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the Mayor to execute, Disbursement Request #8 in the amount of $12,500.00 to the Design Loan Agreement for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), Drinking Water State Revolving Fund (SRF) Loan Application DW 100102 for $356,800.00, for the design of capital improvements to the City’s Water System.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Forfeiture Funds being for services from Arnold Law.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of funding, and authorization for the City manager to execute, a Task Order in the amount of $49,500.00 to Mittauer & Associates for surveying, topographic analysis, permitting, design and construction management for water and sewer force main extension on County Road 209 South.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Contractors Pay Request #6 in the amount of $10,635.12 to Jax Utilities Management for Bid Award LC 2020-07, US 17/SR 16 Force Main Modifications in the amount of $412,915.00.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Change Order #2 to KBT Contracting Corp on September 15, 2020 to build out the classroom area at Augusta Savage Arts and Community Center for the food bank in the total amount of $148, 100.00 Attached is pay #3 final pay application to your approval in the amount of $95, 129.15.  

Approved 5 -0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of a bid proposal from Jax Utilities Management, Inc., to construct the new parking area and the drive through at the ASACC facility in the amount of $219,195.54.

Pulled by request of Assistant City Manager Mike Null. Null reported to Council that Staff had information on the specific bid for the construction of the new parking area and drive through at the Augusta Savage Arts and Cultural Center as of Tuesday. The City will piggyback on Clay County Bid 2017/2018-114 for Drain Line Repair and/or New Construction.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council     

  1. City Council approval of a purchase order to Area Communications in the amount of $523,630 to install underground fiber from Chapman Substation to the core City to support Electric Department SCADA operations and provide improvements to the current City fiber infrastructure.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval for funding in the amount of $28,466.00 to Xylem, Inc., for the purchase of two submersible pumps for the Winn Dixie lift station.

Approved 5 – 0 by City Council

Council Business

  1. FMPA – January 2021

  1. City Manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence/Executive Summary Reports.

City Manager Steve Kennedy reported to the City Council that renovations to the Food Pantry of Green Cove Springs area of the Augusta Savage Arts and Cultural Center are complete and that the Food Pantry has moved in as of the last week of December. He also updated the City Council on the Citizens Advisory Committee and that Staff has received 16 applications since December.

Kennedy and City Council discussed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Ceremony for this year. Council Member Connie Butler said that she has a speaker for the ceremony, and Kennedy said that the City can hold the ceremony in a limited capacity. The Council agreed to hold the ceremony in a limited capacity this year.

  1. City Council Reports and/or Correspondence.

           


Notice of Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) US HWY 17 Electric Hardening Project


As part of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program (HMGP) process, City of Green Cove Springs is posting this notice to inform the public of FEMA’s consideration to fund the US HWY 17 Hardening project through HMGP.

            The US HWY 17 hardening project consists of constructing infrastructure improvements to place electric lines underground along US 17 from Grove Street to harbor Road. Once complete, this project will help make city power lines less prone to damage or electrical failure during storms.

Please click on the notice below for a detailed description of the project and grant program. Public comments on this project can be submitted from now until January 29, 2021. All comments can be sent to Assistant City Manager Mike Null at mnull@greencovesprings.com or calling 904-297-7098.


January 19, 2021, City Council Meeting Brief


January 20, 2021 –

            Awards & Recognition

  1. Promotion of Brandi Acres from Communications Officer to Communications Supervisor.

Presentation

  1. Kimberly Cobb-Ray – NEFL Community Action Agency

Executive Director Kimberly Cobb-Ray gave a presentation about the NEFL Community Action Agency to the City Council and discussed payment issues to the City of Green Cove Springs that the agency had in the fall due to COVID-19. Cobb-Ray requested City Staff to change City’s billing policy to waive all late fees on their clients’ utility bills once the City receives a voucher from NEFL Community Action Agency. Mayor Van Royal and Vice Mayor Ed Gaw requested staff to look into this policy change.

            Public Hearings

  1. First Reading of Ordinance No. O-01-2021, an Ordinance amending Chapter 0 of the City Code Article II Electric Utility, Division 2, Service Applications and Contracts, amending Section 90-24 entitled “Utility Payment Extensions.”

After looking at patterns of customers that utilize Utility Payment Extensions, City Staff proposes to include the following changes to Ordinance O-03-2016: Increase length of the extension from one week to two weeks, remove requirement for accounts to be in good standing and to have no active code violations. These changes will allow customers to use their allotment of extensions throughout the year instead of one payment cycle and removing account requirements will allow more customers to benefit from the service.

Council Members also requested that City Staff should promote its Care to Share Program and COVID-19 Utility Bill Assistance.

            First Hearing passed 5 -0 by City Council

Consent Agenda

  1. City Council approval of the 2021 Food Truck Friday Schedule and Request for City Support.

Pulled by Mayor Van Royal to discuss himself and Vice Mayor Ed Gaw to recuse themselves from the vote as they personally organize the events every year.

Approved 3 -0 by City Council, with Mayor Royal and Vice Mayor Gaw abstaining.

  1. City Council approval of Training Funds being used for Block 1 of 4 for JJ Mares for Law Enforcement Basic Recruit Program.

Approved 5 -0 by City Council.

  1. City Council approval of the use of training funds for Record Technician, Karla Olivierre-Holness, to attend an online training class: Florida Sunshine Law for Law Enforcement.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of the 4th Annual GCSPD Golf Tournament.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of Engineering Service Agreements for upcoming State Revolving Fund and other construction projects to Mittauer & Associates and CPH Incorporated from Bid # LC2020- 21, Engineering Services DEP/SRF.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval of, and authorization for the mayor, City Attorney and City Clerk to execute the Clean Water State Revolving Fund (SRF), Construction Loan Agreement WW100420, Grant Agreement SG 100421 for Phase II Construction of the Consolidated Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant (AWWTP) in the amount of $12,000,000.00 with a principal forgiveness (grant) amount of $4,452,835.00 providing for an actual repayment amount of $7,547,165.00.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to surplus old post lamps from Spring Park.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. City Council approval to surplus old roofing tiles from Qui-Si-Sana Hotel.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

  1. Council approval Air-max as the City’s HVAC vendor for new installations and service to be excepted from informal and formal bidding processes for consistency.

Approved 5-0 by City Council

Council Business

  1. City Manager and City Attorney Reports and/or Correspondence/Executive Summary Reports.

City Manager

            City Manager Steve Kennedy received some questions and concerns about lighting along US HWY 17 south of Harbor Road, as many see the area as too dark at night and the alleged cause of car accidents and pedestrian deaths along that section of road. Kennedy took the concerns to FDOT, who studied the lighting in the area and recommended what they refer to as “constant lighting” along US HWY 17 from Governors Creek Bridge to Co Rd 315. That project has been submitted to NF TPO for funding.

           

            Selection Committee has reviewed the five bids submitted for the City’s new Comprehensive Plan. The bids with top three highest scores will present before the City Council. 

            While the message from the state is that there will be little funding for projects, City Manager Kennedy still submitted the City’s list of requested projects to the funded. These projects include Walnut Street rehabilitation, Governors Creek boat ramp rehabilitation or building additions to Spring Park South Dock, rehabilitation of Rivers House, and SMART City initiatives.

City Manager Kennedy has now received 19 applications for the Citizens Advisory Committee. He will continue accepting applications for the next couple of weeks before vetting applications in late January or early February.