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.

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