Destin City Council Advances Joe’s Bayou, Addresses Subcontractor Payment Issue

The Destin City Council meeting encompassed discussions on the Joe’s Bayou Boat Ramp Improvement Project, including the replacement of piers, addition of an accessible pier and kayak launch, and the controversial proposal of a boat washdown area. Additionally, the session addressed a subcontractor’s unpaid work on the Heritage Park project, approved the waiving of marina parking fees for a local event, proceeded with the pickleball courts project, and reviewed the city’s annual audit and financial statements.

The Joe’s Bayou Boat Ramp Improvement Project was a focal point of discussion. The project involves changes, such as replacing the middle and northern piers to accommodate larger boats and address scouring and sand buildup. The council deliberated on the practicality and environmental impact of adding a boat washdown facility, given concerns about waste management and potential runoff. The council members expressed a desire for a report on the feasibility of boat washing facilities amid concerns about ramp congestion and the increasing size of boats.

Public comments brought to light the issue of a subcontractor who had not been compensated for their contribution to the Heritage Park project. The subcontractor was reportedly owed $6,000 and had not received payment from the contractor, who had directed him to seek payment from the city. The council explored various options to resolve the issue, including reviewing contracts, contacting the contractor, and considering legal action to ensure the subcontractor was paid. The possibility of involving the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation was also suggested.

Further items discussed included the waiver of marina parking fees for the annual Blessing of the Fleet event. The pickleball courts project was advanced, with changes to the design following feedback from the Parks and Recreation committee. The project now includes multi-use courts, and the council approved moving forward with the 90% design documents.

The council reviewed the city’s FY 23 annual audit and financial statements, presented by Wade Sansbury from Malden and Jenkins. The audit report found no material weaknesses or deficiencies and noted the city’s net position had increased significantly, ending the year with approximately 161.5 million. The firm emphasized the importance of maintaining cybersecurity within the city’s IT systems. The council acknowledged the positive audit outcome and praised the efforts of the finance team.

Additionally, the proposed FY 25 budget calendar was discussed, with a motion to set the budget and millage adoption public hearing for September 5th, 2024, being approved. The finance director reported that the city’s operational and financial status was on target, and updates on the city’s capital projects were discussed.

The public information director announced upcoming events such as an Easter treat trail, citywide Easter egg hunt, and a community yard sale. Improvements to trash pickup were discussed, including partnering with Waste Management. Further waste management initiatives included the distribution of service day stickers and the review of the “did you know” campaign content. The IT office informed the council about the transition to a new mobile device management solution.

Council members also discussed registration fees for condominiums, with a plan requested by a specific date. Updates on meetings concerning Destin High School’s sports facilities and annexation discussions were provided. The need for volunteers for the upcoming Easter egg hunt was raised, and the possibility of changing the yard debris pickup schedule was discussed. Concerns regarding the progress of the capital improvement plan for the cross-town connector and the need for a project review timeline were expressed.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Bobby Wagner
City Council Officials:
John Stephens, Torey Geile, Dewey Destin, Jim Bagby, Terésa Hebert, Johnny King, Kevin Schmidt

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