Dunedin City Commission Discusses Coca-Cola Plant Closure and Cybersecurity

During a recent Dunedin City Commission meeting, the impending closure of the local Coca-Cola plant emerged as a concern among citizens and city officials, sparking discussions on the future use of the property and its impact on the community. Alongside these talks, the Commission also approved a resolution to adopt the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework for cybersecurity, following a recent cyber attack on the city’s systems.

With the Coca-Cola plant set to close on May 31st, citizens brought forth various proposals and questions regarding the status of the facility and potential zoning changes. The discussion revolved around the utilization of grants for local workforce housing and the idea of partnering with Coca-Cola to help alleviate the housing crisis. City officials provided an update, confirming the industrial zoning of the property and ongoing dialogues with Coca-Cola’s real estate division about the land’s future. While expressing a desire for a mix of higher-paying jobs and housing on the site, officials acknowledged the city’s limited control over the property’s sale and zoning decisions.

In addition to the pressing economic concerns, the Commission addressed the city’s cybersecurity posture by adopting the NIST Cybersecurity Framework. This move comes as a response to a cyber attack experienced in October 2022. The framework’s guidelines aim to improve cybersecurity across five key areas: identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover. The city’s IT services director discussed the measures to be implemented under each guideline, such as managing access to assets, conducting regular backups, and testing and updating detection processes.

The Commission’s conversation about cybersecurity extended to the city’s response plans and recovery framework in the aftermath of the cyber attack. The IT services department has put in place various cybersecurity initiatives and protection systems, including cloud-based solutions, advanced antivirus protection, managed detection and response service, multi-factor authentication, and network infrastructure assessment. The emphasis was on the city’s compliance with state statute requirements and the importance of these measures in limiting liability for future cyber incidents. Questions were raised about the city’s readiness to address future technological threats and the potential vulnerabilities associated with artificial intelligence.

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The meeting also saw the second reading of ordinance 244, which conferred the Historic Landmark designation upon New York Avenue, the Earl family Homestead. The property’s historical, cultural, and environmental significance was recognized, with the city planner presenting the designation and the commission approving the ordinance unanimously.

Other subjects discussed included the renovation of the East End area and the addition of restrooms to the budget, the progress of the Rock House renovation, challenges in finding contractors for city projects, and the expansion of ferry services. Additionally, the commission discussed the ongoing work at Skinner and the Downtown parking garage, the status of a local business, Ocean Optics, and concerns about the lease of the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s property.

As the meeting progressed, infrastructure and development projects took center stage, with debates over reallocating funds for a county-interested project and the condition of local streets and sidewalks. The commission highlighted the need for clarification in the community regarding the city’s involvement in subsidizing private businesses and the Dunedin Fine Art Center’s lease.

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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.

Mayor:
Julie Ward Bujalski
City Council Officials:
Jeff Gow, Maureen Freaney, Robert Walker, John Tornga, Jennifer K. Bramley (City Manager)

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