City Council meets today to discuss grant, recreation fees and the John Land statue
In what is perhaps the most diverse grouping of agenda items since the budget, the Apopka City Council meets today in a workshop format to discuss three items – a grant to increase the Apopka Police Department by five officers, the John Land statue and recreation fees. City Council workshops are open to the public, but no public comments will be heard, however no votes will be taken at a workshop. It is a time for the City Council to gather information on the agenda items and advise City staff on the direction that it wishes to take. Here is a preview of the agenda items according to the City’s agenda packet:
A Parks & Recreation Master Plan Public Advisory Committee was established to provide public input in the master plan process, help define goals for Apopka’s recreational amenities and offer recommendations for improving existing facilities and identifying future needs. The 11-member committee met over a five-month period to provide input to staff. This input was used to craft the final recommendations of the Recreation Master Plan. The committee included the following members: Jerome Miller, Chair Christine Bornstein, Eli Rivera, Danyiel Hunter-Yarbrough, Bill Spiegel, Tenita Reid, Justin Gomez, Bryan Richey, Larry Zwieg, Anita Boyd, and Matthew Hutchinson. Committee members and city staff based final recommendations on future park needs based on the City’s adopted level of service of three acres of park/open space per 1,000 residents, policies addressed within the Recreation Element of the Comprehensive Plan, input expressed by residents at the Public Advisory Committee meetings and visioning workshops, as well as the desire to ensure all residents of Apopka have access to recreation amenities.
John Land Statue
Two statues of John Land are being prepared for placement on city property. One will be placed in Kit Land Nelson Park and the other will be situated on the front lawn of City Hall. The City Staff asked the statue artist to visit the area for suggestions. One site is in front of the flags directly in front of City Hall and close to Main Street. The other is on the western side of City Hall, but very visible to Main Street. The Staff believes the site on the west side will be easier to work with as the base is formed and poured.
The Apopka Police Department through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) has been awarded a grant for five officer positions under the 2016 COPS Hiring Program (CHP). The estimated amount of federal funds to be awarded to the Police Department over the three-year award period is $625,000. The local cash match for the grant will be $339,800 over the three-year period. The CHP award funding may be used to hire the new officers on or after the official award start date of September 1, 2016. CHP award recipients must retain all sworn officer positions funded under the 2016 CHP award for a minimum of 12 months following the 36-month federal funding period. The retained CHP-funded position(s) should be added to the law enforcement budget with local funds, over and above the number of locally-funded positions that would have existed in the absence of the award.
The workshop is scheduled for today from 1:30-5PM at the City Hall Council chamber.