Wednesday, April 13, 2016

City Council Meeting Highlights - April 12, 2016

Wallace Lot Acquisition

After a lengthy presentation by interim City Manager Richard Anderson, the Belle Isle City Council voted unanimously to move forward with the purchase of the large grass lot at the corner of Wallace and Matchett. The lot is to be utilized as an open city green space, the details of which will be resolved at future meetings. The purchase price is not to be paid from the city's general fund, so this purchase will not affect the city's cash reserve or general fund balances stated in the recent 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR).

Acquiring this lot for the city is important for a number of reasons. It is a beautiful open field that the seller has previously allowed to be used as a practice field as well as for the city's recent Easter Egg Hunt event. The property is in close proximity to Lake Conway, but without actually incurring the enormous costs and potential liabilities that come with being on the lake itself. It is also one of the most historic locations in Belle Isle, being part of the old Will Wallace Harney homestead - site of the original 1800s "Pine Castle."

Purchasing the Wallace lot ensures that it will remain a city greenspace. This will, in turn, protect our lakes by eliminating the construction of multiple new septic tanks as would be needed for housing development. The Wallace lot is also one of the few remaining open spaces that we can acquire to fulfill our city goal of maintaining open spaces, as described in the 2010 Belle Isle Comprehensive Plan.

City Council Meeting Schedule & Procedures

In addition to discussing the property purchase, the council also informally agreed to move forward with establishing a new city council meeting schedule. Under the newly-proposed schedule, city council meetings would be held on the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 6:30 p.m. This schedule precludes the need for separate workshop meetings, which do not allow for citizen input or council action. The future meeting schedule will be discussed further and formalized by the council in the coming weeks.

The council also briefly discussed the possibility of adopting simplified rules of order for its meetings. This issue will be more fully addressed at a future meeting along with the possible purchase of inexpensive reusable signs to be posted around town in advance of each meeting.

In Closing

Please keep in mind that this is not meant to be a complete recap of everything that happened at the April 12, 2016 Belle Isle City Council meeting, simply an overview of the most important decisions and discussions.

Want to contact your mayor or city council members? Please use our official email addresses and phone numbers, provided in representative map linked below. This link is always accessible from the right column of the Belle Isle Sun homepage.

Representative Map & Contact Information

Please note that under Florida's Sunshine Law, all communications with city email and phone accounts are archived as public records subject to request.

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