ALACHUA – Alachua residents will soon stand to benefit from the City’s new call center. On Aug. 6, 2019, the City solicited formal bids for companies to partner with the City to establish a Customer Service Call Receipt and Response Services (Call Center). Services would include call answering, alarm monitoring, and utility dispatching support services. The call center will also allow for development of a database of residents’ phone numbers and emails. Among other benefits, this new capability will allow the City to notify utility customers in case of power disruption.
At the Feb. 10, 2020 Alachua City Commission meeting, the City accepted and authorized a bid from Interactive Utility Communications at an approximate cost of $24,000 that will be drawn from the City's Electric Fund. The awarded bid will include a contract effective through Sept. 30, 2020. The contract will automatically renew on Oct. 1, 2020 for one of four successive years, unless the automatic renewal is canceled by either party.
The Commission also took action on an Interlocal Agreement with the City of High Springs for Building Official Services. Currently the City of High Springs does not have a building official, and had requested to utilize the services of Alachua's building official. This agreement would provide a qualified building official to handle building permitting and inspections for High Springs.
Those services would include building inspection services for permitted construction activity related to building construction, repair, remodeling, demolition, or alteration projects that are subject to the Florida Building Code. It would also provide all permit holders a record of the inspection results as required by state statute. The City of Alachua will charge High Springs $55 for each inspection as well as for other services. Although the Alachua City Commission approved the proposal, final approval is to be considered by the City of High Springs City Commission during its Feb. 13, 2020 meeting.
The Commission also approved the $155,600 purchase of an underground cable puller for the city's public services department electric division. The Hydraulic Duct Dawg is the only manufacturer of an underground cable puller., which has unique safety features including an articulated three-axis boom, which keeps the user from having to move the boom manually, and a fully wireless remote control, which keeps the operators safe from potential electrical touch during equipment operation.
The Commission also approved entering into a contract with D & M Mowing, Inc. to provide services for the Annual Powerline Tree and Vegetation Maintenance Services. While the actual cost will not be known until the work is completed, the contract states it is not to exceed $100,000.
In other business, the Commission approved a revision to the FY 2020 Compensation Plan for the position of Human Resources Manager. During the initial approval on Dec. 9, 2019, the range for the position was listed at a minimum of $69,000 and a maximum of $103,500. The correct amount should been a minimum of $59,000 and a maximum of $85,550.
One ordinance was considered for rezoning property within the McGinley Industrial Park from Alachua County Planned Unit Development (PUD) to City of Alachua Industrial General (IG). McGinley Industrial Park is located north of County Road 25A (Northwest 120th Lane) and the CSX railroad and to the south of Northwest 128th Lane. The developed portion of the park is comprised of 17 lots ranging in size from approximately one acre to approximately two acres, with most lots approximately one acre in size.
Under the current PUD designation, no development, redevelopment, or expansion can occur until a City Future Land Use Map (FLUM) Designation and zoning are applied to a property. Several property owners within McGinley Industrial Park have jointly submitted this application to rezone the properties to place a zoning designation on the property that is consistent with the underlying FLUM Designation. The Commission approved this ordinance on the first reading with second and final approval to be considered at the Feb. 24, 2020 commission meeting.
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