City Manager’s Report – June 28, 2016

Bill Prokop

09 Jul City Manager’s Report – June 28, 2016

The following is a summary of City Manager Bill Prokop’s Report to City Council the end of last month.

City Manager’s Comments 6/28/2016

1. First I want to thank our Public Safety and Public Works departments for the response they coordinated during the Microburst we had on Friday, June 17th. We had trees down, powerlines down, roads closed and it all happened in a 60-minute time frame. Thankfully, no serious injuries. Also, I thank Ms. Edie Rogers for her very nice comments in her letter to the editor.

2. I am very pleased to share with you the fact that our Police Department, under the leadership of Chief Clancy has been selected by the Department of Justice as a model PD when it comes to Diversity, ethics, and retention of minority officers. The DOJ will be sending a team here in early August to interview members of our department and our command staff. Chief Clancy comment to me was I hope they won’t be disappointed when they come here and they ask me how we did this, and I answer, “We always hire the best applicant for the position”. He is right and we have tough standards, but we also have a great Police Department and I know that you are as proud of them as I am. Congratulations to the Department and to Chief Clancy.

3. Our Beaufort Code review process has been extended but we are getting great input from our community. We are clearly hearing the concerns and are really listening to the input we are getting. We really thank everyone who is taking the time to weigh in and give us input as to how we can make the code more understandable, workable, and enforceable. When the code does come forward to Council, our goal is to have it as one that can be embraced by you and the community.

4. Project update:
a. Southside sidewalks and drainage is underway and a few additions have been added to the project by BJW&S such as replacing some taps which will be good in the long-term.
b. Our stormwater project 319 Grant on Dr. Gray’s property is going well and following the plan.
c. West Street project is going well and we are able to separate the water and gas lines that were installed many, many years ago.
d. Allison Road – This project is getting so old it may start to grow a beard. But, here again I sound like a broken record, but – it is still being reviewed by the State DOT. This project will provide the streetscape, sidewalk, and stormwater improvements that have been planned for the past several years. We will keep you posted and all of us frustrated.
e. Boundary Street: Project is going on very well. At this point we have spent 25.83% of the dollars on the contracted part of the project (not the entire project) and we are about 20.7% of the time schedule. The Duct bank is completed on the Right side of the project and we are now beginning work on First Street and the Left Side of Boundary. By the end of July we should see the new intersection at 170 opened and a new Mast Arm traffic light installed. To date we have approved 5 change orders with a total value of just over $46,000. Overall, the project is going according to plan.

5. Again, I want to address our amended budget process and explain how we will operate going forward. We originally asked for a fee, only because that was our only option for raising revenue. This has been a common theme for the last 5-6 years and we always end up delaying expenses and putting off projects that then end up costing more money. We also know that we spend a considerable amount of money and time on maintaining assets that do not belong to the City. When the fee was not approved we had to go back and again delay some projects but more importantly develop a new process going forward. The new process will be that we will not engage in doing any project that is now not underway or in our budget for work on assets that do not belong to the City. All request will be noted and the state or resident will be notified that their issue will be reviewed and will be brought before council to make a decision as to making an amendment to the budget if the project is to be addressed. Obviously, emergencies will be addressed and handled immediately.

6. Our Redevelopment Commission is doing a great job in addressing the goals that were established by this council and I want to thank each of you for pitching in together with staff to address our economic development activities, with in-fill projects, and our process improvement plans that are all underway. Your support and personal involvement is much appreciated by staff. I am also pleased to report to you tonight that thanks to the efforts of Councilor Murray and Jason Ruhf from the Chamber, we were notified today by the Department of Commerce that our Commerce Park site has met all the requirements of the Palmetto Sites Program and we will be listed as an approved site. This is a big step for us to help in marketing the Commerce Park property.

7. Last, please remember to be at the Water Front park tomorrow morning at 8:00 A.M. to participate in our salute to the National Park’s “YouTube” challenge Bio Dance – I can guarantee it will be quite a site on the Beaufort Waterfront!

8. Thank you and a Very Happy Birthday to Councilman Cromer, and a Happy Birthday to our Mayor whos birthday is tomorrow. Do you have any questions?