Quincy commissioners on Tuesday, January 24th approved on first reading Ordinance #1087-2016 allowing the city to hire Special Magistrates for Code Enforcement cases.
If given approval again at second reading at the city's next meeting, it will create enforcement cases to be heard on a quarterly basis, with a cost expected of $1,000 +/-.
City Manager Mike Wade said the city has advertised to hire a Code Enforcement Magistrate and received one applicant. Wade said he had spoken with the Magistrate for Gadsden County and that he is willing to serve as Quincy's Magistrate as well, but an ordinance change would be required as would compensation addition.
Commissioners all said they had become very frustrated with the current system.
Mayor Derrick Elias asked if the Magistrate for the county would be documented by an inter-local agreement with the county or an agreement with the individual. The City Attorney stated there may be a dual-office-holding issue with that individual but that it should be possible to structure the agreement to take care of the issue. The document would be between the city and the Special Magistrate with compensation. A back-up Magistrate was added to the motion for approval. It passed unanimously.
A representative from Tallahassee Community College (TCC) came before the commission to give an update on what's going on at TCC's Gadsden Center. She said that the center had opened last March with ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) classes and that they now have a waiting list. HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) classes are coming soon. Class levels have now been transitioned to college levels, she said. There are also workforce development and business classes, she said. TCC has partnered with CareerSource, she said, which pays for certain classes.
Attorney Shirley reported to the commission that several Florida cities have adopted a temporary moratorium on medical marijuana production/dispensing facilities. He stated he can provide the commission with a draft ordinance to discuss. The moratorium will be in place until the state adopts laws to regulate the uses and what is an appropriate zoning district they would be allowed in. The draft will be available for the commission at the next meeting.
A representative from Dewberry-Preble Rish updated commissioners on state-approved funding of a $275,000 SCOP (Small City Outreach Program) grant for paving Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard to 9th Street that was approved two years ago. The project is scheduled to start surveying and designing soon and will take a couple of months to complete. It will cost approximately $250,000.
Commissioners discussed ways to leverage their funding. They unanimously approved for the city to leverage $150,000 through SCOP funds for the program.