Quincy's leadership got welcomed good news last Tuesday, June 10th, as Interim City Manager Mike Wade and Interim Finance Director Jeff Williams told commissioners about a settlement that the Florida Municipal Power Agency (FMPA) had negotiated on behalf of Quincy and other FMPA members to recover additional costs of wholesale power that resulted from a failed upgrade project at the Crystal River (formerly Progress Energy; now Duke Energy) Unit 3 nuclear power plant.
FMPA's efforts resulted in a settlement payment due Quincy of $105,284.73. The city has already received $354,994.00 from Duke's insurer, Nuclear Electric Insurer Ltd. (NEIL). Quincy's share of the total negotiations costs has been $2,042.33, state documents provided at the meeting.
FMPA has thoroughly researched all claims for all of the cities involved, said Wade.
Commissioners addressed the city's bus shuttle service contract extension. City Manager Wade said he was bringing it back to the board to review and get ideas on how the commission wants to proceed.
"In April, (you) approved an extension (of the contract) to the end of September. During the past 12 months, the cost of the contract was $80,505 and fares were $4,026.75," said Building & Planning Director Bernard Piawah.
"When we discussed this a few months ago, Rev. Figgers had a plan," said Commissioner Keith Dowdell.
Piawah said Rev. Figgers came up with a plan for Quincy to provide the service, but that it would amass large losses.
"We need to get people involved. I would like to get input from the citizens," said Dowdell. The time to do that would be during budget discussions, he said.
"We have to look at this in the financial aspects. When it came up before, I didn't like the continuing costs," said fellow board member Andy Gay.
"What I did like was finding another company that would be willing to provide the service."
Commissioner Daniel McMillan said the service was a much-needed one for a lot of citizens. "I think there's a more cost-effective way to do this but it
seems like we could slim it down," he added.
"This is a very delicate situtation we need to take care of in the right way. I would agree with finding another organization to provide this truly needed service. From the financial aspect it comes down to costs," said Commissioner Micah Brown.
The board unanimously agreed to continue with the service contingent upon Gadsden County continuing its participation.
The commission had at an earlier meeting directed staff to look into cost comparisons between other Internet providers and NetQuincy's services and costs. Wade said the staff is looking into other telecommunications services and will provide a cost analysis to the board at a future meeting.
Interim Internet Technology Director Chris Jordan gave the board an update on some of NetQuincy's problems, including duplicate accounts, customers continuing to be billed for services after cancellations, no cutoff procedures and more.
"I applaud you for finding these problems and making procedures. This is something that staff should have found well before it got to the commission.
It totally shows NetQuincy in a faulty light," said McMillan.
The board gave unanimous approval to the annexation of Shaw and Redd properties that gives the city direct access to and a presence on I-10 that is essential for the city's future growth and economic development, according to provided documents.