Staff will present updates on the sanitation, building, Laishley Marina, gas tax and five-year road paving program at today’s Punta Gorda City Council meeting. All funds are balanced. An increase of 42 cents per month is proposed to cover the contractual increase in recycling services. Utilities and Canal Maintenance Funds will be presented at the June City Council meetings, and the Community Redevelopment Area is scheduled for July.

Master PlanOn June 18 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m., the city will be having a Citywide Master Plan Preview Community Engagement Event at the Charlotte Harbor Event Center. Our urban design senior planner will be sharing an update of visual images and an overview of ideas from Dover, Kohl & Partners. The intent is to:

• View work in progress images provided by Dover Kohl & Partners;

• Understand the impact of proposed ideas;

• Garner feedback for Dover Kohl & Partners;

• Get public input on the prioritization of projects.

There is no charge to attend and no need to pre-register.

Body Cameras The Fiscal Year 2019 Body-Worn Camera Policy and Implementation Program promotes the safety of law enforcement officers and citizens by strengthening the means for evidence capture and by contributing to improved justice outcomes.

Both formal research publication and testimonials by law enforcement executives have shown that body-worn cameras, when properly implemented, contribute myriad benefits to law enforcement organizations, their personnel and the communities they serve. Body-worn cameras use can have a moderating effect on citizens’ behavior, has been shown to reduce use-of-force incidents and citizen complaints, and can help strengthen mutual respect and civility in citizen police interactions.

Submittal of a grant application to provide 50 percent funding support will be considered at today’s City Council meeting.

Dedication PlaqueArea resident Helen Shirley contacted the City Manager’s Office earlier in 2019 indicating that she had a plaque of some historical significance that she wished to donate to the city. The Barron G. Collier Bridge plaque was uncovered by Mrs. Shirley and her daughter in the late 1970s when the old Barron Collier Bridge was being demolished.

The plaque was discarded along the shoreline in the dirt adjacent to the demolition zone. Seeing the plaque several times over the course of a month Mrs. Shirley and her daughter recovered the plaque, and took it home for safe keeping. The plaque they recovered in the late 1970s stayed safe in their home until March 2019, when Mrs. Shirley entrusted it to city staff for the consideration of the Donation Review Committee.

Economic Development

At the monthly meeting of the Economic Development Partnership, State Rep. Michael Grant gave a summary of the $91.1 billion state budget and significant policy-related bills passed by the state Legislature. At today’s City Council meeting, city lobbyist Jerry Paul will provide his summary of the what transpired.

Howard Kunik is the Punta Gorda city manager. His columns appear here on Wednesdays. Readers may reach him at HKunik@ci.punta-gorda.fl.us.

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