After an exhaustive search for nearly a year, the Town of Dunnellon found a new director of community development.
Georgina Cid started as the new director on September 20, which was enthusiastically received by the town hall and the city council.
The Cid’s experience and recommendations impressed the Council. She has worked in the public service for several municipalities in South and Central Florida, including Weston, Miramar and Lake Worth, and is a former business owner with a banking background. She is also a certified translator.
Cid’s arrival comes just in time for longtime community development worker Theresa Malmberg to retire this week.
The Director of Community Development is the face of Town Hall to the public on zoning, land use and permitting matters and regularly consults with City Council and helps guide the Planning Commission and Council of historical preservation on demands and questions regarding the overall city plan.
“My greatest asset is customer service,” Cid told the Board. “I am a civil servant by birth. I like helping people. I love being able to provide service, listen to what people need and bring that to my day-to-day operations. Cid said she was interested in Dunnellon for her unique relationship with the rivers. She said she had already taken steps to pursue a degree in urban planning, which the City preferred for its applicants.
Former director of community development, Lonnie Smith, resigned last December, and since then the city has no permanent director, despite widespread publicity for the position.
City Council got unanimous consensus to approve City Clerk Mandy Odom’s recommendation to hire Cid.
“(Cid) sounded like an individual with attributes in everything we are looking for,” said Mayor Bill White.
“We have exhausted our ability to try to find someone who would fit this role for the salary the city could pay,” White added. “And I don’t even think the salary is the problem. It is quite simply a shortage of graduates in urban planning. (Along with) Florida’s explosive population growth, there is a great demand for it. “
Blue race workshop
Prior to its 5:30 p.m. workshop on Wednesday, October 6, City Council will host a special workshop at 3:30 p.m. to continue work on developing an ordinance for a code of conduct and bylaws at Blue Run of Dunnellon Park. The ordinance will cover such things as park safety regulations, swimming regulations and the use of the commercial kayak shuttle. A final vote is months away, as a proposed ordinance will need to be approved by the Planning Commission and multiple public hearings.
New police building
After voting to put the old Souls Harbor Church building on Ohio Street up for sale, City Council turned its attention to finding new accommodation for the Dunnellon Police Department.
No plans or decisions have been made for a new building. Mayor Bill White shared with council a possible location at the corner of Illinois Street and Powell Road on the northeast corner of the Historic District. The site includes two cleared lots.
Council noted that it wishes to compare construction costs and time between installing a new modular building on site and constructing a brick and mortar building directly on site. Chris Russell of Vesta Modular spoke to Council twice about a modular building, which would be custom built off site.
Russell has offered a preliminary cost proposal of approximately $ 560,000 for a 4,544 square foot building, which includes delivery and installation costs. The proposal also includes an additional $ 150,000 in optional items. Russell said the building could be completed and installed within 6 to 8 months.
The council adopts the final budget, the mileage
The city council unanimously approved the final budget and mileage rate for the new fiscal year. Mileage remained at 6.5 for the fifth year in a row, representing a 3.18% increase in tax revenue collected over the dismantling rate, due to a 4% increase in property values. The cancellation rate represents the rate at which revenues would not change.
The Board unanimously adopted a final General Fund operating budget of $ 4.15 million for the 2021-2022 fiscal year.
City Council members commended CFO Jan Smith for her hard work and vigilance on the budget. Smith noted that this was the sixth year in a row that Dunnellon had hit its budget forecast significantly enough that it didn’t have to dip into reserves.
The General Fund budget showed a net surplus of $ 271,259 during the year, which will be deposited into reserves.
Smith highlighted various General Fund accomplishments for the year, including: improving water, sewer and road resurfacing in the historic district; the recently completed parking and road improvements on Short Tower Way; the City Beach shade shelters, currently under construction; and three new police patrol vehicles, 75% funded by grants.
City meetings are held at City Hall on River Drive on the second Monday of the month at 5:30 pm City workshops are held at 5:30 pm on the Wednesday before each city meeting.