Another meeting another chapter in the long-running saga concerning the city of Port St. Joe, CareerSource Gulf Coast and the Washington High School gym.

Another meeting another chapter in the long-running saga concerning the city of Port St. Joe, CareerSource Gulf Coast and the Washington High School gym.

With some controversy simmering over access to the gym and its kitchen, CareerSource Gulf Coast is offering to scale back its operations at the gym to only its summer programs.

Rathering that renewing another yearlong lease, the agency is offering a 12-week lease.

According to John Reeves, the chair of Career Source Gulf Coast Board of Directors, the summer program is attended by over 230 children.

An issue with a 12-month lease is an after-school program that the workforce development board also oversees. Up to 30 children take advantage of that program, which takes place six days a week.

The workforce development board wishes to see that program, which consists of a few hours of afterschool care, to continue but sees a challenge in the contractual obligations.

Council members, particularly Rex Buzzett are concerned about liability and utility costs.

However, both sides wish to continue as many programs that serve the local community as possible.

“It’s a great program, we want to keep that going and I made a commitment to you (the mayor) the other day and that is what we are going to do,” said Reeves on the summer program.

Both sides will meet to further discuss and the issue will be brought up at the next council meeting.

Commissioner Brett Lowry also publicly thanked CareerSource for all the work they do in the community.

The city provides CareerSource $15,000 for its summer programs, the same amount provided for programs during the summer at the STAC House.

Commissioners, particularly Mayor Bo Patterson, criticized the agency for not providing the community access to the kitchen and gym during hours the agency is not providing programs.

CareerSource has invested some $20,000 in upgrades, including appliances, to the kitchen; its primary concern is liability for use of the kitchen when agency staff are not present.

Frank Pate Boat Ramp

The city council of Port St. Joe unanimously voted to accept the lowest bid on the upcoming Frank Pate Boat Ramp improvement project at the regular city council meeting held on Feb. 7.

The bid of $644,499.25 from North Florida Construction had been challenged by a local company, Cathey Construction, with a bid of $656, 266.53.

Cathey Construction, citing a local preference policy, wished to be to be given the project over the lowest bid.

According to City Manager Jim Anderson the state of Florida instructed the city that they would have to go with the lowest bid.

Redevelopment

Bill Kennedy, the executive director of the Port St. Joe Redevelopment Agency (PSJRA) was on hand to give the council an update on the agency’s agenda in the near future.

Kennedy announced that the development agency will be installing an arch over 4th Street to welcome visitors into the Port St. Joe’s downtown district.

“We are considering making modifications to the planter beds on Reid Ave. to allow better pedestrian access to and from the sidewalks,” Kennedy said.

The PSJRA will discuss the planter beds at their next meeting to be held on Tuesday, Feb. 14.

Also up for discussion at that meeting will be the North Port St. Joe updates to the redevelopment agency’s master plan.