After years of waiting, some areas of North Port St. Joe will finally have their water lines replaced.

After years of waiting, some areas of North Port St. Joe will finally have their water lines replaced.

At the regular city meeting on Tuesday, Port St. Joe City Manager Jim Anderson announced that the state has given the city permission to go for bids for water line replacement in the last residential neighborhoods to see replacement four years after the citywide effort to rid itself of aging water lines began.

The project will be funded by a Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) grant in the amount of $650,000.

Anderson said that he believes that bids for the work should be in by the end of August.

The city also has an $80,000 grant, with a $25,000 city match stipulation, from the Northwest Florida Water Management District to use for odds and ends that the CDBG grant does not cover.

Parking ordinance

The city commission also unanimously passed an ordinance that reinstates the section of the city’s Land Development Regulations and requires off-street parking facilities for all developments within the city.

The parking issue has become a thorn in the side of the city recently.

At a Port St. Joe Redevelopment Agency meeting earlier this month, that board, a majority who are also the city commission, debated the issue at length.

According to Mayor Bo Patterson, the city had the police ask business owners to have their employees use public parking off of Reid Ave.

Patterson, who owns a business on Reid Ave., then stated that it seemed that more employees were parked on Reid Ave. after they were asked not to.

While the some of commissioners stated that they were unsure of the solution, the idea of paid parking on Reid Ave. was brought up.

Commissioner Ashbrook stated that funds generated by paid parking could be used in the future to purchase more public parking and to maintain Reid Ave. itself.

Impact Fees

The commission also unanimously passed a resolution that would return the cost of impact fees to the original schedule.

The cost had been reduced by roughly 30 percent in recent years to try to provide stimulus to the construction and housing sectors after the latest downturn in the economy.

Anderson and City Financial Officer Mike Lacour recommended that the city returned to the original charge at the city’s special meeting held on July 6.

The change will go into effect on October 1.

Medical Marijuana

With the clock ticking on the city’s medical marijuana moratorium, city attorney Clinton McCahill asked the commission to be prepared to act on the matter before October, when the moratorium expires.

McCahill also asked the city for permission to attend a conference of municipal attorneys in the near future, which the board approved.

McCahill stated that there were going to be presentations on medical marijuana law during the conference and that he believed that the conference would be beneficial to him and therefore the city.

Ashbrook announced that State Rep. Halsey Beshears (R-Monticello) was willing to come to the second commission meeting in August.

The commission agreed to host a special workshop that day to better accommodate the representative’s schedule.

Workshop

Before the meeting, the commission held a workshop to discuss the way forward with the city’s lighthouse complex.

Representatives of the St. Joseph Historical Society and the Florida Coastal Conservancy were on hand to discuss the matter.

Linda Wood, the secretary of the historical society, stated that the society’s goals were still the same. The society sees the Eglin House as a maritime museum and a home for a large lighthouse lens, while the society wishes to use Sleeping Beauty as a gift shop.

Jessica Swindall, with the Florida Coastal Conservancy, stated that she hopes that the two organizations can work together and that the FCC can maintain a presence at the location.

Commissioner William Thursbay asked the two parties to sit down and discuss the matter to find a solution.

Ashbrook stated that he would like to see the area around George Core Park turn into an educational complex in the future that could cater to all the area had to offer.