North Port Commissioner Debbie McDowell breaks down what happened during their four meetings on Tuesday


On Tuesday, June 23 we had four meetings. My summary of what transpired at the meetings will focus on the Road and Drainage and Commission meetings. I’ve included the link to the entire meeting and the timestamps so you can fast forward to the items you are particularly interested in.


Road and Drainage District Meeting—
• We approved a grant application for $25M to widen Price Blvd. This is a matching federal grant. We will need to secure the balance of funding within 2 years if we are awarded the grant. Construction must be completed within 7 years of being awarded the grant. Stay tuned – we should hear by December, 2020 if we were awarded the grant. Vote 5-0. Starts at the 5 minute mark


The discussion on both the Tropicaire resurfacing and path/sidewalk are entwined. The entire discussion starts at the 11 minute mark.

• Tropicaire Blvd resurfacing project from Van Camp to Toledo Blade is now fully funded. The resurfacing project includes improvements to the drainage and road base. This also includes laying the infrastructure for technology providers to lease. Procurement will take approximately 3-4 months. Construction should begin November/December, 2020 and take approximately 1 year to complete. There will be NO bike lanes on the roadway. Costs is approximately $4M. Vote 5-0.

• Tropicaire Path/sidewalk – This project will be broken into phases. Phase 1 from Van Camp to Ponce De Leon will be a 6’ sidewalk and from Ponce De Leon with be the 8’ wide multi-model path (as originally designed). Approximate cost of Phase 1 is $1.7M and will be completed along with the resurfacing project. Phase 2 will be from Sumter to Toledo Blade with an 8’ wide multi-model path (as originally designed). Phase 2 is not funded. Since it will be at least a year before the resurfacing and Phase 1 projects are complete, Phase 2 could be funded in FY 21/22. Estimated cost is approx. $1.6M. Vote 3-2 with Luke and McDowell dissenting. I dissented because I wanted to see the costs of installing a 5’sidewalk so I can make an informed decision (the 5′ width is what other collector roads have for their sidewalks); I don’t agree with the phased approach because this project is to benefit all the residents in the Estates area – not one area at a time. I also think a 5’ sidewalk is less intrusive to the rural community but would meet our strategic goals of having sidewalks on arterial and collector roadways.


Commission Meeting –…
• We approved a referendum to be placed on the November ballot to remove the Deputy City Clerk as a charter officer. Vote 5-0 starts at the 6 minute mark

• The following items are all coming back to commission for 2nd and final reading. Votes 5-0

o Ordinance to approve an additional homestead exemption for $25,000 for property owners 65+ years old with income limits. Starts at the 8 minute mark

o Voter referendum to for economic development property tax emption for new businesses or expansion. This is currently in place but it expires in August, 2020. In order to for a business to qualify there is a process and criteria must be met and each “application” requires commission approval. Starts at the 14 minute mark

o Amending the fee schedule to reduce the building permitting fees by 25%. This benefits businesses and property owners alike. Starts at the 24 minute mark

• Approval of a policy for distribution of promotional items. Vote 5-0. Starts at the 32 minute mark