Gulfport Council contracts approved for various services at its April 18 regular meeting.
Council members approved most of the agreements without comment as part of the consent agenda.
Council authorized an interlocal agreement with Pinellas County and agreements with two companies for debris collection and removal. Officials said the City uses these companies when natural disasters such as severe storms, hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes, or man-made disasters such as hazardous or toxic waste spills, make cleanup and recovery activities beyond the capabilities of existing city staff and mutual aid assistance.
“Hurricanes and tornadoes can generate thousands of tons of debris and impact the City’s ability to provide normal public services,” a city staff report in the agenda packet read. “To ensure that the residents have their quality of life restored as quickly as possible, staff recommends the City of Gulfport award a debris management agreement for the collection, sorting, temporary storage, trucking, and ultimate disposal of disaster generated debris.”
The contract expires in February of 2028, or whenever the council terminates it.
Cost Increase in Janitorial Contract
Council approved a two-year renewal contract for janitorial services at a cost of $83,192.88 per year. The City first signed the agreement in 2019 and renewed it in 2021, with no cost increase. This is the final two-year extension and is with a requested increase of 9.1% more than the original contract amount.
The agreement covers the daily cleaning of the City Hall/Police Department complex, Public Works, Recreation Center, and Senior Center. It also includes the Library, Catherine Hickman Theater, Scout Hall, Neighborhood Center, and weekends and holidays at the beach bathrooms, Casino exterior bathrooms, and the Dog Park.
Council also approved a $274,660 contract to buy and install generators at the City Hall complex along with a budget amendment to account for grant proceeds from the State of Florida Division of Emergency Management for the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program.
Officials said the grant will reimburse $205,995 of the project cost. Previously appropriated Penny for Pinellas dollars will fund the other $68,665.
Jim Thaler will continue as Gulfport’s special master. A licensed attorney acts as a special master for the code enforcement process.
Thaler lives in Gulfport and serves on the faculty of Stetson College of Law. His contract calls for $170 per hour on an as-needed basis. The City pays around $3,500 per year, according to estimates. Hearings before the special master get scheduled for the fourth Thursday of the month, as necessary, for hearings about code violations.
Council Approved Debris Management Contract
Council approved contracts for disaster debris monitoring and management services. According to officials, debris removal generally accounts for the largest portion of disaster recovery costs. It also leads to the most federal funding lost due to mismanagement.
FEMA guidelines require contracted disaster debris removal operations to get independently monitored. This is to certify that only “FEMA-eligible” debris gets collected; that debris truckloads are documented and quantified; that debris removal contractors operate within the scope of their contracts; and that their invoices match the actual amount of debris removed.
The agreement has no fiscal impact to the City right now. Should the City have a debris-generating event, such as a hurricane or tropical storm, FEMA may reimburse most expenses, depending on the event’s severity.
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