Friday, February 17, 2012

District 3 Funding Requests FY13

Summary FY 2013 District 3 Requests for Funding

Public Safety:
-Fire Station 3 Replacement (current FY12 project)
-Rescue Truck 36 permanent funding for Station 3 minimum manning (committed to for FY12)
-Pedestrian Crossing signal at Summit & Firestone
(District 3 resident’s access to Vickery Community Center & Roger Scott)
-Sidewalk Projects along Scenic: Citizens have NO access to City Services
(ADA, School & Church access, connectivity, safety)
Logan to Rothchild
Bluffs Drive to Bayview Way
Bluffs Drive to Hyde Park Rd
-Crossing signals at Summit & Spanish Trail (lighting and safety for pedestrians)
-Scenic Bay Bluffs Park paved trail connecting North & South parking Lots
-Closure of Montessori Rd (North of Montessori School)
(Traffic calming for neighborhoods and School Safety)

Enhance Quality of Place:
-Chimney Park & Gaborone Swamp Storm-water project
Include rework of existing retention pond adding walkable perimeter
-Scenic Highway Bluffs Maintenance
Permanent funding: maintenance mowing of areas cleaned by volunteer groups
Matching funds for Scenic Bluffs Master Conservation Plan (report due May 2012)
-Complete Miralla Park picnic area with ADA compliant table
(PFP allocation for park updates FY’10)
-Reuse of Crepe Myrtles removed from Main Street
Within Parks: Miralla, Mallory Heights, Bay Cliff & Lavallet
-Summit Blvd and Spanish Trail intersection improvement
-Ball field improvements Miralla Park and Mallory Heights

PUBLIC SAFETY COMMENTARY
Fire Station 3 Replacement
     Fire Station 3 was built in 1968 and was damaged during Hurricane IVAN. Repairs were planned for the roof yet funding was needed to complete Station 6 in FY’09. Station 3 has been an unfunded PFP project since FY’09. The final report from July ’11 recommends replacement of the structure with possible relocation of the fire station.
     PFP funds have been expended in full due to the transfer to other projects, yet the Mayor has committed to finding the funds needed for this project.

Rescue Truck 36 permanent funding for Station 3 minimum manning.
     PFP funds were used to purchase our Rescue Truck fleet yet due to the Finance Director’s accounting error in ’08, a 30 month budget was proposed including a temporary draw down of fire fighters & removing the rescue trucks from duty. The temporary measure has brought our Fire Department below the minimum manning required to arrive on scene with enough personnel to fight the fire. This is an issue at 3 of our 5 fire stations and creates a dangerous situation for residents and fire personnel. District 3 is under served 100% of the time with only 3 firefighters working at Station 3 on a daily basis. Our citizens deserve the services they are paying for and believe they are being provided.
     Basic Life Support and Advanced Life Support training can also be accomplished for additional services provided by rescue truck teams. This training can be phased in over the next 3 years and create an income stream to balance the cost of minimum manning at our fire station.

Pedestrian Crossing signal at Summit & Firestone
(District 3 resident’s access to Vickery Community Center & Roger Scott)
     District 3 is almost wholly residential and does not have a single community center or covered building within its district boundaries. There needs to be safe passage across Summit Blvd established for the residents & taxpayers of District 3. This project can be considered along with the reconstruction of Fire Station 3 if it is to be relocated closer to the Firestone intersection. Otherwise a crossing light would act as a traffic calming device while giving access to the Vickery Community Center and the Roger Scott Complex.

Sidewalk Projects along Scenic: Citizens have NO access to City Services
(ADA, School & Church access, connectivity, safety)
Logan to Rothchild
Bluffs Drive to Bayview Way
Bluffs Drive to Hyde Park Rd
     Scenic Highway has 5 neighborhoods that are landlocked by the highway and have no access to the City services they pay for. Originally the sidewalk project was proposed at one large effort that was almost the entire sidewalk budget citywide. In ’09 I requested that several smaller projects be created to allow for funding of one each year. Mayor Wiggins and the members of the TPO committed to supporting this effort as well. There may be an opportunity for Escambia Co. and FL DOT participation. This project is vital to connectivity, ADA access, and safe route to schools and Church.

Crossing signals at Summit & Spanish Trail (lighting and safety for pedestrians)
     The center of District 3 is set at the intersection of Summit Blvd & Spanish Trail. Dozens of walkers, runners & bikers use this area on a daily basis. The intersection needs safety enhancements with more lighting, crossing signals and beautification.

Scenic Bay Bluffs Park paved trail connecting North & South Lots
     Bay Bluffs Park has 42 acres of rugged natural beauty right on the edge of our City. The boardwalk provides for recreation, physical fitness, relaxation and eco-tourism tours. A gravel trail is needed to connect visitors back to their vehicles safely. FDOT has approved a small bridge over the eroded areas yet will not fund the project. DG (decomposed granite) is a good alternative paving method that maintains drainage yet is stable for users. Connecting the North and South parking lot will give more citizens safe access to the entire park.

Closure of Montessori Rd (North of School)
(Traffic calming for neighborhoods and School Safety)
     During my 3 year tenure on Council, one of my greatest concerns has been citizen safety. Silver Leaf subdivision has constant speeding issues and has been used as a cut-through for neighbors in the area between Scenic, Summit and Spanish Trail.
     Now that Montessori has their school facility on both sides of Montessori, the situation is more urgent. With kids crossing at all times of the day the closure of Montessori Road just north of the School is a practical consideration.

Enhance Quality of Place:
Chimney Park &Gaborone Swamp Storm-water project
Include rework of existing retention pond adding walkable perimeter
     Chimney Park awaits designation as a National Historic Site with our application currently under consideration in Washington D.C. There may also be an opportunity for an emergency repair grant along with an education grant. Matching funds are needed for the education portion, yet the repair grant is a standalone opportunity.
     Gaborone Swamp is funded for stormwater projects and the retention area at Langley Ave & Scenic is being considered for a redesign so water can flow into the swamp instead of the Bay, thus saving the north half of Gaborone swamp. Currently it is drying up and dying. The Chimney Park has plans proposed by the Scenic Highway Foundation for education and access to the trails. Bringing all three aspects together would create a beautiful gateway into Pensacola, a park for residents and access to yet another natural preserve within the City limits. More detail on funding is to follow.

Scenic Highway Bluffs Maintenance
Permanent funding: mowing of areas cleaned by volunteer groups
Matching funds for Scenic Bluffs Master Conservation Plan (report due May 2012)
     During my tenure on City Council the Scenic Bluffs Corridor has been my major focus for the Citizens of District 3, city residents and visitors alike. I worked with PPD to create safer parks using “Crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED)” and enlisted the PFD to begin reclaiming our Scenic Corridor and Bay Bluffs Park.
     Some neighborhood associations and private residents have adopted the spaces adjacent to their properties on Scenic. There are some areas not adopted due to location along Scenic and I have discussed the City maintenance efforts to continue mowing and once a year trimming within Bay Bluffs Park and along Scenic. I will provide maps of these areas during our meeting in March. Scenic is a treasure for all to enjoy and many people have volunteered their time over the past 3 years to reclaim its beauty.
     One funding opportunity is tree services adopting an area of Scenic and being allowed to post their sign on one of our city signs, much like Adopt a Highway has done.
     University of Michigan students are completing their Master Degree project in May 2012; they will  present a Conservation and Maintenance Plan for the entire Scenic Corridor within the City. This is being done at no cost to the City and will give us a project to plan for and fund. Partnering opportunities will be created by having this plan in place. The SHF will be doing fundraising as well.
     On going training and empowerment of citizens is being done on a quarterly basis by volunteers, City staff and SHF. Citizens are encouraged to adopt a space to maintain.

Complete Miralla Park picnic area with ADA compliant table
(PFP allocation for park updates FY’10)
     During the reconstruction of Miralla Park a great deal of effort was put into ADA compliance, I invited Ms. Myers for a tour of the park before plans were made. This park is now one of the most ADA accessible parks outside of the Community Center play areas.
 Funding in FY’10 was to include a picnic table with wheelchair access and a simple pavilion structure to cover the table. This effort would complete this park and make it more usable for District 3 residents. (Lighting was also funded and approved).

Reuse of Crepe Myrtles removed from Main Street
Within Parks: Miralla, Mallory Heights, Bay Cliff & Lavallet
     District 3 parks have limited improvements beyond the play sets and benches. They would benefit from flowering trees to enhance the citizens use of the park. I would like to request the reuse of the Crepe Myrtles removed from Main Street.

Summit Blvd and Spanish Trail intersection improvement:
     Summit Park residents had purchased crepe myrtles last year with association funds and a match from the City PFP program. Reuse of the large crepe myrtles at the intersection would connect the plantings along Summit with the area intersecting Spanish Trail.

Ball field improvements Miralla Park and Mallory Heights
     Miralla Park and Mallory Heights park are used by City residents and other baseball teams within the Bill Bond Programs for practice. They parks need updates to the fields and surrounding areas.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

FY 2013 Citizen Driven Budget Process

Mayor announces two public input meetings on 2013 budget
     Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward announced today that his office would hold two public input meetings next month to allow citizens an opportunity to give input while the fiscal year 2013 budget is being developed. City staff is currently developing the proposed budget, which is slated to be presented to the City Council in June.
     "For years, the City developed its budget through staff recommendations, and then presented it to the City Council, and citizens didn’t have a chance to weigh in until the end of the process,” said Mayor Hayward. “This year, I want to try a more transparent approach that I hope will give citizens a chance to truly be a part of the process. These two public input meetings will provide my budget staff and I with the opportunity to consider citizen priorities and solutions as we prepare next year’s budget.”
     The two meetings will be held at neighborhood resource centers at different times of the day, to allow citizens with varying schedules to attend. His budget staff will be on hand to answer questions and listen.
     “I felt it was important to bring these meetings out into neighborhoods with different start times,” said Mayor Hayward. “Not everyone can make it to a meeting at City Hall in the middle of a workday.”

Meeting schedule: 
Thursday, March 1, 5:30 PM – Sanders Beach-Corinne Jones Resource Center, 913 South I Street
Tuesday, March 6, 9:00 AM – Vickrey Resource Center, 2130 Summit Boulevard

Thursday, February 2, 2012

What in the Blue Blazes is Happening??????????

What in Blue Blazes?
Thanks to our Navy volunteers and our Neighborhood Services team!
Blazes-- as in paint marks found on trees. Those who venture into the Bay Bluffs Preserve Nature Trail will find out that someone has been leaving colorful marks, bright splashes of blue color on tree trunks that catch the eye.

Hikers and trail users new to blazing may ask what these marks mean. Making these blaze marks is just a part of establishing the nature trails that exist throughout Bay Bluffs. These marks have been placed there by our Military volunteers, and are a sign of active park and trail management.

When you've lost the trail, it is an unnerving feeling if you're not close to some area you're familiar with. You then realize the value of blazing. Our goal is to provide park users and nature trail hikers a guide to keep them on track.

The following is a description about blazes. To achieve as much consistency as possible the following standards are preferred. Paint type blazes should be 2" x 6" vertical rectangles. The 2" x 6" rectangular shape is large enough to be seen easily without being visually obtrusive and is the most universally accepted style of trail blazing. Throughout the trail, the color of choice is medium blue. In non-forested areas, blazes should be placed on wooden posts 4 to 5 feet above the ground. Round posts are acceptable for blazes only. Directional Change Indicators are necessary in places there are important turns, junctions with other trails, and other confusing locations. Signing for hikers coming from either direction should be done.