All supervisors were in attendance for the Feb. 6 Westchase CDD meeting, and it was a full audience. District Engineer Robert Dvorak was first on the agenda and reported that he was working through a minor checklist with Mays and his team in preparation for the recertification process with The SW Florida Water Management District.
District Counsel Erin McCormick reported that Vertex was still working to get the necessary signatures from Florida Gas, which was causing a delay in construction of the cell tower. Vertex was seeking a fourth amendment to the contract to extend the completion date to June 30, 2024. McCormick added that extending the date did not necessarily mean it would take that long to complete the tower. Vertex informed her that once signatures were in place, construction would only take 30 days. The Board voted to approve the extension.
District Manager Andrew Mendenhall said that the most recent round of bids for the West Park Village Plaza RFP had been opened the day prior (Feb. 5). At a previous meeting the Board had voted to do a fresh round of bids for a general contractor, since they had struggled to receive bids for the individual components. Two complete bids had come in – one just under $2 million and one at $1.3 million. Landscape Architect Ivy Clinton stated she had not yet had time to fully review the bids.
Supervisor Chris Barrett asked Clinton if she was concerned about the increase in price compared to the original price of managing the process in house, which was just under $1 million.
Clinton said the prices seemed consistent with the schedule of values a general contractor brings and pointed out that prices had increased in the months since the original RFP. However, she reiterated that she would need time to further evaluate the bids. The Board agreed to carry the meeting over to the Feb. 20 workshop to allow Clinton time to review the bids.
Mendenhall turned the conversation to field manager candidate David Sylvanowicz, who was in attendance. McCormick reviewed the employment agreement with the Board. A motion was made to hire Sylvanowicz and it passed unanimously. Sylvanowicz will work alongside Mays through April 26, when Mays will retire. The Board also voted to keep Mays on in a consulting capacity after April 26 with an hourly contract, not to exceed 250 hours. The motion passed unanimously.
Lewis then turned the floor over to Leland Dicus, Engineering Services Director with Hillsborough County. He and several county officials, as well as Commissioner Joshua Wostal, were on hand at the request of the CDD to discuss a crosswalk proposed to connect West Park Village to Westchase Elementary. Dicus reiterated the main points of the proposal that county officials had presented at the January WCA Board meeting (visit westchasewow.com/crosswalk-discussion for the background on this proposal). Dicus pointed out that school crosswalks typically are located within the school speed zone; the current crosswalk at Montague and Linebaugh is not. Dicus added that the study conducted by the county identified a need for improvement and they were currently looking at options and the best location. Crosswalk options could include: 1) full pedestrian signal with a full traffic light; 2) pedestrian hybrid beacon that flashes red when activated by pedestrians; 3) rapid flashing beacon that flashes yellow when activated by pedestrians.
Dicus said the county is in the concept design and cost estimate portion of the process and the next – and most difficult step – would be fund allocation.
Lewis asked how long the current step would take and Bob Campbell, Transportation Program Manager, said it would be 7-8 months. Lewis then asked if the location was definite and Dicus said that was one of the things county officials were looking at.
Supervisor Reggie Gillis asked how many people had requested this crosswalk. West Park Village resident Lauren Frazier, who submitted the original request to Public Works, said she had 53 families she had personally heard from who were in favor of the crosswalk and added that there are 575 elementary-age students residing in West Park Village. Gillis expressed concern that the current plan did not address a potential increase in traffic backups on Linebaugh and wanted to know if there was a way to test the effect on traffic. Campbell said his team could work on getting that data.
Barrett said he was originally opposed to the idea but had a change of heart after speaking with proponents to better understand the distance they walk to the current crosswalk. “West Park Village was developed as a walking community and we need to help keep that vision,” he said.
WCA Government Affairs Chair Rick Goldstein pointed out that there is a bus available to West Park Village residents. Frazier said that the bus is funded by the school (not the county) and is on the chopping block. She added, “We’re talking years out on funding for this crosswalk. We do want to keep it moving forward, though.”
Supervisor Jim Wimsatt closed the discussion by addressing Frazier: “Thank you for taking an issue you see a problem with and trying to find a solution.”
Radcliffe VM Eric Holt then addressed the Board regarding a previous request to add a speed zone sign in Radcliffe’s pocket park. Radcliffe resident Caryn Nietubyc pointed out that the pocket park also serves as a bus stop, so it is an ideal location for the sign.
Holt wanted assurance from the Board that they would not oppose the sign before he proceeded with getting approval from Radcliffe residents. The Board said they would like to see majority support (50% +1).
The meeting carried over to Feb. 20, the date of the CDD Workshop. At that time, Clinton informed the Board that the high bid for the West Park Village RFP had dropped out. That left one bid for $1,282,166.20 from MVH Construction, LLC. McCormick explained that since there was only one bid, the Board did not need to go through the ranking process. Clinton proposed executing a contract with MVH with a completion date of 21 weeks from the date the contract is in effect. She added that the area will be fenced off during construction and all work will take place during business hours, Monday-Friday, with a notice required for any work outside of these hours.
The board voted unanimously to accept the bid from MVH.