—Leon County Commissioners heard a legislative update on issues that may impact Leon County. Commissioner Cummings inquired about the proposed “Putting Parents First Adjustment” portion of a House bill that shifts $200 million in funds away from 12 Florida school districts, including Leon County Schools, due to the mask requirements imposed by the district in the 2020-2021 school year.
The legislative update informed the Board of controversial education bills that were passed in the house but are pending with the Senate. Some of the proposals included in the pending bills are establishing term limits for school board members and restricting topics such as race, gender identity, and sexual orientation.
The only bill that has passed the House and Senate thus far is the Parental Rights in Education bill (HB 1557) which is called the “Don’t Say Gay Bill” by opponents of the legislation. The bill prohibits classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation for grades K-3.
—The Board heard an update to the county’s Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Temporary Relocation Assistance Program. It directed staff to work with the City of Tallahassee on the issue and to contract with the Tallahassee Urban League and other providers as necessary to assist in administering the program.
—The Board unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the Housing Finance Authority of Leon County to issue $75,000,000 Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds for the Tallahassee Affordable Housing Portfolio.
—As recommended by the Leon County Tourist Development Council, the FY2022 – FY2026 Division of Tourism Strategic Plan was unanimously approved by the county commissioners. The strategic plan hopes to grow the five-year tourism economy to $5 billion, attract regional and national championship competitions, support community events, and host visitors at the amphitheater.
—Allen’s Excavation, Inc. was awarded by the Board, in a 7-0 vote, a $578,762 agreement for an improvement project on the Crowder Road boat landing.
—The Board heard a report that provided an overview of the water quality regulatory standards related to water bodies flowing from Georgia into Leon. The county administrator stated that the county has a long history of monitoring the flow of water that comes from GA due to its degraded quality.
—Leon County Commissioners agreed to approve the transfer of $70,000 from the Law Enforcement Trust Fund to the Sheriff’s Office General Operating budget for the Council on the Status of Men and Boys. A primary concern that most of the commissioners shared was the panel’s size, which consists of 20 members. The commissioners amended the item, requesting it come back in front of the Board for further consideration of its committee.
—A report was presented to the Board, updating them of the Tallahassee-Leon County Local Broadband Technology Planning Efforts and Federal, Rural Broadband Efforts, and State Legislative Update on Broadband Resources. Staff will continue to facilitate the Local Technology Planning Team over the next month to finalize the Local Broadband Plan and submit it to the Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) by April 30, 2022.
—The Board approved the scheduling of a public hearing and vote for the next meeting on April 12, 2022. The ordinance amends the Leon County Land Development Code, entitled “Definitions,” and creates a new section entitled “Electric Vehicle Charging Station Infrastructure and Electric Vehicle Parking Requirements.”
Also, the commissioners permitted county staff to engage members of the Capital Area Sustainability Compact in developing a plan to guide grant applications expanding electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
—Leon County Commissioners unanimously voted to sponsor the Tallahassee Community College’s (TCC) inaugural “Rock the Roost” concert on July 23, 2022. The sponsorship is for $50,000 from the Tourism Development fund balance.
—The Board approved the FY 2023 maximum discretionary funding levels for outside agencies, including the Community Human Services Partnership (CHSP) and special events.
—The commissioners approve the use of $1,002,853 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support the request of the Tallahassee Housing Authority for the redevelopment of the Orange Avenue Apartments and authorize the County Administrator to execute a letter of commitment. The item passed in a 6-0 vote with Commissioner Kristin Dozier in recusal.