Jay council hears project updates, request

Although no action was taken, the Jay Town Council heard updates at its Aug. 5 meeting on town projects from Operations Manager Eric Seib and a request to remove a tree in the Jay Business Complex.

Santa Rosa County Sidewalk Project

Seib told the council the town received an email from the county that the Jay Sidewalk Project Phase II has been funded.

He said it has been six years since phase I and the plan is to install a sidewalk on the west side of Spring Street from School Street that will continue northward and connect to the existing sidewalk at Spring Street.

The pre-bid meeting is at 10 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19 and bids will be opened Sept. 5, with approval at the Sept. 26 board of county commissioners meeting. It is a 180-day contract and the prospective end date is April 2, 2020.

Tree removal

Jay Business Complex Property Manager Julie Newberry approached the council about taking down a tree down from the intersection of Highway 89 and Pine Street. She said she has had to get a lot of bids on removing the tree to put the project together and that it has cracked up a lot of the concrete over the years.

“I know there is a tree ordinance in Santa Rosa County's Land Development Code that requires we get permission because the size of the tree is outside the scope that could be taken by anyone's request in general to do it,” said Newberry. “I need to find out whose property this tree is on. I met with Escambia River Electric Co-operative (EREC) because there are some power line issues and a good amount of work there. EREC is willing to fall the tree in the parking lot and cut it up into pieces, but then the debris removal would be up to whoever the tree belongs to, and then stump removal would have to be done. That's why it's important to know whose land it's on to know what bids I have to obtain for the property owner there.”

Newberry said there are plans in place for several beautification projects that improve the entire corner and requested the town's help in finding out whose land the tree is on and then the town's permission to take it down. She said the plan is to reconform the parking lot and close a few entrances.

Jay Attorney Steve Cozart told the council he would do some research to see if an engineer would need to be involved and how to proceed and the council agreed.

Legislative appropriation requests

Seib asked the council to come up with ideas for projects or improvements the town could benefit from to be submitted to the state legislature for funding in November.

Requests need to be submitted in September and Seib mentioned that for the last two years, there has been no support for engineering plans for the park, but that requests for water have done well. He reminded them that the local option sales tax money could be used for roads if they decided on improving roads or other projects.

Councilman Josh Holloway said they had talked about putting more signs up in the area pointing people to the downtown, or something to honor the Jay High School Future Farmers of America (FFA) land judging state championship.

Seib said maybe having a building owned by the town that could be leased might be beneficial, citing the earlier request by the King's Harvest Food Distribution non-profit to place a portable food storage building near a church in town to provide more space.

Council members agreed to consider Seib's request for their ideas for projects that could be funded to discuss at a future council meeting.