DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — The big names for Destin city business met Thursday, Jan. 27 for the annual strategic plan review visioning session. The city council heard from strategy partners and city departments about how to make the strategic plan a reality.

The 2021-2022 Strategic Plan lists city goals, council and management objectives, management in progress and major projects.

Nothing on the above strategic plan is set to change following the meeting.

The main theme shown in most city presentations was a need for staffing among different departments such as parks and recreation, city library, code compliance, public works, human resources and public information.

“I am asking for a couple facility people.” said Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Firth. “We are open seven days a week, we are open from sunrise to sunset and my staff works on every holiday.”

“We empty all of the trash in city of Destin and clean the 10 facilities that have restrooms plus the 33 properties that we take care of.” said Firth. “So we are very skeleton crew and we just need a little help.” 

WATCH THE FULL MEETING HERE

Below are the bullet points for several major departments during the meeting on Jan. 27.

PARKS AND RECREATION:

  • PARKS
    • Adjust staffing levels to account for increased recreational facilities.
  • MORGAN SPORTS CENTER (MSC)
    • Replacement of sports turf which is nearing or at the end of its useful life (20+ years).
    • Converting sports lighting to a new LED automated system.
    • Addition of restrooms and equipment storage near the multipurpose fields to accommodate demand.
  • COMMUNITY CENTER (CC)
    • Window replacement ($200k)
    • Stucco repairs ($150k)
    • Foyer repairs, internal ($100k)
    • Stage replacement ($8k)
  • ADMINISTRATIVE
    • Replacement of existing management software to improve public interactions including registrations and payments as well as better record keeping.
    • Gymnasium use at CC is at or near capacity with demand increasing, expansion should at least be considered to maintain service levels, especially for our youth.
    • Sports field use at MSC is at or near capacity during peak season, expansion could be considered to maintain service levels, especially for our youth.
    • Continued focus/improvement on the cleanliness of our beaches in partnership with Okaloosa County needs to remain a department priority.
    • The establishment of the Destin High School is adding and is projected to continue to add demand for sports/recreation facilities in Destin.

LIBRARY:

  • Staffing
    • High turnover of part-time staff
  • Collection Development Funding
    • Nonfiction materials are very dated and need to be replaced
    • eBook and e-audio book demand is increasing, and these materials are typically double or triple the cost of print materials; new demand for streaming video services.
  • Building limitations
    • The building is close to 20 years old and was not designed for future needs. The large meeting room is too small for some events. Children’s Storytime room is not soundproofed, and the programs disturb people in the library.
    • Library needs outdoor programming area and medium size meeting rooms to allow for social distancing.

PUBLIC WORKS:

  • Departmental Staffing Needs
    • Median Maintenance/Sidewalk/Concrete Repairs/ADA Compliance
    • Six Full-Time Staff Members plus Equipment
  • Departmental Budgetary Needs (Operational)
    • Pavement Management (roads) R&R – 1.2 Million Dollars per Year (15-yr)
    • Sidewalks R&R – TBD, based on ADA Transition Plan Engineer’s Estimates
    • Stormwater R&R – $250,000 per year (repairs, deep cleaning)
    • Safety Improvements Budget – $100,000 per year
    • City-Wide Pavement Assessment – $250,000 (based on recent quote)
    • Facilities Condition and Needs Assessment – TBD, in-process
    • City-Wide Stormwater System Survey – FY23 Project
    • Implementation of Asset Management Software
  • Departmental Budgetary Needs (Capital Purchases)
    • Brush Chipper (existing unit is 20 years old) – $80,000
    • Mini-Excavator – $80,000
    • Storm Sewer Cleaning Truck, Vac-Con or equivalent – $350,000
    • New Building at Maintenance Facility – TBD
    • Hardened Structure for Emergency Operations – TBD