City of Pensacola

City of Pensacola

  Bids will soon begin flowing in, for construction of Florida’s first saltwater production hatchery at Bruce Beach in downtown Pensacola.

The idea for a hatchery in Pensacola first surfaced in 2011. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission had announced plans to build 14 of them around the state over the next 15 years, to help restock depleted fish populations in state waters.

“These things take a while to actually manifest themselves, but I want to assure folks that this project is 100% go,” said Gil McRae, Director of FWC’s Research Institute.

Lindsay Myers

There’s more shuffling at Pensacola City Hall, with the departure of a high-profile contract employee, and two job openings near the top.

WANTED: A pair of assistant city administrators – to help Administrator Eric Olson. Olson and former Chief Operating Office Tamara Fountain – who resigned earlier this month – had been dividing up the workload. The dual assistants are a throwback to the old Manager-Council form of government, which was replaced by the new charter in 2009.

Tamara Fountain resigned Monday as the City of Pensacola’s Chief Operating Officer, 11 months after accepting the position and after weeks of controversy.

A news release from the city says that Fountain is leaving to “pursue other opportunities.”

“After everything she’s been through, I saw the letter she sent to [the] City Council. You know, I think enough of it has taken its toll on her, and she was ready to move on,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward.

The City of Pensacola is the defendant in a lawsuit, which claims illegal charges for delivery of natural gas.

Dr. Eric Frank, a Pensacola chiropractor, alleges the city through the utility Pensacola Energy has been levying a tax on its customers in the guise of mandatory franchise fees for the use of city-owned property.

City of Pensacola

  Pensacola already has a rich history, but more was made Wednesday with the installation of David Alexander as the city’s new police chief.

An almost standing room only crowd at the Sanders Beach-Corrine Jones Center was there to greet Pensacola’s first African-American police chief, in the department’s 194-year history.

“I chose David as our next chief of police because of the content of his character, and because of his passion for this community, his distinguished record, and his tremendous heart for service,” said Mayor Ashton Hayward.

Photo via Flickr// Robrrt / https://flic.kr/p/crhie

The giant cross on display at Pensacola’s Bayview Park is being targeted by a Washington-based group, which wants it taken down.

In a letter to Mayor Ashton Hayward and City Attorney Lysia Bowling, the American Humanist Association is demanding the cross’ removal from the city-owned park.

“Several local citizens contacted us to let us know about it,” said AHA Legal Director David Niose, who contends that by having the cross at the park, the city is placing one religion above all others.

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Bayview Community Center is slated for the wrecking ball. The facility is the latest victim of last year’s massive flooding.

For decades, after-school programs and events of all stripes have been held in the center. But the flood caused significant damage, forcing events to be moved to other city-owned facilities. Eric Olson is Pensacola City Administrator.

Lindsay Myers

A proposed multi-million dollar project at Community Maritime Park has been scrapped, after the City of Pensacola rejected the proposed leases for three parcels.

On orders from Mayor Ashton Hayward, city staff brought down the Confederate flag from all of the City of Pensacola’s Five Flags displays on Thursday. It was replaced by the State of Florida flag.

In a written statement, the Mayor concedes that while the Confederate flag represents a part of the city’s history, it also stands as a “painful symbol of racial hatred and ignorance.”

A spokesman for Hayward’s office said in an email that the Mayor would not be making any more statements on the matter.

flaports.org

Work is expected to resume later this year on the DeepFlex project at the Port of Pensacola, after resolution of some financial setbacks. Construction of a half-finished metal warehouse was idled in March.

Published reports say Houston-based DeepFlex has secured emergency funding through its parent firm in Brazil, to address more than $200,000 in liens filed by contractors.

How to increase the availability of affordable housing in the Pensacola area was the topic of a conference Tuesday, involving a number of local organizations.

UWF economist Rick Harper led off the Affordable Housing Summit at Gulf Power Company. During his hour-long presentation, he said the definition of “affordable housing” depends on the percentage of a family’s income that’s used to keep a roof over their heads.

In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper provides analysis of recently released U.S. Census figures.

“We’ve declined in population over the years, as people have moved out to the suburbs,” said Harper, referring to the number of people living in the City of Pensacola, which is the urban core of a larger metro area including Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. The metro area population estimate for 2014 is 474,081.

A familiar visitor from Pensacola’s original mother country sailed into the Port of Pensacola Wednesday morning. The Spanish tall ship Juan Sebastian de Elcano is part of Pensacola’s 66th annual Fiesta of Five Flags.

The reception at the T.T. Wentworth Florida State Museum welcomed the crew of the ship, a training vessel that’s the third tallest tall ship in the world.  

Bob Barrett

Since 1889, 14 members of the Pensacola Police Force have died in the line of duty. Wednesday morning, the city took time to remember their service. Pensacola Chief of Police Chip Simmons stood in the shade outside Police Headquarters Wednesday morning addressing dozens of citizens, dignitaries and fellow officers and asked they would be willing to sacrifice for their fellow man. "You are looking at a wall with the names of men that did just that. They put their lives on the line for their community...for all of us. And it cost them dearly."

The two-acre piece of city-owned property in downtown Pensacola known as “Hawkshaw” is back on the market.

A request for proposals, or RFP, has been issued by the Community Redevelopment Agency. It invites real estate developers to submit plans and a bid to buy the land, which the CRA acquired about 20 years ago.

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