CRESTVIEW — The City Council on Monday night voted unanimously to hold a joint public meeting with the Okaloosa County Commission to discuss the Community Redevelopment Agency Comprehensive Master Plan.

The commission objected to portions of the updated plan, which the CRA submitted on Nov. 27 of last year, prompting the county to request a special meeting to discuss those concerns.

After a lengthy discussion of whether to agree to the public forum involving the full city council and county commission or hold a smaller mediation involving representatives and attorneys from each governing body, the council voted to approve the full meeting.

Mayor David Cadle expressed his frustration with the process.

"Some of the criticisms that we’re getting from some commissioners is that that money has been put aside for the downtown area of the CRA district," Cadle said. "The criticism is that we’re not spending the money, and we can’t come to an agreement on much of anything, just like tonight."

Cadle was referencing the earlier CRA board meeting where the council members, who also serve on the board, delayed further discussions on a plan for new gateway signs.

"That is one of the reasons that we’re having to go into this negotiation is that we drag our feet," Cadle said, admonishing members of the council. "Now please forgive me if I’m hurting your feelings, but I’ve watched this for 11 years now and it just drags and drags and drags. Nothing gets done very quickly."

The public meeting will be held 2 p.m. Jan. 17 in the City Council chambers. Council members and commissioners would then convene separately to vote on any agreement that comes out of the meeting.

Also on Monday:

Crestview Area Chamber of Commerce board member Dino Sinopoli made a special presentation to the council on the Triple B Festival. He asked that the council allow alcohol sales to be added to this year’s event, which is planned to be held at Spanish Trail Park for a second consecutive year.
Councilman J.B. Whitten raised the issue of insurance and whether the city could be held liable in the event of an alcohol-related incident, but made it clear that he did not object to the idea of alcohol sales at the event. The council then unanimously approved the use of park facilities for the festival without charge. Other council business included the approval of a settlement agreement with the Perez family of Crestview, stemming from an incident in 2014 where a retention pond berm failed during a flood. The incident caused a large amount of silt to wash into a lake adjacent to the property, where the family owned a dock.
The settlement involves the city building a new dock for the family, rather than attempt to remove the silt, which would be a much costlier alternative. The council voted to approve the settlement by a unanimous decision.