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Tarpon to make cemetery security improvements

Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 10:24 AM

The projects are unrelated, but Tarpon Springs is planning on having the exterior of Cycadia Cemetery spruced up shortly after Pinellas County crosses the Keystone Road widening project finish line.

The cemetery project is designed to be more functional than cosmetic, but an update on the project Tuesday night showed, in more detail, the aesthetic value of coming changes.

Officials hope erecting taller fencing and increasing the length of the fence's perimeter will help prevent vandalism that has plagued the city-owned property for years. These crimes have not only desecrated burial sites but also repeatedly required the city to pay for repairs or replace stolen items.

Public Works Director Paul Smith led Tuesday's presentation, detailing for city commissioners what should come next. He ended with a department recommendation for commissioners to approve KMP Fence LLC to furnish and install approximately 4,500 feet of fencing.

The Winter Garden-based company's $143,016.40 bid was the lowest of 10 submitted. KMP Fence's offer came in more than $100,000 under than the highest bid. A $10,000 contingency puts the project's final cost at just over $153,000.

That bid to KMP Fence was approved as part of the meeting's consent agenda, shortly after Smith's presentation.

"I think this is a great project, not only from the security aspect but as something that is going to enhance the appearance of the cemetery," said Mayor David Archie.

Money from the cemetery's Perpetual Care Fund in the city's fiscal 2013 budget will pay the entirety cost of the project. KMP Fence's bid comes in nearly $40,000 under the Perpetual Care Fund's $192,000 cap.

The fencing will be 6-foot-tall black aluminum that is picketed on top. Smith also showed commissioners examples of decorative columns that they had asked to be included in the project back in November.

Those structures – built with colored concrete designed to emulate stone – will be spaced roughly 85 feet apart and primarily at the front of the cemetery.

There will be decorative lighting fixtures at the top of each column. This lighting work is not part of the contract let to KMP Fence. It will be done in-house.

Prior to his presentation, Smith said the estimated cost of the lighting is about $6,000, also paid from the Perpetual Care Fund.

The lighting fixtures would be an acorn-style shape, similar in theme to others found around the city and generate light using photocell and energy-efficient bulbs to conserve energy.

Commissioners were also impressed with the LED bulbs expected to be inside the fixtures. Smith said the 11 bulbs will each cost 96 cents a day to operate for 3 hours.

In other news, commissioners viewed a presentation from a company that conducted a citywide energy audit.

This was the latest update of an initiative originally approved in late 2011. The city hired a firm to analyze the city's overall energy consumption and suggest energy savings. That initial audit cost the city $30,000.

Commissioners Tuesday awarded Virginia-based Ameresco Inc. a $1.232 million guaranteed-energy-savings performance contract by a 4-1 vote. Commissioner Chris Alahouzos cast the lone no vote.

The $1.232 million would be paid from a variety of sources, with the money to be repaid from energy cost savings over a period of approximately seven years.

Ameresco's energy-saving recommendations included interior and exterior lighting system improvements at city buildings. (727) 815-1071


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