Longtime Dunedin Causeway concessionaire draws competitor
The public is invited to listen in as city staffers debate Tuesday whether Osprey Bay Outdoors of Clearwater or longtime vendor Sail Honeymoon is the best candidate for Dunedin’s next causeway concessionaire contract.
The two companies are at the center of a controversial 3-2 vote on big-ticket rental contracts. City policy requires a competitive process for all private businesses that operate on city-owned land.
City commissioners Julie Scales and Heather Gracy and dozens of residents said beloved Sail Honeymoon owner Glen Steinke had established a 20-year track record of selling concessions and renting watercraft on Dunedin Causeway between the mainland and Honeymoon Island State Park.
They said Steinke shouldn’t have to risk losing his business to another contender.
However, Mayor Dave Eggers, Vice Mayor Julie Ward Bujalski and Commissioner Ron Barnette said they were following the advice of their staffers and best practices, which say bids are standard government practice aimed at ensuring transparency and smart spending of taxpayer money.
Steinke’s current $12,000, three-year contract, they noted, spells out that the city can give preference to their current lessee.
Read more here and here. City documents and meeting video are here and here.
Applicants had until April 4 to submit proposals. Each business laid out how’d they run their business, including how much they’d pay the city in monthly rent, a capital improvement plan, an operations plan, and customer costs for concessions and rentals.
Staffers on Tuesday will decide which company to recommend to the City Commission. Their meeting begins at 10 a.m. at the Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Rd., in the Parks & Recreation Conference Room. While it’s open to the public, residents won’t be allowed to weigh in on staff's discussion.
By state law, cities don’t have to release contract proposal documents until 30 days after submission or until staff makes a recommendation to city leaders.
Dunedin purchasing director Chuck Ankney said the city will make the information public likely late this week, when staff’s recommendation to the City Commission is forwarded for inclusion on the April 18 meeting agenda. Commissioners are expected to award the contract during that meeting.