ZEPHYRHILLS — The Zephyrhills City Council put an end to the dispute between two youth athletic groups by awarding access to Krusen Field to the Zephyrhills Police Athletic League.
The 3-2 final vote to choose ZPAL over the Zephyrhills Pasco Police Athletic League came at the end of a long and sometimes tense debate.
The director of ZPAL, Mark LaMonte, had appealed a city staff recommendation to award the bid to ZPPAL based on discrepancies in the insurance information ZPAL provided in its bid.
E-mails from City Attorney Joseph Poblick and City Manager Steve Spina questioned whether ZPAL was insured. It appeared the league had been insured previously under the Lakeland Police Athletic League, but the policy expired when they left the league.
Spina said he received a number of different answers on whether or not ZPAL was insured. "It's been pretty much a question of who you ask," Spina said.
LaMonte said the group was insured.
Council Vice President Jodi Wilkeson said the city would have been notified if ZPAL's insurance had lapsed, and LaMonte pointed out some events the group had participated in where proof of insurance was provided.
Marsha Decena, director of ZPPAL, said ZPAL's packet was filled with other inaccuracies besides the insurance information. "I ask that you uphold Joseph Poblick and Steve Spina's recommendation (to award the bid to ZPPAL) based on the fact that ZPAL's proposal includes several false and misleading statements, at this point," Decena told council members.
Council member Kenneth Compton moved that the council follow the recommendation to award the bid to ZPAL if the insurance question is settled and if the group agrees to do background checks through the Zephyrhills Police Department.
Spina said he would like to send both leagues from the meeting to form one group. "This has just been such an awful experience from day one," Spina said.
In other business, the council unanimously voted to approve the installation of a new sprinkler system in Fire Station 1.
The city accepted the lowest bid for the new sprinkler system, which totaled a little less than $56,000. The city will pay the cost up front, but will be reimbursed $53,181 through the Federal Emergency Management's Assistance to Firefighters Grant.