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COLUMN

Council Watch

Billy Manes pays attention to city government so you don't have to

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Item: The city approves extending an agreement with Broad & Cassel for legal services in the PDQ Coolidge Formad LLC bankruptcy case.

Translation: First of all, the city document misspells the name "Formad" as "Format" in its item, so that can't be saying much for its legal staff. Regardless, PDQ Coolidge Formad – a development firm that "owns and operates numerous multifamily, residential properties in the city that have been cited for numerous code violations" – filed for bankruptcy back in April after receiving some $300,000 in Housing and Urban Development loans for one of its properties. The city, as it would, assigned an attorney to file motions and pleadings in order to protect the city's financial interests as well as address "numerous health and safety issues" at some of the company's other properties. Ultimately, the city hopes to have the bankruptcy case relocated from South Florida (where the company is located) up to Orlando for the sake of an easier public ribbing. Also, on May 30, the Miami court ruled in favor of the city's attempts to repair the properties and seek repayment of the debt. But, bankruptcy is a long, cold bitch, so the city is recommending spending an additional $25,000 to keep its chosen bankruptcy attorney on the case. In other words, the city will fund slumlords until they go broke. Then, that slumlord is dead to the city.

Item: The city approves an award to Helena Chemical Co. for Aquashade and Algicide.

Translation: The City Beautiful is known for its marvelous lakes that make it rather difficult to navigate the roads around them, but did you know that those lakes are lousy with vegetation when not properly controlled? Lily pads are everywhere! In order to control the tufts of overgrowth, the city uses Aquashade (or blue and red dyes combined to block photosynthesis and give the lakes that "pleasing crisp, clear aqua-blue coloration," according to one website) and Algicide (or that crap you put in your fish tank or pool to prevent algae from ruining your aquatic fun) quite a bit. This item allows the city to throw $103,349 at the problem, thus ensuring that – though you may come down with an awful amoebic disease while face-planting off your water skis – at least you'll do so in water that looks nice. Welcome to summer!

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