Meet the Chief
There’s a new Chief in town. North Port Police Chief Todd
Garrison was officially sworn in the middle of July. Garrison has
hit the ground running, focusing on keeping up with growth and
ensuring that the City’s police force is doing everything it can to
keep residents safe. “The growth is a challenge; we have to think
years in advance. We must continue to keep North Port one of the safest cities
in Florida.” The City of North Port was named the second-safest city in Florida
with a population of at least 50,000 by SafeHome.org in 2017.
Garrison, 45, is a third-generation law enforcement officer. His family’s
history of guarding the public dates to 1925. Garrison himself has 26 years
of professional law enforcement
experience. He served at Town of
Kenneth City Police Department from 1992-94, then the Lee County
Sheriff’s Office from 1994 until he joined the NPPD team. Garrison
is a graduate of Hodges University and the FBI National Academy. “I
am thrilled to be leading a first-class agency. Since arriving, I have
found a professional staff dedicated to the people they serve.” NPPD
is one of only a handful of Double Excelsior-accredited agencies
across the state identified by the Follow Chief Garrison on Twitter:
Commission for Florida Law
Enforcement Accreditation. @NPPDPoliceChief
New Deputy Chiefs have long histories at Departments
Deputy Police Chief Chris Morales Deputy Fire Chief Joseph “Jody” McCord
Deputy Chief Chris Morales was raised right here in North Deputy Chief McCord has
Port. He began his career at NPPD as a police explorer in served the City of North Port
1994 and was later hired as an officer in 2000. He worked his since 1993. That’s 25 years of
way up through the ranks, serving most recently as Captain. experience. He rose up the
Deputy Chief Morales is a ranks while simultaneously
graduate of the prestigious gaining respect from his North
FBI National Academy, Port Fire Rescue crew. Deputy
Session 264. He was officially Chief McCord held the Interim
promoted in August 2018 Deputy Chief post until he was
after holding the Interim officially promoted in August
Deputy Police Chief position. 2018.
Trick or treat!
Calling all ghouls, witches, and superheroes! The 12th annual Trick or Treat event at
City Hall is set for October 26 from 5-8 p.m. Presented by Suncoast Credit Union, this
event includes a trick-or-treat experience inside all three floors of City Hall. City staff
and volunteers transform each floor into a different theme with Halloween goodies.
We’re not only passing out candy, though.
Outside City Hall, along the “Candy Corn Trail,” various booths will be set up to entertain guests heading into the
event. From 5-9 p.m., The North Port Firefighters Benevolent Association will be hosting a Pumpkin Patch next to
Fire Station 81, near City Hall. Purchase a pumpkin after checking out the sights inside City Hall. The event is also
an opportunity to give back to our community. We’ll be hosting a “Cans for Candy” food drive, and families are
requested to bring one can of food per family. Last year’s event drew upwards of 3,500 people, and we’re hoping for
more this year. Join in the festivities!
Join your fellow residents at a ceremony put on by VFW Post 8203
honoring our veterans on Veterans Day.
When: November 11, 10 a.m.
Where: Veterans Park at the corner of Biscayne Drive and U.S. 41
Following the ceremony, there will be lunch at
the VFW Post, 4860 Trott Circle.
Did you know?
North Port veterans and family members
who need assistance, information and advice
regarding benefits from the Department of
Veterans Affairs are encouraged to meet with
the Sarasota County Veterans Service Office.
Regular office hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
on Wednesdays and Fridays at North
Port City Hall. Appointments can be
made at 941-861-3047.
North Port for the holidays
December 8, 5 p.m.
December 8, 4-8:30 p.m.
The City of North Port’s annual City Center Front Green, 4970 City Hall Blvd.
Poinsettia Parade, presented by Quality TV,
will travel on Sumter Boulevard. The parade The City of North Port will host a Poinsettia Festival, presented by
has always been a holiday tradition in North Achieva Credit Union, following the Poinsettia Parade.
Port. Themed “Holidays Around the World,” The event will take place throughout the grounds of City Center,
the signature event features dozens of floats including on the Front Green and inside City Hall.
and entertainment. The route ends at the This fun-filled holiday festival will feature a tree lighting, food vendors,
Tree Lighting & Poinsettia Festival, which will entertainment, attractions, vendors, and so much more. For more
be on the grounds of City Center. For more information, contact the Parks & Recreation Department at 941-429-
information, call the Parks & Recreation 7275.
Department at 941-429-7275.
12 Days of Giving Food & Toy Drive Gingerbread House Workshop
November 26 through December 8 December 1, 12-3 p.m.
City Hall, 4970 City Hall Blvd. George Mullen Activity Center, 1602 Kramer Way
Residents, organizations, and businesses are encouraged Looking for something
to join City employees as they give back to the community fun and artistic to do this
by donating unwrapped toys for ages birth to 14, holiday season? Make a
nonperishable food items, and toiletries which will be gingerbread house and
distributed to local families in need. enter it into the City’s
Donations can be delivered during regular working hours annual contest. For $15 per
to City Hall, the Morgan Family Community Center, the house, and $10 for every
George Mullen Activity Center, Fire Rescue Station 81, the additional house, you will
Public Works Administration Building, North Port Utilities, receive all of the supplies
and the Family Service Center. needed. Participants can
For more information, contact the Neighborhood drop into the workshop from noon to 3 p.m. The completed
Development Services Department at 941-429-7188. gingerbread houses will be taken to City Hall for display Dec.
3-8 and entered into a people’s choice voting contest during
the Poinsettia Festival on Dec. 8. For details, contact Parks &
Recreation at 941-429-7275.
Want to learn more?
Join our first responder team! Volunteer with your City
NPPD Interested in getting involved with the City? We’re
looking for volunteers to help across City Hall and
Your future is with North Port Police Department. at the Police and Fire Departments. Our Volunteer
We are seeking to fill both sworn and non-sworn Program is open to those who wish to become more
positions with the best of the best. From Officer to involved in their community. It’s also an excellent way
Telecommunicator, there are plenty of opportunities. to tap the unlimited resources of our
Visit the link below to see what’s available. Another way to get involved is to become a Volunteer
Service Aide, who help with everything from traffic
www.governmentjobs.com/careers/northportfl control to community outreach through the North
Port Police Department.
NPFR Check out our website to find out what opportunities
North Port Fire Rescue recently received a $2.6 million are available.
grant from Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency
Response (SAFER). The grant is determined by
the Department of Homeland Security/Federal
Emergency Management Agency. It will help us hire
21 additional firefighters. Join our fire team! Check
out the above link to see what’s available.
The journey to becoming a Journeyman
After nearly four years of demanding work, seven
North Port Fire Rescue firefighters passed their
Journeyman testing in September.
The blue-collar aspect of firefighting is still an
extremely important set of skills to have. From
knot-tying to roof ventilation, mastering these skills
as a Journeyman can only improve the safety and
effectiveness of a rescue.
To get to the 3-day testing period, the Journeymen
completed 7,000 hours of documented training,
which took about 3.5 years. For testing, the recruits
took a 300-question written test, and completed
Our Fire Rescue crew is always working to obtain
as many skills as possible in order to keep our
residents safe. Congratulations to the new
Big trucks, big fun at Road-E-O New Water Structure helps with flow
Join the City at their annual Public Works Road-E-O! Set Public Works recently
for January 26, 2019 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., this free held a ribbon cutting
event is a great family-friendly experience! ceremony for the new
Watch Solid Waste and Operations’ heavy equipment Water Control Structure
drivers showcase their skills in a challenging obstacle #115! The $1.5 million
course competition. While doing so, you can check structure is located on
out interactive booths, music, and food vendors! The Chamberlain Blvd. and
event will be held at the Public Works Administration one of three key gated
Building, 1100 N. Chamberlain Boulevard. Come check structures on the Snover Waterway.
out the cool trucks and fun The gates on WCS #115 are automated and can be opened
activities! remotely using a phone, tablet or desktop. In anticipation
of storm events or heavy rains, the gates can be opened to
release water to prevent flooding. They can also be opened
to release water in a step-wise
fashion to the Myakkahatchee
Creek, which helps supplement
water flow during the dry
season. The Myakkahatchee
Creek provides much of the
City’s drinking water.
Braves stadium rounds bases Aquatic Center taking shape
The Atlanta Braves The shape of the competitive pool is visible in this
Spring Training Facility photograph taken in mid-September. The City of North Port
in the West Villages is constructing the North Port Aquatic Center at Butler Park.
area of North Port When complete, the facility will include a 25-meter stretch
continues, and the pool, a lazy river, a kids activity pool with zero entry, two
spring training game body flumes (or slides), a bowl slide, shade structures, a
day is set. bath house with locker rooms, and a small concession area.
March 24 will be the The 25-meter stretch pool will be able to accommodate 25-
first spring training game held at the facility, located off yard or 25-meter lap swimming and competitions. For more
U.S. 41. It’s the last spring training game of the 2019 information, visit www.cityofnorthport.com/pool.
season and will be used for the entirety of the season in
2020. In July, the Braves, City, County, and West Villages
staff attended a “steel topping-off” ceremony, marking
the placement of highest beam at the stadium. As a nod
to Florida, a grapefruit tree was placed atop the beam. It’s
time to start gearing up to play ball!
Progress as of August 2018 Beat the winter blues at camp!
Looking for something fun for the kids to do this winter
break? Parks & Recreation will host a Winter Camp for
children in grades 1-5. The camp will be offered 8:30
a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on December 26-28, Dec. 31, and
Jan. 2-4. The cost is $90. Extended care is available for
an additional cost. For more information or to register,
contact Parks & Recreation at 941-429-7275.
Creating a plan for Warm Mineral Springs Park
The City of North Port is developing a Warm Mineral Springs Park Master Plan and
working to protect the historic buildings at the Park.
During a series of community engagement sessions in September, the City gained
insights and ideas from residents, visitors, and City officials about their vision
for the entire 81.6-acre property which encompasses Warm Mineral Springs
Park. The feedback collected will be used in the development of a Master Plan
which will outline the location of potential features and amenities and provide a
framework for funding and development. In addition, the City will be developing
an Archaeological Management Plan to coincide with the Master Plan to further
ensure the property’s historic assets are protected.
The City is also applying for the National Register of Historic Places to recognize
the buildings at Warm Mineral Springs Park as historic. First built in 1959 by
Sarasota School of Architecture’s Jack West, the buildings are representative of
the Springs, including the shapes and layout of the buildings. Among the buildings
is a cyclorama, one of just three remaining in the United States.
Warm Mineral Springs Park attracts more than 90,000 annual visitors to its mineral
dense waters. The Springs maintains 85 to 87 degrees year-round and is the only
warm spring in Florida. Beneath the Springs surface lies evidence of pre-historic hunters and artifacts which date
back more than 10,000 years. The City of North Port purchased the property with Sarasota County in 2011 and
then bought the property rights from Sarasota County in 2014.
Learn more about the Warm Mineral Springs Park Master Plan at www.cityofnorthport.com/wmsp-masterplan.
Why GIS Day? Budget breakdown
Upon hearing “Geographic Information Systems,” not many The final budget was adopted the end of September. It
would stick around to see what it’s all about. But, GIS is the shows the rapid growth our community is experiencing
infrastructure that helps to keep the City running. From mapping and the needs that come with it. The total budget for
land development, to helping to track and save Gopher Tortoises, Fiscal Year 2019 is $161,464,650, compared to FY 2018 at
GIS systems are the backbone of much of what the City does. $154,771,450.
Here are some of the highlights across departments:
Join us on Wednesday, November 14, from 8:30-11:30 a.m. in -Adding four Traffic Unit Police Officers to implement
the first-floor lobby of City Hall, 4970 City Hall Boulevard. Phase 2 of NPPD’s Traffic Unit.
-Construction of the Price Boulevard widening project is
Here’s what to expect: set to begin in FY 2019.
- Interactive activities for kids -A new fire station is planned in the West Villages
- A gallery of different types of maps made through GIS Improvement District, with completion scheduled in
- An app that assists with wildlife sightings using GIS 2020.
- Free giveaways -Improvements to Warm Mineral Springs Park are in the
budget, including additional seating, shade, drinking
fountains and more.
-Staffing for the North Port Aquatic Center.
To find out more about the budget, visit our website.
Toilets are not trash cans! Flood protection
Utilities staff work very hard to maintain the wastewater collection system The Federal Emergency Management Agency
throughout North Port. A critical component to the system are the City’s 107 revised the flood insurance rate maps in 2016.
lift stations work to keep wastewater flowing through the City’s sewer system For your flood zone, visit the City’s website at
to the wastewater treatment plant. One of the biggest problems impacting our www.cityofnorthport.com and search “flood
sewer lift stations is non-flushable items. There are many personal products map.” Properties in high-risk flood zones should
marketed as disposable or flushable. Unfortunately, just because it makes it check with an insurance agent on flood insurance
down the toilet doesn’t mean these items are harmless. Once these items make requirements. Renters should buy flood insurance
their way beyond your toilet, they can clog sewer lines and cause backups or for their contents. Don’t drive through flooded
overflows, resulting in costly areas and designate a place where your family
repairs for the homeowner. can gather during an evacuation. Sign up for
If they do make their way to “Code Red” on the City’s website. Protect your
the City sewer system, they property by elevating electrical appliances. Build
can get caught up in the responsibly by getting a permit from our Building
mechanical components Division. Don’t litter our canals, creeks and
of lift stations, causing floodplains which are our drinking water supply
extensive damage to pumps and the habitat for wildlife. Homeowners can
and control systems which also call Public Works at 941-240-8050 to learn
result in costly repairs for more about flood risks and flood protection.
all ratepayers. Frequently,
Field Operations staff must Learn about the Charter Referendum
remove rags and flushable The objective of the North Port City Charter
wipes from the pumps, is to give general guidelines for how the
impellers, and floats critical City of North Government will operate. It
for the station to function helps City leaders and staff be responsive to
properly. To complete this citizens and the community as promptly and
work, the station must be taken off line and pumped down with a bypass pump economically as possible.
to keep things flowing until the station can be brought back on line.
Please do your part to keep your City sewer system healthy by sticking with the There will be a referendum question on the
three P’s: Pee, Poop and Toilet Paper! November 6, 2018 ballot. The question will
pertain to proposed City Charter.
Cybersecurity Month highlights online vigilance
What is the question?
Join the City in acknowledging the important issue of cybersecurity Shall the proposed 2018 City Charter as set
by attending a session regarding how to keep yourself safe forth in Ordinance No. 2018-28 be adopted
online. On October 24, at 6 p.m. at City Hall, our Information to replace the current City Charter in its
Technology staff will be there to walk you through the ins and entirety?
outs of cybersecurity. Additionally, the Communications team will
be present to chat about social media and how to stay vigilant.
For our older generation who may not be as familiar with social
media, join us to get connected and learn how to navigate safely
Visit the link below to get more information:
Two Commission seats are also up for grabs
this election cycle. Make sure to make your
voice heard and vote!
City of North Port PRSRT STD
4970 City Hall Boulevard U.S. POSTAGE
North Port, FL 34286 PAID
FT. MYERS, FL
www.facebook.com/TheCityofNorthPort PERMIT #972
G E T C O N N EC T E DLocal
www.facebook.com/NorthPortPD Postal Customer
www.twitter.com/NorthPortPolice Check out the city's mobile app,
www.instagram.com/NorthPortPD North RePort.
[email protected] See a problem? Send it directly to us. Search
“North RePort" in your app store.
A web based version is available at
Listen in to the latest North Port news
The City has added a new medium for keeping our
residents connected. We are diving in to the podcasting
world, adding a weekly audio update to our repertoire.
Additionally, we’re interviewing City staff
for a longer podcast episode periodically.
Check any major podcasting platform for
Check out what we’re working on at
You can also listen on your Amazon Echo!
Give the gift of history this season What a busy time of year for the Mayor Vanessa Carusone
City of North Port! There are many [email protected]
Deciding what to get your loved ones for the opportunities to get involved with
holidays? Give them the gift of North Port’s your City, both socially and civically Vice Mayor Linda Yates
past! Stop by and grab a copy of “Out of the this holiday season. [email protected]
Wilderness,” by Marshall Grove. Based on dozens We put on several wonderful
of interviews, the book takes us back to North holiday events, including Halloween Commissioner Chris Hanks
Port’s very beginnings, starting in 1959. To buy a and Christmas festivities. Our staff [email protected]
copy, visit the City’s Utilities Department, located works tirelessly to bring you an outstanding experience. All
on the first floor of City Hall. The 255-page book is the information for those are included in this newsletter.
being sold for just $15. Cash, credit card, or check You can also get involved by participating in the upcoming
are accepted. election on November 6. Get out and rock the vote and
make your voice heard. Information on the polling places
and more can be found on our City website.
We hope you have a wonderful holiday season and take
the time to check out one of our awesome City events!
Can you benefit from exemption? Commissioner Jill Luke
In the November General Election, Florida voters will have a chance to decide whether to [email protected]
expand the state’s homestead exemption benefit for homes with an assessed value greater
than $100,000. Because of this, property appraisers around the state have adopted the use Commissioner Debbie McDowell
of the 3rd homestead estimator. It’s a website tool to help property owners gain a better [email protected]
understanding of the proposed additional $25,000 homestead exemption. To find out if you
will benefit, visit www.3hxestimator.org or visit the Sarasota County Property Appraiser’s
website at www.sc-pa.com.