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Happy 80th Birthday
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CLEARWATER - County Commissioners proclaimed May 19 as Pinellas County Day in celebration of the Utilities Department’s 80th birthday.

In a video presented during the meeting, Utilities Director Robert Powell described utility systems as a “silent service.”

“The only time you notice is when it is not there,” he said. “And then it is a surprise because most of the time, the majority of the time, it is there.”
 ... Read More 
The method of water treatment for Pinellas County and its wholesale customers will be temporarily modified between Tuesday, May 26, and Monday, June 15. The first of two short-term changes from chloramine to chlorine disinfection this year is a routine maintenance measure designed to optimize water quality.

Those impacted include Pinellas County water customers as well as customers in the cities of Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor and Tarpon Springs.

This disinfection program is designed to maintain distribution system water quality and minimize the potential for any future problem. There have been no indications of significant bacteriological contamination problems in the system. The water will continue to meet federal and state standards for safe drinking water.
 ... Read More 
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SEMINOLE - Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri presents the 2015 Agency Awards at a ceremony May 19 at the city of Seminole Recreation Center, 9100 113th St. N.

More than 150 individuals were recognized for the “exemplary” efforts throughout the year. Gualtieri also presented the agencies top awards.

The Jackie Clement Award was presented to office assistant Sheila Evins-Bradshaw for her outstanding performance as a support staff member in the Child Protection Investigations Unit. Evins-Bradshaw was selected for this honor for her "can do" attitude in every aspect of her job and her steadfast commitment to the Child Protection Investigation staff.
 ... Read More 
Wednesday, May 27
CLEARWATER - The last day to submit an application for appointments to the Pinellas County Charter Review Commission is Monday, June 1.

Every eight years, the Board of County Commissioners appoints a Charter Review Commission to review the Pinellas County Charter and make independent recommendations to amend the Charter. The Charter Review Commission has direct access to the ballot, where the voters of Pinellas County may consider these amendments.

The Charter Review Commission has 13 members: Nine citizens, one county commissioner, one constitutional officer, one member of the legislative delegation and one city elected official.
 ... Read More 
Friday, May 22
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CLEARWATER - As Pinellas County Commissioner Janet Long said May 19, the devil is in the details.

Commissioners agreed unanimously, after much debate, to defer a decision about proposed changes to the Tourist Development Plan and to future allocations of the county’s bed tax proceeds.

Most agreed there were details that needed discussion, most importantly the levy of a sixth cent (bed tax), which the county is now eligible to do after meeting requirements to become a high impact tourist destination in 2014.
 ... Read More 
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CLEARWATER - Despite protests from about a dozen residents, Pinellas County Commissioners voted 6-1 to approve four years of rate increases for water and sewer, as well as user fees and rates for reclaimed water May 19.

Commissioner Dave Eggers voted no.

The increases continue a pattern that began in 2011 when commissioners approved a four-year rate hike plan through 2015. Consultant Burton & Associates recommended another four-year schedule of modest rate hikes, lasting through fiscal year 2019.
 ... Read More 
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CLEARWATER - Neighbors turned out May 19 in support of a rezoning request by a Seminole family being opposed by a couple who lives across the street.

Susan McCann requested that her 2.3 acres at the southeast corner of 74th Avenue North and 138th Street North in unincorporated Seminole be rezoned from R-1, single family residential, to R-R, rural residential.

John Cueva, Planning Department Zoning manager, said staff and the Local Planning Agency recommended approval of the request and its variances as long as the applicant met four conditions. The first is to keep the fence on the north side to the same style it is now, two planks between poles. The second is to maintain a fence for the livestock (horses) on the south side set back 50 feet from the upland edge of the wetlands. The third was to construct a swale and berm on the south side to control runoff from the livestock into Boca Ciega Bay. McCann prefers to build a manure collection system, which Cueva said was better. The fourth condition is to keep all trailers parked on the property out of the public right-of-way.
 ... Read More 
Friday, May 22
Pinellas County’s unemployment rate is continuing to improve. The not seasonally adjusted rate in Pinellas dropped to 4.8 percent in April, according to the May 22 report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity. The county reported an unemployment rate of 5.2 percent in March and 5.5 percent in April 2014.

Pinellas’ unemployment was lower than state and federal numbers. Not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Florida in April was 5.2 percent - down from 5.5 percent last month and 6 percent in 2014. Federal unemployment numbers also are down. The U.S. not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April was 5.1 percent, a substantial decline from the 5.6 percent reported in March and 5.9 percent in April 2014.

The not seasonally adjusted unemployment rate also declined in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater Metropolitan Statistical Area to 5 percent, down from 5.4 percent in March and 5.7 percent in April 2014.
 ... Read More 
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ST. PETERSBURG - Pinellas County Commissioners will host a ceremony on Memorial Day to dedicate a monument honoring fallen Pinellas County military service members from the Gulf War Era on Monday, May 25, at noon.

The ceremony will take place at War Veterans’ Memorial Park at 9600 Bay Pines Blvd. in St. Petersburg. The dedication ceremony will be open to the public, with general parking available.

The memorial will be comprised of a monument shaped as a battlefield cross and three plaques. The monument is a symbol which has been used to honor fallen military service members in times of conflict since the Civil War.
 ... Read More 
Pinellas County Sheriff’s deputies in conjunction with Gulfport, St. Petersburg, Largo and Tarpon Springs police departments will conduct a DUI Wolf Pack operation, beginning the night of Saturday, May 23, and continuing through early morning Sunday, May 24.

Local law enforcement also will maintain a proactive profile over the holiday weekend on the highly traveled roadways of Pinellas County.

This operation is part of the Sheriff Bob Gualtieri’s on-going commitment to reduce deaths, injuries and property damage associated with traffic crashes related to impaired driving. The goal of the Wolf Pack is to educate citizens and create public awareness about the dangers of operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and any chemical or controlled substances.
 ... Read More 
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