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County OKs change to Dunedin agreement
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CLEARWATER – Pinellas County Commissioners agreed unanimously Oct. 16 to amend an interlocal agreement with the city of Dunedin regarding payment for the Toronto Blue Jays spring training facility.

The county entered into an agreement with the city on Dec. 1, 2000, obligating the county to provide tourist tax funding for debt service payments on bonds issued by the city to pay for the construction and equipping of the Toronto Blue Jays spring training facility.

The interlocal agreement required the county to pay an annual sum of $297,980 for 15 years. The Blue Jays were required to provide an equivalent value in marketing opportunities, according to a staff report.

Dunedin issued bonds in 2001 and the county began making payments from tourist tax funds in March 2001. The bond notes currently are being paid using tourist tax money, as well as state funds and non-ad valorem revenue from the city.

Dunedin requested an amendment to the agreement to allow refinancing of the notes to take advantage of lower interest rates.

Chief Assistant County Attorney Dennis Long said the amendment does not change the terms of the agreement or the payment amount. Any savings from the refinancing related to the county’s payments will be applied to debt service payments.

Jeff Larson of Larson Consulting Services, which provides financial services for the city of Dunedin, told the commission that the amendment does not call for an extension in time or any additional payments. Larson said the interlocal agreement would expire with last payment on April 1, 2016. State financial support for the facility will continue until 2021.

Grant agreement approved for Honeymoon Island

Pinellas County Commissioners unanimously approved a grant agreement with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for the Honeymoon Island Beach Restoration Project.

The May 2001 agreement between the parties for Phase I of the project expired Dec. 15, 2011.

Phase II is currently scheduled to begin in early 2013.

The agreement will provide $6,314,162 of state funding to continue the project through Phase II construction and post construction monitoring. The total includes $534,162 left over from the agreement that expired in 2011.

The county’s share of the cost is $118,282 to bring the total project funding to $6,432,444.
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