TREASURE ISLAND - Joggers and walkers using the Central Beach Trail in Treasure Island will soon see some activity related to the repair of cracks in the 2-year-old, 4,400-foot sidewalk.
City commissioners voted 3-2 on Feb. 17 to spend $12,720 for Atkins North America Inc., to provide input on ways to stop the ongoing cracking issue.
Atkins, the city’s consultant in litigation involving the cracks, will supervise an operation that involves using a saw to cut into slabs along the trail that have not shown signs of cracking. The idea is to prevent future cracks.
TREASURE ISLAND - City commissioners are considering an offer from the operators of three beach motels to cut the amount of attorney’s fees Treasure Island would be responsible for following a recent court decision involving parking on the beach.
Speaking before commissioners Feb. 17, Arthur Czyszczon of the Page Terrace Beachfront Hotel said he and his co-plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Thunderbird Beach Resort general manager David King and Kevin McInerney of the Windjammer Resort Motel, were willing to cut the city’s amount of liability from $568,234 to $100,000 in exchange for the city dropping its appeal in the case.
“It has been brought to our attention that the city is struggling with making the necessary changes in beach management to abide by the judge’s ruling,” said Czyszczon. “We want to work with the city as much as possible to abate those challenges and therefore we are offering to reduce the attorney’s fees owed down to $100,000 with the hope that the savings of $468,234 in fees and the avoidance of cost of your current appeal can be better directed to enable the city to make these necessary changes in beach management.”
ST. PETE BEACH - Candidates for the District 2 City Commission discussed the comprehensive plan, sewer system, and traffic, among other issues at a Feb. 17 candidate forum held in the St. Pete Beach City Commission chambers.
In the commission race, challenger Joanne Lentino is running against incumbent Rick Falkenstein, who was appointed to the post in May by the City Commission after the resignation of Former District 2 Commissioner Jim Parent.
REDINGTON BEACH - Residents who frequent Town Park in Redington Beach should eventually enjoy some upgrades, especially if the town is able to win a $75,000 matching grant, the possibility of which was discussed at the Feb.17 Town Commission meeting.
The commission, in its 2015 fiscal budget, appropriated $75,000 in capital funds for use in the park system. Redington Beach Parks board president Marilyn Barber, however, says her board is looking beyond that.
She said she was seeking the commission’s approval on behalf of the parks and recreational board to apply to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection’s Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, which administers grants to local governments through the Florida Recreation Development Assistance.
GULFPORT - The Gulfport Merchants Association recently announced new appointees to its board of directors.
The new appointees are Joe Guenther, O'Maddy's Bar & Grille; Fred Metzler, Salty's Gulfport; Chris Spencer, Gulfport Tuesday Fresh Market; John Haugen, Hudson Marketing Services; Christopher Ross, Christopher Ross, ASLA; and Paul Ray, Tropics Software Technologies.
These appointees join continuing board members Lori Rosso, Sea Breeze Manor Bed and Breakfast Inn, president; Biff Lagan, Gulfport Beach Bazaar, treasurer; Suzanne King, SIK Promotions; Scott Linde, Lizard Licks and Mangia Gourmet; Mike McCue, Domain Home Accessories & Gallery; Daniel Hodge, freelance writer; and Michael Knettel, Domain Home Accessories & Gallery.
REDINGTON BEACH - Firefighters from seven Pinellas County fire departments rushed to the scene of a condominium fire around 1 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, in Redington Beach.
About 250 residents were at home at the Redington Towers building #2, 17920 Gulf Blvd., when the fire broke out on the first floor near the sauna area, according to a report from Seminole Fire Rescue. Usual population for the 156-unit building is about 300 residents.
REDINGTON BEACH - Due to a statewide policy, the Florida Department of Transportation has no current plans to install a crosswalk across Gulf Boulevard in front of the Redington Reef condominiums.
However, Stephen Benson, a bicycle and pedestrian safety specialist with FDOT, said last week there is some flexibility in the policy and is meeting with Redington Beach and North Redington Beach officials regarding a solution.
“Exceptions to the minimum volumes have been made in the past, however since the proposed crosswalk impacts two local governments we need to establish a consensus among the local maintaining agencies prior to making a determination,” Benson said. “We are currently working with the town of Redington Beach and the town of North Redington Beach to reach a solution that meets the needs and expectations of the citizens and both local governments.”
ST. PETE BEACH - The first of two public hearings to ratify the city of St. Pete Beach’s revised comprehensive plan is Tuesday, Feb. 24, at city hall.
The second and final hearing will take place Monday, March 9. A 15-day period allowing for any possible legal challenges will follow. If there are none, the new document will take effect Wednesday, March 25.
City Attorney Andrew Dickman and City Manager Wayne Saunders met Feb. 11 with Treasure Island attorney Ken Weiss to resolve some 11th-hour points by Weiss and ended the day with a signed document by all parties involved.
MADEIRA BEACH - The first phase of the city of Madeira Beach’s massive new City Centre project is now complete. An announcement was made at the Feb. 10 City Commission meeting that the recreation complex is finished and ready to do business.
The rec center is open now, and the first athletic event, an NCAA Division I women’s softball tournament will take place Feb. 20-22, City Manager Shane Crawford said.
INDIAN SHORES - Last month the Town Council of Indian Shores sadly accepted the letter of resignation from Joan Herndon, a council member since 2001.
At the Feb. 10 Town Council meeting, Herndon was recognized for her service to the town and Diantha Schear was sworn in to fill her seat.
Mayor Jim Lawrence presented Herndon with a crystal vase filled with flowers on behalf of the elected officials and staff of Indian Shores. The vase was engraved in Herndon’s honor commemorating her fourteen years on the council, eight of which were as vice mayor. The council elected Pat Soranno to serve as the new vice mayor.
NORTH REDINGTON BEACH - An ordinance changing the land use designation of Bath Club Estates Lots 1 and 7 from Light Commercial District to Residential Multifamily District, passed on its first reading during the Town Commission meeting at town hall.
A second and final reading of the ordinance will be scheduled for next month’s meeting.
Mayor Bill Queen asked Town Attorney Jay Daigneault about the Planning and Zoning Board’s findings on the matter.