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Treasure Island OKs north end upgrades
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TREASURE ISLAND – City commissioners moved forward April 1 on a pair of resolutions targeted at upgrades to the north end of Treasure Island.

The two resolutions would allocate $284,395 for proposals by Michael Baker Jr. Inc. for the design and engineering of new lighting for Gulf Boulevard and improvements to the stormwater system along Gulf Boulevard and Lagoon Lane.

However, the allocation is contingent upon the city being approved by the Barrier Islands Governmental Council to use Pinellas County Penny for Pinellas funds targeted for Gulf Boulevard upgrades. The city wants to use its $3.7 million share of the funds to underground utilities along Gulf Boulevard.

With money left over city officials want to make improvements to worn out stormwater vaults and headways leading into Boca Ciega Bay and add the new lighting.

Individually, the cost of the engineering study for the stormwater improvement portion is $165,140. The cost of the engineering for new lighting is $119,255.

Michael Baker would complete the work within four months and have a full report to the city no later than Dec. 1.

Undergrounding of utilities by Duke Energy is scheduled to begin in January 2015.

The lighting upgrades would give the city’s gateway street a new, fresher look that meets higher standards for lighting requirements. Power lines to the new poles would be underground.

“There are going to be many more lights on Gulf Boulevard than there are now to bring it up to the correct level that arterial roads should be,” said City Manager Reid Silverboard. “In addition, we’re talking a decorative style of lighting like you see up in Indian Shores.”

He said the lighting would extend south from the John’s Pass bridge to 105th Avenue.

“We will extend it further down Gulf Boulevard if we have the funds to do so,” Silverboard said.

In other action, commissioners:

• Moved forward on a request to transfer the license agreement of the Hippo Water Slide at Gulf Front Park, 10400 Gulf Blvd., from Brent Palmer to Stephen and Donna Phillips, owners of Freestyle Slides and Rentals. Due to family obligations, Palmer is relocating out of state and is selling his business to the Phillips who manufacturer the Hippo Water Slide.

• Agreed with City Attorney Maura Kiefer that it’s time “for the city to become more proactive” and work more toward a legal resolution in the issue of cracks in the Central Beach Trail. “Right now it’s languishing,” Kiefer said. “It’s long overdue,” said Commissioner Alan Bildz. Phil Graham, president of Phil Graham Landscape Architecture, provided design services for the trail. Coastal Technology Corp. of Vero Beach, provided structural engineering services and Biltmore Construction Co. of Clearwater, constructed the $1.2 million trail. The trail opened last March. Within three weeks cracks appeared.
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