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Redington Shores police costs unchanged
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REDINGTON SHORES – Police service costs have remained nearly steady in Redington Shores over the past several years. A modest 4.5 percent increase in the current budget year was the first in four years for the town, where neighboring Indian Shores provides police services.

Police Chief Terry Hughes of Indian Shores told Town Commission members at their April 9 meeting he had good news for them this time. Policing costs would remain the same for fiscal year 2015.

Hughes presented a budget prepared in February by former Police Chief E.D. Williams that showed decreases in personnel costs related to Williams’ retirement, offset by increases in administrative costs and operating expenses.

Inclusion of $5,000 in the budget for a labor attorney made up the administrative cost increase. That is an anticipated expense related to union negotiations that could begin when the police department’s three-year contract with the police union expires this fall.

That cost will probably occur, as the police will likely want to negotiate a new contract, Police Capt. Jeff Rawson said following the meeting.

A rise in operating expenses is due to a jump in the price of gas for the police vehicles, and increases in contractual services such as forensic and computer systems.

The capital equipment budget for replacement of police vehicles comes from Penny for Pinellas funds and appears outside the annual police budget appropriation.

Residents urged to use sidewalks

A recent accident involving an overturned Cadillac Escalade could have been worse than it was. Rawson reported the vehicle came close to hitting a woman who was walking in the road instead of the sidewalk, which put her in danger.

“By the grace of God, she was not killed,” Rawson said. He urged all residents, “If you’re going to walk, stay on the sidewalk.”

Town board appointments

New appointments were announced to committees and boards.

Pat Drumm was appointed by Mayor Bert Adams to an at-large position on the planning and zoning board. Vice Mayor John Branch appointed Jeffrey Neal as District 2 representative to the board.

Ron Gerst was added to the financial advisory committee from District 1 by Commissioner Tom Kapper. Adams named Chris Henderson at-large representative to that committee, and Commissioner MaryBeth Henderson chose Steve Wotovich as the District 3 rep.

Adams added Dee Protano to the parks and recreation committee. Commissioner Lee Holmes named two alternate committee members: Emily Schroder to parks and recreation and Jennifer Leigh Crawford to the financial advisory committee.
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